I am sitting at Bloemfontein airport waiting for my flight to Cape Town. I have just done some work for a most delightful client in Lesotho and left Maseru early this morning to avoid the expected congestion at the Maseru bridge border post. For the last few days I have been living in the middle of the most stunning scenery in the Lesotho Highlands but have been so focussed on the work I was doing that I have not been able to paint. Well, I set that record straight on the way back to the airport.
Tenniskop – 190x280mm on 185gm arches cold pressed.
I stopped in at Tenniskop B&B on a farm about 10kms from Maseru. I woke up the owner, Tim, who was happy for me to sit in a field to paint.
It was just so relaxing sitting in the morning sun on an anthill (really a termite mound), listening to the veld birds-and enjoying the view up a the river valley in the distance. In the background I heard the tires of the passing trucks far away, calling, reminding me of the days in which I used to hitch hike around this beautiful country of ours. As I packed up I had to brush ants off my kit and remembered a story my mother told me about a guy who got out of a train to paint when it stopped in the country. He sat on an ant-hill and the ants moved into his trousers in force. Back on the train they attacked and he ripped off his pants and held them out the window to blow the ants out. Of course the pants hooked on something and were gone. At his station, when asked why he was walking around without trousers he explained that he had been painting. “thats fine sir” they said “everything will be fine – you just come quietly with us…” – a silly story…
After a short cup of coffee with Tim I rushed up Tenniskop, the hill behind the farm. By now time was a little short so I had to rush up and down, taking some photos on the way. mmm – note to self – “time to get a little more fit my boy”. But what a breathtaking view. the veld is dry as a bone as the land waits for the onset of the summer rains. The sky was a hazy pearly grey with some baby thunderheads lifting in the distance. This is the land that inspired Pierneef.
All too soon I had to rush down the hill. I rinsed off with a bottle of water, dried off with a Tee-shirt and hopped in the hire car to zoot off. Eeek – I was cutting it fine. The road I took followed the line of hills in the distance of the painting. I stopped to take some photos looking down towards where I had sat to paint. So… Watch this space… Then I had to fly and was captured on film, desperately braking, at one of the many speed-traps (*&%$#@).
OK – time to board…