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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

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Plein air painter Robert Grogan offers a one week long workshop in outdoor landscape oil painting in Franschhoek March 15-19, 2010. The course is Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and participation is limited to 15 students to ensure maximum individual instruction. All levels of painters, from beginners to more advanced students wanting to learn techniques of plein air painting, are welcome. The location of the workshop is on the beautiful grounds of Grande Provence Wine Estate, just minutes away from the village of Franschhoek. Cost for the weeks class is R2200. Accommodations and meals are not included in the cost.
For more details about the course and to receive an outline of daily activities, subjects covered, and a supply list, please call Lee Grogan at 076 270 4994 or email

Robert and Lee Grogan
Post Net Suite #13
Private Bag X19
Franschhoek 7690 South Africa
27 (0)76-270-4994

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The Eleanor Palmer Evening and Social

Thursday 26th November at 7.00pm: Eleanor Palmer Competition and Social Evening.
The late Eleanor Palmer was a long-standing member and prolific artist. While President of SASA, she presented a cup to the Society to be awarded annually to a member whose work was voted the best at an annual event at the Athenaeum. This competition is great fun and this wonderful social evening marks the end of the SASA year.
This is the first time we are combining our end of year social event with the Eleanor Palmer competition and the turnout should be great.  
So, all you SASA members out there, bring in your artwork (anything except class work or work overseen by a teacher), and enjoy the evening with us.  
Members and non-members are welcome, but remember, only members can vote on the night.
See you there!