On Wednesday 15 September a group of SASA plein air enthusiasts met at Keurboom Park in Rondebosch, for a morning’s painting and sketching.
The weather wasn’t exactly warm, but there was a definite feel of Spring in the air, with trees budding all around us and flowers dotted around in the long grass. The park was full of dog-walkers, mums and their little ones and nannies with their charges, enjoying the lovely fresh air.
We had a really good day, surrounded as we were by trees, lush greenery and rivers spanned by bridges, with our beautiful mountain in the background, giving us all beautiful choices of subject matter and composition.
In fact, everyone enjoyed the setting so much that we’ll be back there again next week – Wednesday the 22nd of September – and perhaps more of our members would like to join us? If you’d like to be a part of the plein air group, please email Sonja Frenz – firstname.lastname@example.org – and she’ll add you to the whatsapp group.
Last Saturday, 26 of June, was the penultimate of this season’s life drawing sessions at the scout hall in Newlands. We had such an enjoyable morning drawing Gomez, new for us and a wonderful model.
He posed very comfortably, his shapes and gestures were beautiful and it was good to have some masculine muscles to draw.
We were once again well socially distanced – plenty of room in the hall – and adhered to all the rules with masks and hand-sanitisers. Everyone had another very satisfying morning of drawing and painting, producing some beautiful work.
With just one more session to go, there’s still space for a couple more “drawers”, so if you’d like to join us, please email the SASA secretary, Nicole Riedler at email@example.com
On Saturday 19 June, we had the third of this season’s Winter life drawing sessions at the Newlands Scout Hall. We were all masked up and well socially distanced and even though a door had to be kept open for fresh air, it was pretty warm for the middle of Winter, so nobody suffered too badly….although we still needed heaters on to keep our model comfortable.
Our model for the morning was Jessie – and what a wonderful job she did. Not afraid of getting into peculiar positions, she gave us some very interesting poses to draw and kept us all totally absorbed. Some beautiful work was produced and everyone went home happy.
Thanks to Val and Chris for admin and to Avril for the tea……and of course, all those who helped pack up afterwards.
If you’d like to attend the remaining two sessions, please email our secretary, Nicole – firstname.lastname@example.org – the cost will be R80 per session.
Our Winter life drawing sessions are on again. There will be five in all – 5, 12, 19, 26 June and 3 July – held at the Newlands Scout Hall. For more info, please see the latest SASA website and to book a spot, please email Nicole at email@example.com
We had a great start to the SASA Winter Life drawing sessions – our first was on Saturday 5 June – with Sinead modeling for us. We were well socially distanced and all masked up.
Though the scout hall is always a little chilly, it was warmer than expected and our model was kept nice and warm with all the heaters going. The rest of us had our woollies to keep us warm.
Sinead is the perfect life drawing model. She is totally relaxed in her body and presented us with beautiful and interesting poses, that together with her lovely “Renaissance” colouring, inspired us to new heights of drawing.
The morning went very smoothly, thanks to Chris, who did all the admin; Val, who took charge and Avril for the catering.
It was good to see everyone again – old and new faces making beautiful art together – and all lent a hand with the set-up and take-down, for which we’re very grateful.
There may still be space for a couple more artists, so if you’re interested in joining the next session, please email Nicole Riedler – firstname.lastname@example.org
For 29 April’s Members’ meeting we had our own, very talented Sonja Frenz giving us a demo on her charcoal drawing practice.
The meeting was opened by our president, Liz Pearson, who thanked Audrey Innes and Adrian Larkin for getting the zoom meetings going – without them we wouldn’t have been able to “meet” at all for the past year, so well done you two!
Liz also assured us that we’d be able to return to the Athenaeum for our meetings from next month and asked that we check our shelves at home for outstanding library materials!
Since this was an online meeting, Sonja had put together a video presentation for us, which started by showing us all the equipment and materials she uses. Who knew there were so many different types of charcoal available!
She showed and demonstrated for us the very loose charcoal dust, applied with a cotton ball; soft willow charcoal; compressed charcoal, which is harder and more difficult to smudge; charcoal pencils and woodless charcoal. We also saw how she uses various erasers, for drawing into darker areas as well as for rubbing out – soft putty eraser, eraser pens – both round and square, battery operated eraser tool, as well as white charcoal and chalk to add sharper highlights and a smudging tool to soften and create gentle lines.
What takes hours and hours to create, we saw in about thirty minutes and it was fascinating to watch the image emerge. Using her cotton ball and working from a photograph, Sonja starts her charcoal pieces by mapping in the largest, darkest areas with charcoal dust, then moving on to the various sticks and tools, editing all the time – smudging lines and adding them, darkening and lightening areas – finishing off with the lightest lights and brightest highlights.
Sonja stressed the need for using a very high quality paper, when using this technique, as well as resisting the urge to use a fixative, as this tends to flatten the layers and loses the “history” of the piece.
Than you Sonja for sharing your secrets with us and for a fascinating demo.
Sonja Frenz will be our guest at the SASA members’ meeting on Thursday the 29th of April. Sonja will be giving us a demo of drawing skills and techniques. The meeting will once again be held via zoom. See the April SASA newsletter for details.
On Wednesday 21 April we’ll be meeting for a plein air outing at St James Beach. For more information, please see the April SASA newsletter. Email Sonja Frenz – email@example.com – if you’d like to join the group.
The new improved, amalgamated plein air painters and sketchers group have been painting up a storm!
A return visit was paid to Chapman’s Peak Drive, with its spectacular views on 29 March. That morning’s outing resulted in some superb sketches of The Sentinel, overlooking Hout Bay, as well as the beautiful stretch of coastline.
The next Wednesday – 31 March – we’d arranged to meet again on the Blouberg beachfront, but the cloudy, drizzly day scared off all but the bravest few. The moody weather added another dimension to the familiar scenery, so those brave few were well rewarded for getting there, despite the conditions.
On the second Saturday in April another group of plein air enthusiasts met at the Greenpoint Park, for a whole different outdoor painting experience. There was a great feeling of tranquility to the scene – the changing light on the water in the lily-filled ponds enjoyed and painted from the comfort of the lawn.
Jafta’s Flower Farm in Constantia was the venue for the next outing, which took place on Monday, April the 12th. It was a perfect Autumn day – warm and windless – and there was a feast of colour to delight in, with just enough cloud about to make for interesting skies as well.
Thanks to all who arranged the different outings – very inspiring choices of venue, very much enjoyed and appreciated by all who attended.
If anyone else wishes to join the group, please email Sonja Frenz – firstname.lastname@example.org – and she will add you to the whatsapp group
On Tuesday 23 March, the plein air group got together at the picnic site on Chapman’s Peak for another morning of outdoor painting. It was a beautifully warm and wind-free day, but luckily there were plenty of lovely, spreading trees around, so we could each find our place in the shade.
There were nine artists all together, some working on paper with watercolours, or sketching with various tools and materials, while others – using their French easels – painted in oils. If you’re serious about plein air painting, it really helps to have the right, portable equipment.
The views from this spot are absolutely breathtaking and all agreed that we need to get back there really soon, so we’ll be returning next Monday, 29 March, for the “second sitting”. One artist suggested that three or four outings would be needed to do justice to this and any quality location.
Thanks to all involved with organising this outing. If anyone wishes to be included in the group, please email Sonja at email@example.com
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