Long long ago – in a kingdom far far away… Actually in 1982, as I studied for a Masters in Materials Science (well OK I was off-track but it was interesting – and I got to eat my lunch on Jammie Steps – heh heh (Jameson Hall – main hall on UCT campus) – anyway – no red herrings today. At the time I shared a flat with my sister Margie who was studying architecture at the time. She had a watercolour project to do and way back then I I felt the wisps of the spell. I asked her for some paper and some paints and headed off to Olifantsbos (Elephant bush) in the Cape Point nature reserve. This was a place where I often used to dive for crayfish with a mate of mine and I particularly loved the coastal fynbos and fresh salty air. mmm – again the pull.
Anyway I sat in front of the car park and did this little painting looking across the bay towards the wreck of the Tommy Tucker:
See how I drew a border around the page as Margie instructed. Then I walked around the bay and did this painting looking back:
See the rocks in the foreground and the kelp beds in the water. That kelp is full of crayfish, though we used to walk an hour down the coast where the diving used to be much better.
So – I remember even now sitting painting – what a thrill that was. I still had not formulated my rule that” it is more important to be sitting painting than how well the painting looked” not very good English I know – but a useful mantra none the less. And the seeds were planted, though they took years to germinate before I was enthralled.
Here is Margie’s project from back then – kind of rattled off in an afternoon and left to gather dust till I rescued it for myself: