watercolours overlooking the last outpost in the british empire

Today after a very exciting meeting with a new possible client I came back to Pietermaritzburg and, after a snooze went up a hill overlooking the valley with my brother in law, Tim.  Because he dawdled so much the sun was setting when we got there but we each had time for a couple of paintings.  Here are mine:


then as the light faded I sat under the trees in the foreground and did this one:


And that was that –

Pietermaritzburg is more british than Big Ben – heh heh

14 thoughts on “watercolours overlooking the last outpost in the british empire

    • I like that – these are flat-top acacias of various kinds that you get around there – very beautiful. I did the trees in the dark so the colour is a bit blue-ish – it was very pleasant sitting there. The valley was filled with the lights of the town but I wasn’t going to attempt that.

    • thanks Carol – mmm – interesting hey – my folks were both accomplished musicians who chose to teach rather than risk the life of professional performing – things were more tricky just after WWII I guess.

  1. What are you saying about the Brits Stephen? Are you and Carol ganging up on me?

    I can’t find fault with these lovely paintings which really evoke reminders of the special time that is twilight in Africa. The top painting has real depth and you’ve perfectly captured thee acacia trees. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I suspect you used two types of brush here.

    Thank you for supplying such interesting replies about your family – your younger sister and the trauma that led her to write her book – I didn’t imagine you’d take my silly questions seriously and certainly wasn’t intending to pry. New Zealand is where many of my friends moved after things got too bad in Zimbabwe – they all speak highly of the place so I hope your brother also enjoys living there.

    Apologies for 2 duplicate comments on your last post Stephen – didn’t realise you were holding them back for approval, just thought I’d messed up again – do feel free to remove as per.

    Fingers crossed and sending positive vibes about your possible new client.

    • Hey June – not at all – Pietermaritzburg is about 100kms inland from Durban and has always been very English. My sister tells me that they never hear Afrikaans there. People often refer to the town as “the last outpost”. I was at University in Cape Town which was referred to as “Moscow on the hill”.
      Yes I used a No8 round sable brush for the fine twigs and a rigger for the branches and trunks –
      I didnt think it was prying – This is the kind of stuff I could put in an “about” page I spose.
      I am keen to put both of you comments in – I enjoyed the nuances –

  2. Hi Swatch,
    These are really quite a shift in subject matter. Trees! They do so nicely in breaking up space and establishing distance. Maybe the speed at which you had to do these was a good thing. They are very free looking.

    • Hi K – yes they were quite unencumbranced and the second one, being done the dark was free of any sense of picture quality, just a deep satisfaction of sitting up there watching the lights of the town come on in the warm evening. S

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