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A Busy August

The month went by in a flash!

All the activity included preparations for selection day (actually it took a whole weekend), our landscape and life competition – congratulations to our winners

Lynn Brown – Life drawing/painting section
Grazyna Janik – Landscape/seascape section

Then there were the winter workshops.  First was Cherry Nichols watercolour/mixed media workshop for experienced watercolourists (see previous post) and then we were honoured to have Natalie Hirschman give us a workshop in oils.  An incredible experience from a master of the medium.

And then our own SASA member and Fellow, Di Ackerman, gave us a workshop on drawing in ink and finishing in acrylics.

A big thank you to all three wonderful artists for sharing their years of wisdom and experience with us.

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Workshop Fever

Cherry Nichols gave an awesome watercolour workshop for SASA members on Tuesday 21 June. All participants had to change the poppy drawing they were sent to use at the workshop. Cherry started off by showing them how to remove parts of the painting that were no longer wanted, using oil pastels and turps. The oil pastels were also used to darken the areas in between the poppies and then taking the colour into the flowers. This technique was also used to form the background of the painting.
Participants were shown how to do introduce gel medium over the wet paint and when slightly dry, how to ‘scratch out’ the stamens, leaves, buds, etc using a toothpick. She went on to show us how to put the different colours into the flowers, how to complete the vase section of the painting, showing the water levels and how to finish off the painting.
The results?  Have a look.


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Life Drawing

Picasso – The Blue Nude

An early start this year – so dust off your pencils and sketchbooks if you haven’t been using them and take advantage of the Autumn weather and our first nude model.  Khadija has been selected for our first session and you can see her photo in the Artist Models section of this blog.  She is a total professional (as are all our selected models) and will be posing on the 30th April from 9.30 am until 12.30.

Until the weather cools in June/July, we will be selecting nude models; clothes will be the order of the day in the depths of winter.

The cost remains the same – R60 per session which includes a cup of tea and biscuits.  Please contact Jinty on 021 762 2426 – email or Lawrie on 021 438 9512 – email  Make sure you book your place as space is limited!

Schedule:  April 30, May 7 and 14, June 11 and 18
Where:  The Portuguese Club in Rugby

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Gus Kennedy tallk

Gus at the Podium

At our monthly Thursday meeting, Gus Kennedy, owner of the Italian Art Shop in Rondebosch, gave us a really insightful talk on “Paint – what is it?”

He talked about the properties of the various paint qualities, the importance of quality canvases and what makes a good canvas, brushes and how they’re made and a host of information that we never knew and can make a difference in our painting lives.

An amazing prize to win

And to top it all, Skye had put together a wonderful give-away package to one lucky member, and that was Paul Webb.  Lucky man Paul!  Enjoy.

Paul Webb and his goodies
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2011 Drawing Competition

The official end-of-year AGM is always celebrated with a drawing competition, and what incredible artwork our members produce, year after year.  And this year we had a theme which was a bit perplexing but an amazing array of interpretations of “One Fell Swoop” were put forward.
And walking away with top honours – as he did last year! was Paul Webb with his drawing entitled 1st July 1916.  Well done Paul!
In second place was Fiona Gawronsky with ‘One Fowl Swoop’, and 3rd prize went to Eugene Schuddinh with his interpretation, ‘In one Fell Swoop’.
Paul Webb
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Desmond Colborne Evening

Thursday, 27th January was our first 2011 meeting and we were treated to a marvellous talk by Desmond Colborne on the Seine and the how this magnificent “River of Light” influenced so many of the Impressionists.

France has been a second home for Desmond for most of his life working as a tour escort, teacher and for 30 years as the Paris director of the business leadership organisation, the South Africa Foundation.  He has lived and lectured on France in SA for many years, at the UCT Summer school and elsewhere, and is an author of a book on South Africa.

Thank you Desmond for starting our year off so magnificently.  We certainly maxed out on the seating space!

A gargoyle on the Chartres Cathedral watches over the Seine

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Eleanor Palmer Evening

Our last meeting of the year combines a get together with our annual Eleanor Palmer competition.
A total of 51 artists brought work to be voted for by their fellow artists and members.  It was a festive evening with lots of wine and even more eats, and the art on display was of an incredible standard which made the voting process even harder!  But in the end, a winner can always be found, and this year Grazyna Janik won first honours with her superb painting, Winter Calm.
Runner up was Laura Wenman with ‘Renee’ and in third place, Peter Nicolle with ‘Christelle’. 

Well done to everyone who took part.

Our 1st prize Winner – Grazyna Janik
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Watercolour Workshop

On Thursday, August 12th, Marion Langton, renowned watercolourist and teacher, held a workshop at the Portuguese Hall for SASA members.

We had a maximum 12 members taking part in what was an incredibly exciting and informative day.  All the participants were given two projects, a landscape with cottages and a vase of flowers.  Marion took the class through every process step-by-step and some incredible work was produced.

Thank you Marion, for all your hard work, and for your generosity.

Marion Langton:  Landscape with Cottages
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Penny Steynor’s Pastel Workshop

On Saturday 24th, 19 people arrived for Penny’s workshop.

With so many people, space was at a premium, but a spot was found for everyone, and Penny treated us to an incredible amount of information as well as a display of how versatile a medium pastel is.

Here are Penny’s notes:

Pastel is a very exciting and versatile medium.  It is a drawing or painting medium and is a Direct medium to use offering wide range of techniques and approaches with Drawing – convenient – direct – quick and expressive with no elaborate preparation with painting – prepare paper and layer pastel in washes.  It can also be used over watercolour, acrylic or mixed media to great effect, or work with “Pastel marks” (John Blockley) – people are recognized by their marks!

Pastels are made from gum tracanthas, a binder and Kaolin and pigment.  Home made pastels are harder as more binder is used.  They are PERMANENT and do not fade as sophisticated pigments are used in their manufacture.

Which side of the paper?  Usually the rougher side is used.
Never use graphite pencil as the oil repels the pastel.  Always draw with charcoal – you can even incorporate the charcoal into the pastel.  Oil pastels are different – we are dealing here with chalk pastels.  There are both hard and soft varieties.  Harder pastels are usually used for the drawing technique.  In painting use the hard pastels first and end with soft.

Work from dark to light, as in oils.  No water or cleaning agents except soap and water, towels, wet wipes and old clothes!  But unlike oils you cannot mix pastels on a palette like paint – you can mix to a certain extent on paper.
In order to ascertain a colour, you have to test it or use it – if it is wrong or racts in a way you don’t want it to, stop immediately and remove with a stiff brush.  YOU CANNOT CORRECT MISTAKES BY OVERLAYING WITH PASTEL.  You will end up with a muddy, tired looking painting.

MUD!  In my experience, mud is caused by using opposite sides of the colour wheel (what would normally cause grey in watercolour and may be beautiful can cause mud in pastel).  Also adding too much white content too soon.  Adjacent colours are best for blending.

DUST!  Do not blow.  Turn over your pastel and tap.  You can also put a piece of wide masking tape, sticky side up, on the bottom edge of your paper, catching dust that way.  Semolina makes a good cleaning agent.


  1. Use genuine turps or water to soften your pastel wash – or scrape pastel onto your board and wipe with a soft cloth to give a “wash effect”
  2. Work from dark to light
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Adolpho McQue Workshops

Landscape artist, Adolpho McQue will be holding two, 3-morning LANDSCAPE OIL PAINTING WORKSHOPS on

  JULY: Wed 28, Thurs. 29 and Fri. 30 – 9.30 to 12.30 am.
  AUGUST: Wed 4, Thurs. 5 and Fri.6 – 9.30 to 12.30 am.
  VENUE: STAG STUDIO next to Simonstown Library.

The fee will be R600.00 per person for 3 morning workshop, maximum 10 Artists per workshop, so book early.
The aim is to learn to SEE shape, design, tone, colour and to apply oil paint and have a lot of fun doing it, we’ll aim to complete one small landscape painting during the workshop, beginners are welcome.
In booking you will receive material requirements and in depth course info.
Jane de Haas 083 3057846
Adolfo McQue 076 7449855
Visit the web site for more of Adolpho’s work