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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Taking the Pass to the top of the Mountain







We drive right through pretty Piketberg to the Northern side where the 3-looped pass begins. One is almost immediately met by an amazing sight of hang-gliders making their slow and very colourful descent from the mountain, landing noiselessly on a soft green grassland.

For weeks over the holidays I have tried to visualise what it would be like up there on the heights of the Piketberg. It is VAST! There are so many farms up there. Some have mansions and formal gardens. Others have small cottages peeking through the vegetation. I saw former homes in ruins left to crumble away. There are protea farms and citrus farms and some tiny lavender groves and neat vineyards! The natural vegetation consists of fynbos and various protea species. On these bushy uneven lands the San reigned long ago. They were quite agile and it was difficult to find stolen cattle back once they were in their hands....thus the cannon had to sound a warning in time when they were spotted about to attack the farms in the valley.

My painting shows the view towards the town from the top where there is a place to stop and gaze back. I painted those dams and farms, (the greenest patches are vineyards), then decided to place a mistyness over all the careful detail in the distance! By now I have often painted thinned white acrylics over my work, then rubbed it off fast, so I had no fear in doing that!

I include a photo of one of the many small citrus farms on top of the Piketberg (Mountain). How absolutely wonderful it must be to live and work far above the crowds! And now on towards the tea garden half an hour's drive into the mountain!

16 comments:

  1. I love how your paintings memorialize the landscape for generations to come. I am again envious of all the farms and varieties of plant life in your region.

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  2. Hi Sheila, thank you for your interest and early visit. I posted late on Sunday evening and on this Monday morning added more about the technique in my painting. So if you visit again you may want to read about it.

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  3. Wow, Marie! The painting is lovely and I am quite pleased to note how you handle the mists! Neat bit of insider information. I am so enjoying learning about your country and some of its customs through your paintings and your words. What a beautiful land in which you live! It comes alive with your paintbrush and it just doesn't get much better than that!!

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  4. Beautiful vista from this lookout you discovered. I love the soft mauves, yellows, and greens and then the blues in the distance. Can't wait to see the tea gardens!

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  5. Appears to me that you have harnessed the "vastness". Great job.

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  6. Marie, thank you for taking us with you on your art journey, there is so much history and such a great deal of beautiful scenery to paint from there! May I ask what "San" is or who they are? I wish you would write a book with your gorgeous paintings as illustrations. "A Painter in South Africa!"

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  7. Marie, just poppin in and was a delighted to see your lastest landscape...you nicely captured the vastness...yet didn't let it get overwhelming. I like the use of your colors (thats coming from an official color-addict). Wishing you continued Happy Painting!

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  8. Just beautiful Marie and I loved your story about the area. The colors in this piece are so appealing.

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  9. Marie, lovely as always. I've awarded you the "Sunshine Award" for creativity and positivity in blogging. If you get a chance, visit my blog to see it.

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  10. I love the stories on your blog and the wonderful descriptions. You are doing for South Africa what I do for Florida. We both honor the land we love. Well done!! Beautiful painting.

    Love,
    Linda

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  11. Marie another brilliant painting and description of your journey. I feel as though we are all there and you are our tour guide. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. i love the colors in this painting.

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  13. I did leave a comment on this Marie, but it didn't appear! I agree with everything everyone has said - even I learn so much from your beautiful work, and I live down the road from you!

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  14. Thank you very much! I will visit everyone at your own blogs! One tea garden high in the mountains coming up soon.

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  15. About Nancy's question: I live ten kilometers from a San history preservation site and will go to do some paintings soon. Meanwhile you can visit Liz's post for an image and some history: http://artwithliz.blogspot.com/2009/10/bushman-of-kalahari.html

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  16. Very well done on the aerial perspective, Marie! Such a wide expanse of land!

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