We met at the Peter Clarke Art Centre in Claremont on Saturday morning, 23 July in a studio that was very bright and sunny, despite the chill in the air outside. We were a comfortable group of ten ladies and we had a lovely time, both instructive and sociable, as Sonja showed us the way she “builds” a charcoal drawing.
We had a whole lot of different charcoals to work with, from the very soft, natural willow sticks, to hard and dark compressed charcoal, as well as charcoal powder and black pan pastel. We also had a few different kinds of erasers, including very soft putty rubbers, paper blending stumps and hard vinyl and electric erasers, which were also used for drawing and mark making, rather than getting rid of mistakes.
Sonja stressed the importance of paper quality, as the beauty of the medium lies in its many layers, added and removed, using all the tools at our disposal.
She had us all practice on scrappy paper, so we could play a little and find out exactly how each tool behaved and reacted with each new mark or layer, before we got to the good stuff. We all left itching to go home and experiment some more.
Thank you Sonja, for a very enlightening and satisfyingly messy finish to our 2022 winter workshop series! Thanks as well to Irene and Avril for making it all happen.
The last of this year’s Winter Workshops will be held on Saturday 23 July from 9:30 – 3:30 at the Peter Clarke Art Centre. Sonja Frenz will be sharing her wonderful skills with charcoal and graphite. See the latest SASA newsletter for details. If you’ve yet to book, but would still like to attend, please email Nicole – firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday 19 June Cliff Davies will be giving a print media workshop at the Peter Clark Art Centre in Claremont. See the latest SASA newsletter for details. If you’d still like to attend, please email Nicole at email@example.com
A group of about ten SASA members joined us on Saturday 15 May for a wonderful pastel workshop with Val Watt. Starting with the declaration “There are no rules, only options”, Val very generously shared all her experience and expertise with us, never prescriptive, but letting us find our own way, gently guiding us if we got lost.
Val first discussed the materials we’d be using – soft, medium and hard pastels; the various papers available and new textural and innovative ways of making our own supports. As she explained and demonstrated the pastels, ground and supports, we tried them out too, feeling and seeing the differences for ourselves, at times even drawing a line on our arm to test for softness and density of pigment.
Val demonstrated a seascape with two figures on the rocks. We began by drawing in the horizon line, while Val described how to check the size, proportion and placement of the figures.
Selecting our lightest, medium and darkest colours, we began to put all we’d learnt that morning into practice. Starting with a watercolour sky and using hard pastel, we drew in the rocks and sea, which we then washed with alcohol to get wonderful textures, splashes and drips.
It was lovely to see all the different interpretations of the scene, each artist bringing her own special touch. We all enjoyed the workshop tremendously and learned an enormous amount. Thank you Val for a truly inspiring day! Thanks as well to Irene for organising it – and the photos – for us and to Mary McMillan for the words. Looking forward to Val’s demo at the SASA members’ meeting next week.
Beth Lowe, plein air artist extraordinaire, held a workshop on St James Beach on Wednesday the second of March. There were nine participants gathered near the tidal pool, as Beth took us through her process.
Her equipment – obviously simple as it needs to be carried with her – consists of a French easel, a golf umbrella, which she ties down with guy ropes and tent pegs and of course, her paint-box of carefully chosen colours for outdoor painting.
Beth illustrated the importance of good drawing skills, composition and choice of focal point, as she worked on her demonstration piece.
After observing her painting for a while, we set up our easels and got going on our own canvases, while Beth walked between us, assisting where necessary and solving any problems that might have arisen.
By midday it had become rather hot and a little windy, so after watching Beth complete her painting, some of us jumped into the tidal pool to cool off. A refreshing end to a marvelous morning. Thank you Beth.
On Saturday the 19th October, at the Peter Clark Art Centre, Di Ackerman presented us with her lino cut workshop – the last of this year’s SASA Winter Workshops .
Twelve eager artists arrived to “have fun” as Di often said, and what fun we all had. Di was very generous with her tips and tricks for cutting the lino just right, so we learned a lot at the same time. Some participants chose simple drawings but some were extremely intricate and detailed – those were the ones who had done this before!
Everyone had a lovely day and walked away with four beautiful prints of their own work. A huge thank you to Peter – Di’s hubby – who did all the inking, we could not have done it with out him. It was suggested a beer was in order when he got home, but he said he’d settle for a shoulder and neck rub.
Thanks as well, to Irene Oxley, for organising it all!
Our final workshop for this season – a lino-cut workshop, given by SASA Fellow, Di Ackerman – will be held on 19 October at the Peter Clarke Art Centre in Newlands. For more information and booking, please email Liz Pearson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Renowned South African artist, Derric Van Rensburg, will be giving one of his very popular acrylic painting workshops on 21 September at the Newlands Scout Hall. For more information, email Liz Pearson at email@example.com
On Saturday 21 July we had a full studio at the Peter Clarke Art Centre, when Tony Durrheim shared his secrets with us in a one day workshop.
Mainly self-taught, Tony discovered a passion for painting in 2000, when he attended a painting demo, after leaving the police force. We were regaled with tales of his life in and leaving of “the force”, keeping us well entertained throughout the day.
Tony’s love of the sea grew from his experiences as a young surfer in the 70s and shows in the mood and movement of his many seascapes, for which he is most well known.
The workshop was very fast paced – we completed a seascape in oil and acrylic in just over three hours – exhilarating for some, nerve-wracking for others – as Tony gave us all sorts of tips and “cheats” that he uses to enhance the watery effects in his work.
Tony’s advice to would-be artists “….you’ve got to have your own studio and you’ve got to paint every day…..the more you paint, the easier it becomes.”
The first of the SASA Winter Workshops for 2018 took place at the Peter Clarke Art Centre on Saturday May 26.
Gabriella Kaplan introduced us to a whole new world of mixed media and a whole new way of looking at art. She encouraged us to use and experiment with the most amazing array of materials, to – in her own words – “Explore with curiosity; Be open to the unexpected; Reconnect with yourself; See with new eyes; Still the judges within; Trust the process; Rediscover intuitive responses; Unblock the creativity within”
Gabriella gently guided us through the process, allowing each new step to emerge naturally, bringing out the best in all of us.
The morning was about self exploration – where you are and where you have come from – and culminated in each person’s presentation of “self” in a painting and in words.
A very relaxing and non-judgemental workshop. Many thanks to Gabriella for presenting it and to Irene Oxley for organising it.
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