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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Berg River




The lovely unpolluted Berg River is one of the very important rivers of the Western Cape. It starts in the mountains at Stellenbosch and meets the Atlantic Ocean at Velddrif. Besides being the main water source for many wine farms, it's marshlands are alive with wading birds. Anglers, small fishing boats, yachts and crayfish trawlers are seen on its banks.

During the winter rainy season canoeists from all over the world take part in the Berg River Canoe Marathon. In 2010 the 4-day race will take place from the 14th to the 17th of July. If the day is clear, you may want to join me here at the water's edge in Velddrif? We can have a picnic on the river bank and watch the festive and colourful finish to the race! This rickety ol' jetty may act as a lookout podium to find the front runners. But really, by the looks of it I think we should only allow one spectator on it at a time!

I could not resist painting this tranquil scene. The greenish water near the jetty shows grass almost breaking through the surface, and gave me the opportunity to paint marshy waters as a practice run for the wading birds that I must do for a later post. From here I am adding to this post as Sheila asked me about the colours I have used for the water: I start with a lot of Windsor and Newton Titanium White. Then add Ceruleum, Cobalt and Prussian Blue. That is my basic mix for the water throughout. For the marshy colours I used Prussian Blue, Green Oxide and Flesh. The brush strokes are horisontal because of the very calm river. I hope this helps! Do yourselves a favour and also visit Jill Berry's Ambient Landscape. I also want to remind you that Liz Pearson painted the Berg River at Velddrif a few weeks ago! And while we are Internet hopping, there is the aerial lay-out of the river on Google Earth of course!

19 comments:

  1. Oh what a lovely painting Marie! Love the way you've done the water - looking forward to seeing your wading birds!

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  2. I am not sure why, but this painting is my favorite yet, Marie. The water just looks so clean, so refreshing. I love the rickety dock too, and the green of the grass coming up through the shallows. Wonderful work!

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  3. this is very nice!...love the movement and the distance....also, the velddrif and the conebush are lovely...very vibrant...lots of spirit!

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  4. Ah Marie, this is so great! Both the big fishing boat and the jetty with the small boats. I am so looking forward to getting up there again next month and to share that rickety jetty!

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  5. Marie, Could I have a couple hours of down time just sitting on the pier? It is a wonderful painting...

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  6. Good work Marie..that jetty does look a bit wobbly. The water so well done. That is a feat...I find water difficult to master.

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  7. I love this painting. You were able to capture that elusive sense of tranquility. Can I ask you what colors you used for the water?

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  8. love the beautiful green-y water. Beautiful.

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  9. This is one of my favorites, Marie. I also love the larger boat in the previous post. I think each time you post, you show us a painting that is stronger than the previous one. Lovely!

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  10. I would love to hang out here...in fact, I'm going to stare at your painting awhile and pretend that's where I'm at... :)

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  11. From your very welcome remarks I gather that this painting has captured the atmosphere of the tranquil river....Thank you to my dear sister, Maxi who pointed out this spot to me!

    You made me smile, Angela and Kay!

    Thank you for your comments Maree, Sherry, Dana, Cathyann, Celeste, Mary and Carol.

    Sheila, I appreciated your question and edited the text to include the answer.

    Liz, I also added a link to your own Berg River in my post so people can see the bend too!

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  12. Marie, the turquoise boat against the blue water and yellow ochres is very beautiful!

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  13. marie,
    the boat landing place at velddrif is a beautiful place...
    any would love to have a visit there...
    you made it more beautiful through this painting...
    the water is depicted with great mastery...
    the depth is very much visible...
    fantastic work...
    congratulations...

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  14. Your painting takes us into the atmosphere and feeling of this scene. I can smell the water as it moves past toward the Atlantic. I would love to join you on your picnic, glass of South African wine in hand....but I will have to live vicariously through you!

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  15. Ah, so peaceful a spot, and you invoke that sense of tranquility so well, Marie. The river must truly be these lovely colors because your friend Liz similarly depicted the river with those lovely blue shades.

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  16. Thank you for visiting, Diane! Jyothisethu, your words are like poetry! Catherine, yes, we dream on and for our husbands' sake, The Port Owen deep sea marina are just around the corner! Thank you, Mary, and good for you to look at Liz's painting too! The blue river is legendary!

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  17. You've done an incredible job of capturing the personality of each vessel in all of your boat paintings. I'm fond of this one!

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  18. Nice meeting you, Linny!Thank you for looking at them all!

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