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September SASA Members’ Meeting

Our members’ meeting for September, held on Thursday the 24th, was once again held via Zoom and hosted by our president, Audrey Innes. Our October meeting will also be online, but we are hoping to have a “garden party” at the Athenaeum for the last meeting of the year, at the end of November. It will be good to see everyone again in person, so watch your newsletter for details and updates.

Back to September’s meeting! Our guest for the evening was our lovely Helen Van Stolk, who spoke to us about elevating our – and our viewers’ – spirit through our art. Her key-word for this talk, as well as for her own recent work, was “connection”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She let us see how our work transforms when we really feel connected to it – feeling valued; seen and heard without judging or being judged. She likened her new process to a journey, not meticulously planned and mapped out, but rather just going where the road takes us and seeing what happens.

Helen urged us to seek inspiration everywhere – it can come from nature, music ,words, magazines, even pieces of coloured fabrics or paper. As we were told through a video clip of David Bowie – you should never work for other people. Something inside made you want to paint in the first place, so that’s where it needs to come from, but be brave – wade a little out of your depth!

To feed our art with freshness and imagination, we need to experience new things – things that make us feel inspired and invigorated. Helen proposed taking ourselves on “artist dates” and spoiling ourselves with “self-care” to energise ourselves, as whatever we’re feeling when we’re painting is what the viewer will feel when looking at a piece

……and presentation matters! It is essential to value your work, and paying attention to all five of the senses will allow you and your viewer to fully connect and experience it as a “beautiful encounter”.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Helen, for a peep into your studio and yourself – and for an exciting and truly inspiring evening.

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Plein Air Outing to Maiden’s Cove

The most recent plein air outing organised for us by Sonja Frenz, took place on Saturday 19 September. There were eight of us all together, who met up at Maiden’s Cove, Camps Bay, on the most beautiful Spring morning.

 

 

 

 

 

It was sunny and windless, though not too hot – a perfect day for sitting around and sketching the magnificent vistas surrounding us. From our hillside viewpoint, we looked over the bay, with the Twelve Apostles dominating the view on one side and the ocean, the other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rock formations gave interesting close-up details to paint in their craggy shadows, as did the lone little windswept tree. We sat under our colourful umbrellas, with the sun at our backs and enjoyed a few hours of peaceful sketching.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Sonja, for arranging it for us. If anyone else would like to join one of our plein air outings, please email Sonja – sonjafrenz@gmail.com – and she’ll add you to our whatsapp group.

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August SASA Members’ Meeting With Erika Van Zyl

On Thursday 27 August, we had the second of our Zoom meetings and our guest for the evening was well known artist, Erika van Zyl. We saw Erika demonstrating a still life in oils.

She first gave us a run-down on all the materials and equipment she would be using, including the setting up of her still-life in a “shadow box”.

 

 

 

 

 

Erika uses large brushes and good quality paints in a limited palette, which gives her painting a certain unity and harmony.

The composition and setting up of the still life is most important, showing what it is you want to say with your painting. Erika begins with a sketch, to which she then adds monochromatic tones for a “value study”, which is used as reference when executing the final work.

 

 

 

 

 

She stressed the importance of negative shapes and tonal values, which she considers more important than getting the colours absolutely perfect. It was fascinating to watch the painting grow and quite amazing to see the amount of detail she manages to achieve with her great big brushes.

Erika was able to complete her painting in a relatively short space of time, as she is used to painting en plein air, which necessitates working quickly, so that by the end of the evening we were able to see the finished piece. 

 

 

 

 

She very kindly offered us free access to the video on her school website – Colour your canvas with Erika van Zyl – for a couple of days.

 

 

 

 

The meeting was well attended – thanks to Adrian Larkin and everyone else involved, for setting it up for us and making it all possible.

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Plein Air Outing to Darling

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 20 August was a bit of a soggy day, but the cold and rainy weather didn’t stop our intrepid bunch and the Plein Air outing to Cloof Wine Estate in Darling took place as planned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a longer drive than usual for our artists, but so good to get out there to enjoy a change of scenery. The weather added an extra challenge, lending a pleasing sense of camaraderie and the whole trip was great fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artists, wrapped up warmly, did their sketching or painting from the shelter of the farmhouse veranda and at lunchtime enjoyed a light meal at the Marmalade Cat Cafe.

 

 

 

 

Thanks once more to Sonja Frenz, for organising it for us….and perhaps we can even take another day out to that part of the world when the weather stabilises? If anyone wants to join the plein air group, please email Sonja on sonjafrenz@gmail.com

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Impromptu Plein Air Outing

Due to an unexpectedly beautiful midwinter’s day, the plein air group gathered for a spontaneous day of outdoor painting. We met, once again, at the Back Area Garden Deli at Oude Molen, with its wonderful views and friendly chickens.

With the sun shining brilliantly above us and fellow artists – dutifully socially distanced – by our sides, despite the masks, it almost felt as if the world was back to normal again. We had superb coffee and lovely conversation to sustain us while painting or sketching and the Deli’s fresh produce to take home with us.

At the end of the day everyone went home happy, with a whole lot of inspiration in their sketchbooks and bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Sonja for another great outing. These impromptu days are totally weather dependent and Sonja will notify artists on the group whatsapp, so if you want to get involved, please email Sonja on: sonjafrenz@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

The next “official” plein air outing will be on 20 August to a farm near Darling. For more info, please see the latest SASA newsletter, or email Sonja Frenz.

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Zoom Members’ Meeting

Our July SASA members’ meeting was, for the first time, held on “Zoom” and was, despite small hiccups, most successful and well-attended – we had fifty-four members present – thanks to our hosts, Audrey Innes (president of SASA) and Adrian Larkin.

Audrey kicked off the evening by announcing the winners of our online competition. Judging the many, many entries received was a very difficult task, but eventually the three favourites were chosen.

In first place was Charme Southey with her abstract acrylic painting “Emotions of Lockdown”, second was Loraine Magda with her portrait in oil “Deep Vision” and third was Kate Pearce’s “Golden Afternoon” a landscape in oil.

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to you three and many thanks to Linda and Greg Austin of “Artland” for the generous donation of the vouchers and art materials given as prizes.

 

 

 

 

Our special guest for the evening was Simon Ekin, well known author and speaker on learning life-skills. To quote the man himself: “You know how when you have a great idea or commitment to do something and then you get scared and back out? Well, what I do is give you the tools and insights to make sure that that never happens again. The best that’ll happen is that you’ll produce a great result and blow people away. The worst that’ll happen is that you’ll be really proud of yourself for giving it a go”.

 

 

 

 

 

Simon’s book, “The Art of Courage” was the starting point for his presentation and he spoke about his journey through his own fears. Fears of judgement, vulnerability, criticism – which are very familiar to most of us – and the tools he used to overcome them.

To get going, he urged us to be committed, to decide what we want to say and just do it. As long as we are authentic in what we are doing, we just need to find the courage and get on with it, giving ourselves permission to be human and totally ourselves.

His own challenge to himself was to give ninety talks in ninety days, the first of which took place on a London bus. People thought he was absolutely crazy, but he did it anyway. He was confronted by a “big, scary, ginger Celt” saying “People think you’re f@#*ing mad!! Don’t stop!”

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of his talk, Simon offered a 90 minute coaching session for the member with the best reason “Why I’d like a 90 minute coaching session” sent to his email – simon@simonekin.com – Thank you Simon, for a wonderfully entertaining and inspiring evening.

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Plein Air Outing to Groot Constantia

Sonja Frenz organised another wonderful plein air outing for us last Thursday, July the 30th. We all met up at Simon’s Restaurant, Groot Constantia – one of our very favourite plein air locations – at 9 am and spread out from there.

 

 

 

 

 

The great thing about Groot Constantia is the endless variety of possibilities, from old buildings and duckponds, to vineyards and mountains, with all sorts of trees and plant details in between….and for the energetic, there are spectacular views from the top of the hill. Something to inspire and absorb every artist, no matter what their preferences are.

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was beautiful and it was lovely to be outside enjoying it, amongst fellow artists, sketching and painting to our hearts’ content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It still feels rather strange to be all masked up, but I suppose it’s something we all just have to get used to for the foreseeable future. Despite this, everyone really enjoyed the day and produced some very pleasing work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again Sonja – all really looking forward to the next one!

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Plein Air Outing to Oude Molen

 

 

 

 

 

It was a gloriously sunny day on Friday 24 July, when ten of our members met at Oude Molen’s “Back Area Garden Deli” for a plein air painting session. It was so good to get together – carefully apart – after such a long time of isolation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a perfect setting for outdoor painting, surrounded by plenty of fresh air, loads of space and wonderful scenery, with the added interest of horses and chickens wandering about. For many of us, most inspiring was the company and the chatting in between the painting, with our diligent masks in place.

 

 

 

 

 

The deli provided us with coffee and snacks and also has a lovely supply of fresh farm produce, which we happily plundered, taking bags full home with us.

Thanks to Sonja Frenz for organising it for us. Next week the plan is to meet at Groot Constantia on Thursday morning at 9:00.

If anyone is interested in joining us, please email Sonja on – sonjafrenz@gmail.com

 

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4th of March Plein Air Outing

The Montebello plein air outing was so popular, there were several requests from members to have another just like it, so Sonja Frenz organised a return visit on Wednesday 4 March.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really is a beautiful setting, with so much to offer and everyone enjoyed their time drawing and painting in these lovely, peaceful surroundings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most people worked in watercolour, or did pencil sketches, but Christine used oils and created a very lovely painting. In her own words “Not only was it a great painting morning, but I also now have many helpful gardening tips and beautiful plants! Thank you Sonja for organising it all…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonja plans to organise many more outings for us, usually on a Mon or Wed – occasionally on a Friday or Saturday – the next of which will be on Monday 6 April, to Maiden’s Cove. CAS members have also been invited, so we should be a nice big group.

If anyone is interested in joining the whatsapp group, so as to receive notifications regarding the plein air outings, please contact Sonja on 083 631 3476 or email: sonjafrenz@gmail.com

 

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SASA AGM and Drawing Competition

On the 27th of February, the last Thursday of the month, we held our AGM in the Athenaeum. As is our tradition, it was combined with the annual drawing competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solly Gutman played his usual role as chairman for the evening, introduced by our president, Audrey Innes. Audrey gave a wonderful slide presentation, showing all the activities and events of what has been a very busy and successful year for the society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She welcomed the new SASA members and sadly, said goodbye to three of our council members – Glenda, Mary and Kate. Thanks to all three of you for your hard work and especially to Glenda, who has served on the council for the past twelve years. They were all thanked with a gift and Glenda also received honorary membership, in recognition of and gratitude for her many years of service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily two more members – Peter Hobday and Nicole Reidler – have stepped up and were introduced as our new council members. (There’s still room for another, if anyone else would like to volunteer their services.)

Mike, our trusty treasurer gave a very concise, yet comprehensive run-down of the financial side of things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drawing competition was next on the agenda, and while there were fewer entries than usual, what was lacking in quantity, was more than made up for in the quality of the work – we had some very beautiful drawings from which to make our selection.

Well done to our winners – in third place, Sunita Hansen, with “Daily Bread”,

 

 

 

 

 

 

second was Penny Steynor’s “The Road Sweeper”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and in first place, Sonja Frenz with “View of Kalk Bay”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone involved for making this a very pleasant evening.