This is Temba

Watercolour on 300gm Bockingford 560x380mm

Yesterday I spent considerable time building an afdak over my verandah.  NOT playing to my strengths and sensibilities.  At all!  But this is a task I have taken on to please my wife who I love and cherish.  However yesterday I got very frustrated.  Then I realised.  Building a roof with warped timber is not like painting a portrait.  It has to work, but perfection is not called for in job I have undertaken.  In a portrait, everything has to work or the portrait doesn’t work.  It just doesn’t.  But this work – well it is not so – I am measuring each intersection, clamping and hammering in posi-screws.  Overkill!


After a while I could not continue and took my watercolour material down to the corner of our road where all the day labourers wait for work.  It was late afternoon and there were a few men waiting for work.  I went and asked if anyone would like to sit for me.  Temba volunteered and sat with his back against a tree.  I sat on a little folding stool and did this drawing and painting.  I contracted for two hours but completed the work in one.  I did not nearly capture all of the interesting shades and shapes in his weather-worn features.   However the likeness is not bad and I look forward to doing this again.


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