A hot hot day at Smitswinkel bay

Today I took a trip around the peninsula to Smitswinkel bay.  I have been working from photos I took on my silly little cell phone and wanted more material.  It was a lovely still, hot day in false bay, although the water was icy cold.  I took a few photos and then settled down to paint a watercolour of the bay.  OK so I took on a big chunk, from the top of the mountain to the pool at my feet – it just kind of happened.  I am keen to develop a less detailed way to paint scenes like this.  But here it is.

This is on Hot Pressed Arches and is 380 x 280mm

I like this in places – the rocks in the left middle ground went well.  But I think the fynbos around the houses is too busy and I could have saved time and attention by simplifying this drastically.  Maybe I will try this in the studio to develop approaches to the different parts of the painting.

While I was painting a baboon ran down across the rocky beach and up the rock where I was working.   All the sunbathers scattered.

I stood up so he paused and sat down.  Maybe he did not smell any goodies in my pack.  He was a really big guy and I was not sure what to do.  I just did not want him to destroy my palette which is probably worth a couple of thousand rand with all the paints in it (eeek – there’s a thought…).  I was working on a big rock and considered lifting that to hurl at him but I know this often makes them retaliate – which he did later when the owner of the picnic threw rocks at him.

Then he went off to where a family had set up umbrellas.  They were not around.  The baboon really tucked into their picnic.  Some locals came and shot it with catapults.  But in spite of landing some vicious hits the baboon snacked on.  Then this guy came to chase it away with his umbrella, which I didn’t think was such a smart thing to do.   This was a big baboon and they are immensely strong and they have massive canines.  Not an animal to mess with.

Then the family returned.  They had dogs which chased the baboon away at first.  He retired to a nearby rock with a bag of chips.  But they wisely carried and dragged their dogs away when the baboon came back for more.

This was a creature who needed a jolly good leaving alone and everyone stood by and watched.

And then along came Jones (na na nanana na na) – slow walkin’ Jones, Slow-talking Jones…

The baboon took one look at the paint-ball gun, and headed down the coast, harried by two small dogs – probably jackies.   Interesting!

So that was it:

So – just to complete the thought, here are the words I found on DigitalDreamDoor:

I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on Channel 2
A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was chasin’ poor Sweet Sue
He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh,
“If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch
I’ll saw you all in half!”
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He turned on the bandsaw (and then, and then…!)
And then along came Jones
Tall thin Jones
Slow-walkin’ Jones
Slow-talkin’ Jones
Along came long, lean, lanky Jones
Commercial came on, so I got up to get myself a snack
You should’ve seen what was goin’ on by the time that I got back
Down in the old abandoned mine, Sweet Sue was havin’ fits
That villain said, “Give me the deed to your ranch
Or I’ll blow you all to bits!”
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He lit the fuse to the dynamite (and then, and then…!)
I got so bugged I turned it off and turned on another show
But there was the same old shoot-’em-up and the same old rodeo
Salty Sam was tryin’ to stuff Sweet Sue in a burlap sack
He said, “If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch
I’m gonna throw you on the railroad tracks!”
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He threw her on the railroad tracks (and then)
A train started comin’ (and then, and then…!)

10 thoughts on “A hot hot day at Smitswinkel bay

  1. Oh Stephen, you are so funny. You are quite a story teller. About your painting, my comment is, yes, it is too busy. But aren’t we all inclined to do that. It’s really hard to keep it simple. But, I must say, I admire you for your initiative and your outings to find places to paint. Congratulations.

    • Hi Heidi – yup – that is the skill to develop hey? Anyway – it is all moving along step by step. It was wonderful to be out there – I hope to do more adventures in 2011 – Cheers hey

  2. Hi Stevo

    Good one! Can tell you so many similar stories the years we lived in Kommetjie and the big old local called “Eric”. Came right back at you when you threw a rock at him. Will get a paintball gun for sure when we go back …
    Lovely work!

    • Hey howzit man – how is everything there? I drove down into Kommetjie on the way, but could not remember exactly where you lived. All in all it was not that far – isn’t it silly that I allowed life to so overtake me that we did not meet more. Anyway – there it is.
      We are cooking today again – I heard it was 38 degrees in Cape Town – and that is not F!
      Cheers my brother

  3. Ha! What fun! Thanks for the story, Stephen. I really don’t think your painting is too busy at all. Just needs three value ranges. Nice composition and I like the different subject material you are painting.

    • Ah yes – that is the thing I need to focus on more. I am looking and planning a painting from this on-site one and that is useful. There is so much going on around the boulders and waves coming in that would be great to paint…

  4. Ah, Smits! We were there at Pieter’s place for an overnight in December, he of the Jack Russels (tho the ones you saw were more likely sprogeny of his that live there more permanently).

    Baboons in Pringle are a different experience, or at least have been for us – hell if they get into your house, but pretty mellow otherwise. We have a “lone ranger” but more usually it’s a troop of a dozen or two that cruise through, mainly after the bullrushes.

    Pieter’s place would be uphill to the left, in your lovely painting, on a closer hill than the big (broader than usually expected) rondawel.

    • Hi Chris
      It does not surprise me in the least that you know the guys in Smitsw. (o: – what a great place! We have friends in Betty’s who are plagued by baboons. They come into the houses even when people are there. And they have learnt how to work some door handles. Louvre windows, well they just stick a hand in and break them.
      Yes that is where Pieter came down from. He just walked down resolutely.
      That baboon just hared off – or is it haired? anyway it ran… fast…

  5. I very much like this landscape. The colors are so vibrant. I like the yellow on the top of the mountain and the houses nestled in the trees.

    I like how you achieved so much depth in this painting. I look forward to more versions.

    Amazing story of the baboon! I would have panicked had I been there.

    • Yep, this is also a versionable subject – mmm – is there one that isn’t? Thanks for that. I like how the granite outcrops on the middle-left worked and tried to re-create them in the girl-going-for-a-swim painting. It was so hat there. And because of the way I was sitting the inside of my calves are quite burnt. I have these two tone legs. (o:

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