spout nek on a snowy morning

The morning dawned bright and clear with a fresh easterly wind.  After a cup of rooibos and as many of the dead-weight rusks as I could manage I got up and carefully clambered over the rocks to the neck looking to the east over the Tanqua Karoo.  There was a thick cloud over the Eastern Horizon and the wind was icy.   I was not kitted out to sit painting so I took some photos and made my way back to the cave.  On the way back the sun rose.  I always look out for the bands of yellow, pink and blue at the edge of the day as they decend to Western horizon as the sun rises.  As the pink hits the peaks they light up red for a few short seconds then it is day.

In this watercolour I have tried to capture this colourful glow.  I noticed that the snow on the south facing mounds turned a light pink and on the the northern faces turned  light blue.  Very subtle and beautiful.  Some of the hardy heathers were poking out of the snow.  So here it is:


This was painted on a half sheet of Arches 300g Cold Press (380 x 560 mm).

11 thoughts on “spout nek on a snowy morning

  1. One day you are surfing in the ocean, the next you sit cold looking at snow ???? You live in an interesting part of the world.
    This piece is very soft and beautiful… a symphony of browns, grays and white… very peaceful.

    • Hi Isabelle – we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. Though I must say we don’t get a lot of snow and it is usually very high in the mountains. We have a storm approaching now that may bring more snow. I remember sitting on a board in the sea looking at the snow covered Boland Mountains and thinking “Well it does not get much better than this”. Thanks for the comments, I am pleased with this. Have you been on your hike yet?

      • Went on a hike Sunday, and leading a 3 day canoe-camping trip for “artists & doodlers” this coming week-end. We load the boats, paddle across a granite lake in the High Sierras, and set up camp in the wild. We spend our days,paddling, painting, hiking, eating, snoozing, swimming…

  2. I’m confused. Why are you back sleeping in the cave? Did you piss off your wife?

    This piece seems like a bit of a departure for you in terms of compositional as well as color. It’s beautiful. I feel chilly looking at it. I love the pinks and blues reflected subtlety in the snow.

    • Hi CK – I should have prefaced the posting to say it was from my last hike – I want to create a page of all the inputs to see how it looks as a story and just wrote it as the next piece. Thanks for the insights – it is a bit different hey?

  3. I agree with Carol. Nice compositional change for awhile. You pulled off the atmosphere of right before dawn or right after sunset. The scene also looks vast and cold as you described, Stephen. Good job.

      • I know. Wouldn’t that be cool. Weren’t the baboons all over your car when you hiked back to it? I definitely want to see a painting of that! Talk about a challenge, huh?

      • interesting – I have never done that – it must be good practice. We are fortunate to have technology. Although I suppose we could also argue that it also keeps us from really developing powers of observation. But who has the time?

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