I am staying with family in Pietermaritzburg.  My sister held an informal art class this evening with my nephew John posing ever so patiently.  This was my version:


There is something going on with his left eye – but this is OK for now.

I am staying with Margie (my sister) and Tim (her husband who has written a book about expeditions on the Amazon). Okes are a bit backward up here and I am using this as a demo to show Tim how to blog – heh heh….

And here is the card I did for my sister this morning:


Guess where this came from?


12 thoughts on “John

  1. And here is the card I did for my sister this morning: Guess where this came from?
    THE PIPE? THE PIPE? I guess the pipe! Did I WIN ANYTHING?

    I like the painting of John. He looks “sun dappled” Maybe that’s what’s going on with his eye? The sun is in it. Enjoy your time with your sister and family.

    • heh heh – Yep – good old Pipe – all prizes are under discussion.
      thanks – it is fun painting people sitting. especially when you can tell them to sit still.

  2. I know the answer, too. “the pipe”. and not because Carol said so.
    I like your painting of John. He looks just like a young man would look having to sit that long. I like the warmish red tones to cool blues you used to define his skin. I like that you left white areas, or very light areas, where the sun hit him. Nice colors. The warm reds and yellows behind the blues.

    • Yes, shame he had to sit for a long time and was sleepy after school – but being a good natured fellow it was OK.
      I must do some colour practice – but this is more or less what I wanted to achieve – that was fun. Cheers hey Leslie

  3. Is your sister also an artist? Was John impressed with how you painted him? Is there no end to the talent in your family? Should I be asking so many questions???

    Joking aside, the painting of John is very strong, yet you’ve obviously treated his facial features with a delicate hand. I’d be interested to see this slightly more finished, perhaps with more bold lines for the chair as he seems to be holding that pose almost floating, which would be excellent for his skiing muscles I suppose.

    I’m impressed with the card. Not sure if it was your intention, but it almost seems like a graphic version of the pipe.

    • yes – I think also that I was focussed so much on the face and figure that I did not paint the rest of the painting – It does need finishing hey? There was an interesting piece of furniture with stuff on it that I could have included – kind of like Charles Reid does –

  4. Is your sister also an artist? Did nephew John approve of your painting of him? Should I really be asking so many questions???

    Joking aside, this is an accurate, strongly formed life, painting – yet the facial features are defined with a delicate hand. If you do add anything to it, perhaps the chair could be more clearly drawn.

    Also, it may not have been your intention, but the card looks almost as if you’ve done a stylized version of the pipe – which is very cool indeed, it’s so crisp

  5. Alas – I come from a family of artists – my younger sister is an architect. My elder sister is an artist too – she was also staying over last night on her way up to Mocambique with her husband where they run a mission station. She has just published a book AS well about her experiences there. Check it out at

    I was up amongst other things, to say farewell to my elder brother who is off to live in New Zealand – he is somewhere between here and Hong Kong right now – he is also an artist – and gave me similar feedback to what you have said here.

    Yeh John accepted the modelling role. We had to bribe him to sit for a second session.

    thanks hey June – the card was done very quickly – it does look more stylised hey? I tried to capture the colours of the clouds I had seen on the morning I left Cape Town

  6. By the way, why is it called “The Pipe”??
    How nice to have a family of artist! Your brother is going to love NZ. I spent 2 years bicycling around Australia and NZ, and LOVED the people. Great job on your nephew. It works very well.

    • Hi Isabelle – ah the pipe – There is a long concrete pipe going out to sea just next to the break. It carries processed sewerage out to sea which I suppose is a bit gross – especially when the farm gets overloaded – we sometimes have a grey scum on the water which is more offputting than the thought of sharks.
      I am sure he will fit right in – from what I hear and see it is very beautiful – thanks on the Neph – I see what people have said about the background – and the chair – heh heh – next time.

  7. Beautiful figure painting. Don’t worry about “finishing” this painting. It’s always good to have something left out, elided, so as to speak, for the viewer to have to construct themselves. It makes for a lot more engagement with the painting, and that’s a good thing.

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