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Monday, July 5, 2010

Windows and Walls



Driving through the small town of Paternoster, I am starting to concentrate on the lovely details that make up the whole of this successful architectural venture. Of course, because this is a rather chatty sort of blog, you must refer to the experts if you want to build a proper West Coast cottage. The information will be available at VASSA ( Vernacular Architecture Society South Africa).

The walls should be roughly plastered. As the first freed slaves and early fisherman a few hundred years ago did not have all the tools, one should try to emulate the true texture of early West Coast cottages! The cement was made in lime kilns as I have explained in an older blog. This lime was also mixed with salt to "paint" the walls white.

Windows and doors were made from the salvaged wood from the many ships that met their ends on this coast. As the ships were painted for protection, the locals would always try to get hold of paint to repaint their woodwork. Blue and sometimes green were the preferred colours. Today the (mostly new) blue shutters, doors and windows give unity to the street scenes. I loved the way the orange aloes complimented the blue shutters in this scene. And please do not miss the rocks on the roof placed as if they are anchoring the corrugated roof and chimney. Ah, detail is everything!

16 comments:

  1. These little blue and white abodes are just so darling, aren't they? I can envision the fresh ocean breezes billowing out the curtains at the windows, the cleanliness and sparsity of the furnishings reflecting a clean and wholesome life style...I love when paintings can set a mood or set my imagination to working. Lovely work, Marie!

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  2. Ah Marie, both this and the lighthouse are simply beautiful! You've caught the intense light of the area so perfectly - and what! no pumpkins on the roof??

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  3. I love your unique and informative posts, Marie, always accompanied by delightful paintings!

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  4. That is a lot of interesting details, your work is quite complimenting the read Marie! Is it s sheet as roof? In India, the asbestos sheet as a roof is pretty common and the villages use this type of rough plastering with lime.

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  5. It's so much fun learning about your country from your descriptions and paintings, Marie!

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  6. Sherry, it is exactly as you describe it!

    Thank you, Liz! I will keep my eye open for pumpkins!

    Thank you for the kind comment, Charlene!

    Padmaja, the roofing sheets are corrugated iron which is traditional. The rough plaster and lime sounds as if it is the same process that we have here!

    Thank you, Marian. I saw lovely rocks on your blog but could not open the post. Will try again!

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  7. Marie, the composition of this painting is wonderful! I'm thoroughly enjoying the orange and blue together against the pure white walls. I think I must seriously think about a trip down south soon!!!!!

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  8. What a lovely cottage and I so enjoy the details of how they are made. I love it when towns maintain the heritage look, rather than going for more modern. Love the blues in the sky and the windows. The light seems very clear Paternoster. In the summer where we are, we suffer from smog and humidity.

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  9. Very interesting, Marie! Lovely painting!!

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  10. I published comments from Debbie, Linda and Catherine, but they do not show here! I will wait a few hours and see whether they appear. Maybe I can cut and paste them from my e-mail?

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  11. Thanks for the West Coast architectural history lesson and superb illustration.

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  12. A beautiful painting, Marie!As usual I love reading your commentary.

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  13. Hi Marie, I really like this painting and your other coastal paintings. The fishermen down below, too. I have always wondered why some towns pick blue for their shutters and doors.

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  14. Thank you, Linda!

    Catherine, our little villages are still smog-free (Saldanha suffers somewhat because of factories). The light in Paternoster is blindingly clean and one always wonders if the paint in the tube is white enough!

    Thank you, Debbie, and you must sure pop in some day!

    Joan, I am always grateful for your appreciation of my work.

    Thank you so much, Dean!

    Liana,nice to hear from you again! Yes, the strange thing is that I have always taken the wooden shutters for granted although we live in an area with no trees! It was clever of them to use the wood from the shipwrecks. A lot of old kettles and houseware were also found objects!

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  15. Marie, what a lovely series. I just returned from an extended vacation of self-touring in Scandinavia, Estonia, and Finland and finally have time to catch up with friends. I love the history you've given, and the way you've rendered these cottages is postcard perfect. I was especially taken with the little shop with the bicycle in front -- being a cyclist I am always attacted to pictures with bikes. In this case, it certainly looks a little bit French.

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  16. Hi Mary, how nice to get such a long letter! My, but that was an amazing tour you undertook! Will you blog about it? I have never been to any of those countries. Thank you for the compliments regarding the cottages. The bicycle is available as a card if you collect bicycle pictures.http://www.redbubble.com/people/marietheron/art/5461978-2-a-little-bit-french.

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I love your comments, they make my day!