Thursday, March 12, 2009

African Vineyards

Cape Town is surrounded by vineyards. I love the vine, the way it grows all crooked and gnarled with leaves that turn to a reddish-orange profusion of colour in autumn. While living in the Northern Hemisphere in 2006 and 2007, I used to dream of the vineyards when thinking about Cape Town, they seem to embody and symbolise how I feel about the Cape.

This is one of the “Red paintings” I have been working on. Our vineyards are usually planted on the side of a hill, facing towards the south-easterly wind. We are experiencing days of extremely hot, humid weather and this has influenced me to paint this landscape in these hot colours.

Vineyards at Groot Constantia

A vine in winter devoid of leaves


sukipoet said...

I love this painting. The red reminds me of a cranberry bog. I didnt know there were vineyards in Africa but now that i think of it were there some in Out of Africa? We have vineyards here in Vermont and also on Cape Cod.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Dianne, Love it! The hues are wonderful, but I think what really attracts me are the angles and shapes. More, please!

Kim said...

Oh you lucky near vineyards! I think that would be so much fun.

I really love the "hotness" of this really does come across that way, too. When I opened it up, the first thing I thought of was Texas, but there are not that many good vineyards in Texas. The hot, the humid, though comes through. So in the future, we are going to be able to say this was 'Dianne's Red Phase'?

As always this is truly wonderful work...and a bit of a side step with the slightly rigid structure, I am thinking...but I also have not been watching a lot lately!

Keep going Lovely Lady!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I love this one, I love the almost yellow ribbons of color and of course, the reds with a sky that is flat and doesn't distract from the shapes...lovely!

soulbrush said...

how vibrant this is, and of course i have the exact picture of these vineyards imprinted in my mind...gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful abstract, the colours, shapes and movement, it has everything! I love South African wine by the way, especially red so when I have a glass tomorrow will think of your vineyard.

Suzanne McDermott said...

I love this painting, too, Dianne! Strong and beautiful.

Dianne said...

Hi Suki, I think that most of the African vineyards are around the southern tip of Africa, the Western Cape where we have a Mediterranean climate. Many of our wines are of an exellent quality and are exported abroad.

Dianne said...

Dear Carol,
Thanks for your comments! This painting is quite geometric in shape, my husband said he wasn't too sure about it, finding the shapes too definite! He also said it wasn't like my usual work!!! I tried to explain to him that that is just the point, I want to keep exploring new ways of expressing myself.

Dianne said...

Dear Kim,
You also noticed a side-step in the quite definite shapes - not sure where this came from, but hey, I am just going where it is taking me! As I said to Carol, my husband was not sure he liked this work, he likes the work to be more gentle and flowing! I did a whole lot of experimenting here with the black gesso and lovely tranparent red - the red kept drawing me in with it's lucious colour and then disturbing me, I felt very ambivalent with the whole thing! I kept painting over the image and then bringing it back again .... really weird!

Dianne said...

Dear Maryann,
So glad you liked this painting. I think I needed a flat sky with all that powerful colour in the landscape. I kept painting it various colours and then decided that the almost white looked great against the red. Whenever I paint with white, I keep thinking I have to glaze it with a colour, not sure why I find it hard to leave as white.

Dianne said...

Dear Soul, I know you can visualise these vineyards! I hope I didn't make you homesick!

Dianne said...

Dear Carolann, thanks for the lovely comment! So glad you enjoy our South African wine! We just love going off to one of the farms and buying a few bottles to store away. We enjoy a really good wine with our meal now and again.

Dianne said...

Dear Suzanne,
So glad you enjoyed this painting. I do love to work with strong colours.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Hi Dianne - its ages since your blog came up in my favourites list and simply adore these strong warm colours and shapes. Took me right back to my trip in 2007 - the heat and the growth.

~Babs said...

Of course I'm enjoying the hot/warm colors, and how the white, and not so white butt up against them.
I see this work as rock formations,,,with all the different planes, angles, shadows and perspectives.
This one would fit perfectly into the "Red Earth" Native American Festival held here annually, although I personally think this is much better, because of the abstractedness.
Actually, I didn't realize South Africa exported a lot of wine,so interesting!
Texas, and even Oklahoma,(!) are becoming quite cosmopolitan in recent years, in that they also are producing some fine wines.
Great post Dianne,,,does this one go inot your exhibition?

Elis Cooke said...

Hi Diane
Great painting! the reds are gorgeous!! and the structured composition seems very different from alot of your other works! Variety is the spice... lol! namaste Elis.

Dianne said...

Dear Joan, I am glad my painting stirred some memories for you! I love it when my paintings stir something in the viewer, it means they have responded in some kind of visceral way, this is what I am trying to achieve with my abstracts.
If you would like a mandala clock, please go to or just click on my clock and go to the clock website. They will give you a code to copy and paste into your blog.
These clocks are so cool, they automatically tell the correct time from whereever you are accessing the site.

Dianne said...

Dear Babs,
So glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for your comments, I really value your input. This Red Earth Native American Festival, do they put their pictures on a website? I would love to see them.
I didn't know Texas and Oklahoma produced wine - I love that we learn snippits about each others home country!
Yes, this is hanging at my current exhibition at the moment.

Dianne said...

Hi Elis! Yes, it is great to try something different, my previous paintings over the last few months all seem to have curvy or flowing lines, so I needed to go into another space - I see you are working on square structures on some canvasses.

~Babs said...

Dianne, here's the website:

The site only tells about the festival itself however, and has no photos of any of the artwork, which really surprised me.I suppose they want to keep it all under wraps until festival time.

I also was surprised when I researched wines and discovered that Texas actually had vineyards dating back to the 1600's,,,,and before California even!
Yes, I too love learning snippits about each other's worlds.(or discovering previously unknown facts about my own world!)

Art with Liz said...

Dianne I'm coming in late here but I also just have to let you know that I think this is one amazing painting!

Steve (My Dog Ate Art) said...

It's clealry an abstracted landscape - but it is reminiscent of skeins (?) of fabric laid out on a table.Really nice.


Dianne said...

Hi Babs,
Thanks for the link! I thought Texas would be too hot to grow vines!

Hi Liz,
So glad you visited, doesnt matter when you come, sometimes we just don't get to our computers when life is busy.

Hi Steve,
Yes, it does look a bit like piececs of fabric. Glad you like it!

Cynthia said...

I love the way the paint leads you to the interior...paired with the helps people who don't understand abstract painting to learn how to feel/see a work. I appreciate the post very much!

Lynette said...

Dianne, I love your red painting, what gorgeous colors and depth it has! Thanks for sharing those lovely vineyard photos too.