Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Painting in Stormy Weather, Cape Town

On Monday our Plein Air group braved the freezing cold weather to paint on Rondebosch Common looking towards Table Mountain. Instead of a mountain we were faced with voluminous, heavy clouds swirling around us, we were standing in the full force of the north-westerly wind. Only the die-hards were there, this type of Plein Air painting is not for the feint-hearted!
Cape Town was formally called, "The Cape of Storms" in years gone by before the harbour was built. Ships avoided stopping in the bay during the winter for fear of running aground, (a frequent occurrence) on Milnerton Beach during the fearsome weather.

Various paintings gathered extra texture as they blew off easels onto the ground. Wow! The amazing atmospheric conditions conjured up wild thoughts and ideas. How was I going to portray this powerful force with my watercolour paints and a small pad of paper? Oh well! I painted the Stone Pine trees swaying against a bit of mountain and cloud and can perhaps use this to create a larger storm painting in my studio.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Plein Air Painting

Cape Town has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it is a "Plein Air" painting paradise. The city is situated on a mountainous peninsula, with a multitude of beaches, harbours and wild rocky seascapes just crying out to be painted.

I go out into the countryside every Monday with a painting group, "The Plein Air Painters of the Cape". I usually take my watercolours in the hope of catching the fleeting impressions created by the ever-changing light. It is important to charge my memory banks by drawing and painting from life on a regular basis. I can then use these stored images when painting from my imagination.

Today we painted on the banks of the Liesbeck River, enjoying the winter sunshine as it filtered through the trees. The river flows from the craggy rocks of Table Mountain and is full after the heavy winter rain of last week. The water is an orangy-brown, brackish, straight from the mountain.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Process of Painting "Synthesis of Knowledge"

Layering the paint and playing with shapes, my initial painting seemed to take me into a rocky landscape. Feeling the need for a bit of drama, I painted the sky a deep, dark, inky blue and then pulled some of the colour into the rock formations.
I rotated the painting and a whole new image, a self portrait, was revealed. The orange across my forehead relates to an increasing creative and personal illumination. The torch represents the power of visualization. The painting is divided, the smaller left side depicts the nebulous future, the right side the past. Faces of my inspirational art teachers hover behind.
This is a break-through painting and it conveys a strong message for me – it is time to release myself from the control of my art mentors and set out on my own individual path.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Genetic Connections

Price: ZAR 5,000
Dimensions: 92 x 61cm
Medium: Acrylic

My daughter is expecting her first baby and had to go through various tests regarding possible complications. Happily the baby is fine. This painting expresses the concept of information being passed from generation to generation to the newly-formed embryo.