I have missed a couple of days painting and blogging. In Namibia two men took care of the arrangements and cooking. Here we have to do it ourselves and what with the travel, it is only now I have got back to the painting.
I found the views south of Cape Town stunning and I’ve only been a few miles down the road so far. This is one of the views of the mountains plunging into the sea, done quickly in the middle of the day. Hopefully in the next few days I’ll get some time to do a few more. Anyway I do have plenty of photos.
So on to the Etosha pan and the Okaukuejo waterhole. Our room was yards from the actual waterhole which to my dismay was artificial, but boy did it attract some wildlife. The others went off on a game drive but I just sat in the shade and watched the animals come and go throughout the afternoon. I sat and sketched them in pencil, somewhat difficult as they kept getting spooked by flocks of birds flying off the trees. A couple of the pages are below.
I then did the watercolour at the top.
After this we went to another waterhole at Namutoni, this time real, but it only seemed to attract birdlife, so I decided to paint the old German fort, incongruously next to the waterhole.
It was very sad that they were doing very little with the fort, as opposed to the old German Police station at the Waterberg Plateau park which was used as a restaurant and had a very elegant veranda running around it and where you could breakfast. Why they needed a police station in the middle of nowhere was beyond me.
I quickly did a view of the sandstone cliffs you had to climb to get onto the plateau. It needed to be fast as a patrolling baboon was
likely to return after inspecting the rubbish bins for food and make off with my painting. Unfortunately for you readers he wasnt successful.
Anyway next stop Cape Town and, hopefully, a little less rushed itinerary, which may improve the sketching.
The tour continues moving inland to the Brandberg Mountains which contains the highest peak in Namibia. This basalt plug, the remains of an extinct volcano glows red in the morning sunshine giving the impression of it being alight. This was painted in the afternoon in the manicured grounds of the lodge.
Still further inland towards the Etosha salt flats in the evening light as the distant hills constantly changed colour in the decaying light.
Today on the beach at Swakopmund on the Atlantic seaboard and a day off from the tour, having spent the last few days in the Namib Desert climbing dunes and doing the odd bit of painting as can also be seen below. I might even get to do some of the animals if they stand still long enough.
A rather rich confection on this post as I show you some of the poured acrylics I’ve done. I bought some Floetrol and silicone oil and started pouring rather than the spreading I did with ‘Drop in the Ocean’ I posted on 30th October. Despite the Floetrol I am struggling with getting the paints to flow in the way I feel they should, but I think I now know the answer.
The two above are small, 6 inches square and I tried a bigger one about 20×14 inches, see below, but it was when I was struggling with the flowing issue, so I ended up holding the canvas and spun it sharply in the air to get the paint to cover the surface. I suppose in the same vein as one of Damien Hirst’s pizza paintings – though he got someone to do his on a turntable and, unfortunately, it wont command the same price.
Having just watched a programme on the making of the Sergeant Pepper album this has that rich psychedelic feel of the sixties era. I was wondering about putting a face on it – maybe for later.
Talking of later, I put out a post called the Archaeology of Paint in October. Since then I have added to it, so here is the latest version. I think it is more satisfying, but is it the finished article?
Anyway, I wont be adding to it anytime soon as am off to Namibia and then on to Cape Town and the southern coast. Hopefully I’ll get some time to paint and post some images.
A little more extensive use of charcoal with the pastel though still not getting the grittiness or directness I am after.
In the one above I used even more charcoal, though probably too much and not to its greatest effect.
And finally a portrait of the child of a child of the sixties, but with the lighting so poor in the studio the features are flattened by the glaring light. Another of life’s little challenges, I expect some of you have shared.
This view of Renshaw Street looking up to the bombed-out Church is a favourite of mine with some of the quirky architecture in this run down part of the city. I deliberately decided to omit the Anglican Cathederal by hiding it behind the tall building on the right.
I went to Chester the other week primarily to see a contemporary watercolour exhibition, but the person I was with wanted to visit a sculpture exhibition in the cathedral which contained a work by the brother of someone we paint with in a life group. In fact they were dismantling the exhibition when we arrived – I didnt even know it was running – but there were still a good number of exhibits on show by many world class sculptors. Some of the work was displayed in the cathedral grounds and as we were walking through in the sunshine, there were people sitting in the sun, surrounded by the great pillars and walls of the building, taking a lunchtime break. I thought I might paint something from a couple of the pictures I took.
The watercolour painting was also quite interesting, featuring some local artists, two of whom I knew – and the day was glorious for a walk around Chester.