bridge on the Olifants river

So my short adventure drew to an end.  On the way back I was keen to stop in at Clanwilliam for coffee and a snack but chose instead to gone on further to the Algeria road to have a dip in the Olifants river.  The water was lovely and cool and I sat on a sand bank and painted this watercolour of bridge:


I was keen to get the water right which I think I have improved on.  The shapes in the river bank were MUCH more interesting than I have shown.  This is a kind of cross composition.  Definitely one for the studio.

And then it was on through the Swartland to home.

While I stayed with Basie and Annette we watched a discussion about poetry between Andre P Brink and Breyten Breytenbach, two giants of Afrikaans literature.  Andre Brink spoke with such heart about his love for poetry.  It was awe inspiring in a gentle ordinary kind of way.   I had been looking at the mountains all the through the Olifants valley and stopping to take photos.  And when I returned, on the road between Stellenbosch and Somerset West I was struck by the great beauty of our little corner of the Boland.    And I thought of the words of TS Elliot from “Little Gidding” :

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.


4 thoughts on “bridge on the Olifants river

    • Thanks Deva, the pass goes through the mountains in the saddle in the painting. So we get to see that mountain with the notch from both sides. thanks for the comments about the colours.

  1. The water in this image is spot on. I like the glass-like reflective quality you were able to achieve wet-in-wet. It’s almost like the hills are hugging the cross, Stephen, and I like that touch. The quote fits your story perfectly.

    • Hey Leslie – I was amazed – I had been watching the scenery with a painterly eye all the way home and was struck by the grandeur of the mountains around my town. Thanks for the view on the mountains and the river. I started to draw it in the studio but ran out steam when I hit all the little blocks along the bridge. I would like to capture them too. I hope you are having a good day that side.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s