Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bambi Boerbok

What a strange title, you may say! But our true South African Boerbokke or Boer Goats are a strong and healthy breed, world famous and already bred in places as diverse as Norway, Texas, New Zealand and Australia. I am fortunate, because for me to see a true farm on the West Coast, I need only need to head for Lelieblom Farm near Darling. The wonderful thing about Lelieblom is it's realness, maintained in a natural old-fashioned style by Mike and Karen Basson! This is not a farm bought by investors and turned into a pedicured and rebuilt 5-star international resort (as happened to many farms the last couple of years); but a real-life African farm reminiscent of the earlier settler days.

I love the earth, the barn-turned-home & farm restaurant, the poultry running around and all the farm animals - an artist's dream, as Maree would say! Most of all, I love the sight of these Boerbokke! I asked Karen about their natures and had to laugh at the answer I received: "friendly, curious, and extremely naughty! No garden, fence or tree is safe with them around!" (In vain I asked Karen for some wild aloes- they were all eaten! Ouch!)

Today I present TWO paintings. Pretty Bambi Boerbok is so sweet! Those pink lips turn into whiskers and he will sport a beard later on! Lucky are those with black or brown faces as the colour protect their eyes! I painted the background all white and quickly dabbed and in the stones, grass and foliage, all wet-in-wet.

The second painting is a large fantasy scene, which I later want to paint larger still! The animals and background belong to Lelieblom Farm but the girl and fence were imagined. It is called Sweet Sleep at Noon, based on a poem by Virgil. This work is an oil on canvas board and I used the little wooden artist's mannikin to work out the proportions for the girl.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Aloes in the Garden

This is the year that I will have to invest in a book on aloes, as I have just planted my 12th type. In a previous post I painted Aloe mitriformis, the wild West Coast aloes that cover the rocks near the ocean.

In the meantime my own garden grew well and the aloes grew large, and some of them became prolific. I called a large aloe with ferocious thorns "Old Buster". This year at last three fat orangey-red plumes appeared on old Buster! An occasion for a painting done in acrylics on canvas board, making use of paint brushes, toothpicks and cotton buds, all as tools for creating textures.

Aloes attract a lot of birds and you will see in my photos how birds eat down from the top, treating the aloes like corn-on-the-cob! I grabbed a few seeds to dry, and left the rest for these pretty Cape Canaries.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kabeljou Bank

I have often painted here and told my readers of some of the happenings at Kabeljou Bank. This part of the coast is so beautiful but very inhospitable.

On 9 December 1896, The British Peer, commanded by Captain Jesse Jones hit the rocks while on her way from London to deliver tea, coffee, machinery, pianos and building materials to Cape Town. Even to this day, pieces of building materials wash ashore. Many lives were lost. At a salvaging operation in 1979 the bell was found. ( 33 degrees 30.40S, 18 degrees 18.17E )

Of course there are also lovely bits of history associated with Kabeljou Bank. This is the spot where Cape visitors came by horse cart for picnics in the flower season during the nineteen-twenties. They watched how the chinkeninchees were picked to export to London. And here, throughout the autumn and winter months hundreds of snoek are still hung out to dry.

My painting is a mixed media piece of black craft paint, acrylic and watercolour paints, oil pastels and oil thinning medium.

Source for The British Peer: Shipwrecks and Salvage in South Africa by Malcolm Turner.