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Plein Air Outing to “Soil For Life”

On Wednesday morning the 20th of October, members of the SASA plein air group gathered to paint in the beautiful natural gardens of SOIL FOR LIFE, in Constantia.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

We set ourselves up under some shady trees, peacefully sketching and writing, trying to capture the tranquility of our surroundings on canvas and on paper. Some painted in watercolours and others in oil, while some simply sat quietly enjoying the ambience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gentle pace of the workers made us aware of how rushed our lives can be, in such a hurry to get things done that we don’t appreciate what is around us. We were able to buy freshly picked veggies to take home for supper and some seedlings, from which to grow our own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were all so reluctant to leave this place that had so much to offer, we decided to return another time to continue what we’d started. Thank you Sonja Frenz, for organising the day out and for your words. If anyone else would like to join the plein air outings, please email Sonja – sonjafrenz@gmail.com – and she’ll add you to the whatsapp group.

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Keurboom Park Plein Air Take Two

Since the third Wednesday came too quickly this month, we had a rerun on the fourth! So on September 22, the plein air group – possibly the amalgamated version – met once again in Keurboom Park, with a few new sketchers in tow, making eight of us altogether.

This week it was really “Springy” in the park – a beautifully sunny, windless morning. There were lots of school children running about, on a nature-study outing, as well as plenty of joggers and dog-walkers, so plenty of activity and plenty to paint all around us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another peacefully inspiring morning was had by all. If anyone else wishes to join the plein air group, please email Sonja Frenz and she’ll add you on whatsap – sonjafrenz@gmail.com

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Plein Air Outing to Keurboom Park

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.

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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 – sonjafrenz@gmail.com – and she’ll add you to the whatsapp group.

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Plein Air Outings

Plein air painting is not for sissies! You’ll find members of the plein air group out and about whatever the weather. They’ll bundle up warmly, or put on a hat, finding shelter from the weather where they can and producing some amazing work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past week there were two outings – one to the harbour at Kalk Bay on Monday 17 May and one to the beach at St James on Wed 19 May, both firm favourites, with lots of choice of subject matter.

The sunny skies disguise the chill in the wind and clear blue can turn to cloudy grey in a matter of minutes, but overcast skies can produce some lovely atmospheric effects, which out artists are adept at capturing on canvas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every outing is enjoyable and invigorating in it’s own way. Thanks to all who take the trouble to organise the venues and to those who participate.

If you’d like to be part of the group, please email Sonja Frenz – sonjafrenz@gmail.com – and she’ll add you to her list.

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Sonja Frenz Charcoal Drawing Demo

 

 

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.

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April SASA Monthly Members’ Meeting – Sonja Frenz 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.

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Chapman’s Peak Plein Air Outing

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 sonjafrenz@gmail.com