#365 Day 101 Radloff Park

Yesterday I went down to Radloff Park to paint as the afternoon was turning into a muddle.

I set up just off the track on the river bank and started a first wash – top to bottom.  As usual people stopped to chat as I worked.  I love this.  I like friendly people.  And I had a good chat with a friend with whom I shared my artists statement.  Which sounds like this:

We live in such a broken world.  But in the midst of destruction there is yet great beauty.  And even in the failure and damage there is hope.  Shepherds in the middle East lead their sheep rather than herd them.  When they have a lamb that tends to wander off they break its leg.  Then they carry it till it heals and the sheep learns to trust the masters voice.   All of this is worth seeing and capturing in watercolour.  I want to do my best to paint what I see.  Just being faithful to what is there has led me to see things I never noticed before.  And perhaps when other people see my painting they will see something they have never noticed before.  And their experience of the world will then be enriched. 

That is it.

It did mean I ran out of time a bit – but I also bit off a bigger chunk than usual.  But here it is:

Lourens River in Radloff Park

Lourens River in Radloff Park

The field on the hill in the background could have been a little more saturated.

8 thoughts on “#365 Day 101 Radloff Park

  1. I love this one! There are some unexpected hues in the foreground that caught my eye instantly, can’t put my finger on it, are they blues? This is wonderful and I’m learning from your work. Seeing the crispness up front and the fuzzier shapes in back the atmospheric perspective you’re creating in your background, leading the eye through the painting. Really like this one, Stephen. I guess this should be obvious (duh), but are you painting every day this year? If so, I definitely want to include you in my post this morning of daily painters. And yay for getting to see a new piece every day, really looking forward to this!

    • Hey Laura
      Thanks for this. Thank you for your considered evaluation. I have set out to do a painting a day, yes, for the year if I am spared till then. And I would greatly appreciate being in your daily painters posting. I have been painting in watercolour for quite a while and selling intermittently in local exhibitions but now I am setting out to make my work a little better known and this is the vehicle for continuity. There are a many many other activities to put into the full picture, which I will include as I go along but first I wanted to establish the discipline. I have only recently started posting regularly on my blog and intend to maintain this too. I also want to post the backlog, bit by bit. Up till now I have posted in Instagram – FB and a few times on my twitter account. So this is an ‘in-a-nutshell’ account of my watercolour strategy. It is really nice chatting with you guys here.

      Oh yes – the palette for this is around Cadmium Red and other more orangey red next to my CdR in the tray – my notes say it is Cd Scarlett (spectral analysis may say otherwise) – anyway it mixes quite nicely with cerulean blue to make greys. OK those two reds and Cerulean Blue – Mn Blue – Cobalt Blue and Antwerp Blue or Prussian Blue which have similar properties – they disperse more readily in a wash. Most of my colours are made up of these. For greens I use the blues and Aureolin – Cd Yellow Pale and Winsor Y and sometimes Quinacridone gold – BTW I stopped purchasing Raw Sienna after reading thingamajig who suggested mixing CdR and CYP for a more vibrant equivalent (which I found to be so) – I will get her name. And I don’t use black but mix Antwerp Blue or Winsor Green with CdR or Alizarin Crimson – this makes dark darks with wonderful hues – and its more fun. Black is just too – well – black – also from Jeanne Dobey – that’s her name – a great resource.

      • Thanks so much for your detailed reply, Stephen! I really appreciate your recipe for a deep vibrant black as well. I’m on a bit of an art supply ban at the moment, but I’ll need to pick up that Antwerp blue. 🙂 I’ve added a link to your blog to my post today and I really appreciate your advice & guidance and your daily work/posts very much!

  2. I miss having Antwerp blue….need to get some. Aren’t you afraid of the Cadmiums? they intimidate me….I think that I need to learn to mix them with other colors and see what happens. I always seem to run out of time, it never stops does it? lol On average how long do you spend on your painting a day? I think that I would like to do something like that but seems like I spend far too much time as it is on this challenge. I do want to get into a good habit on working on art every day if anything, drawing, planning and painting of course.

    • Yes it is sometimes taxing this painting a day. Sometimes when I have a big workshop to run in my parrallel universe the next day, I finish my prep late, knowing that I have 04:30 start and a long day ahead – then I sit on the floor to paint Mia or the disdainful KitKat. I thought I could do 30 minutes start to finish – but really it is usually an hour or more.

      My first ever teacher, Nicholas Galloway, in Swakopmund told me about a guy who lived way on the outskirts of town and put up his oil paintings on a barbed-wire fence alongside his dwelling – this was his livelyhood and Nicholas told me he did one painting a day. And these were big paintings. And I have decided it is never too late to do the best thing. So…

      yes the Cds are strong hey? for me this whole thing is a boots-and-all thing – I have dumped many lovely sheets with ugly over-saturated blots. The artists I like all use them so I did not even think about and have had them in my palette as long as I can remember.


      Long long ago when I started painting out on site I was doing one horrible painting after another, big ones, little ones – whatever – and so I used to say to myself “just do this thing – it is more important to be here doing this than what I produce.” Last night I watch an old Northern Exposure run where Chris said exactly this to Maurice about his paint-by-numbers – he quoted Picasso who said “Art is the doing – the painting is the product” – Chris said to M – “you got to get your ego out of the way” So he took Maurice into the basement where he got him to put his work of art in the furnace – Ai! I love that series – The flying man in the visiting circus who can’t talk because words weigh him down and then he can’t fly.

      So there – time to get to work

      • I loved Northern Exposure, one of my all time favorites. I have the first 6 seasons. I really like that Picasso quote, that one is frame worthy. Art is the process, I have fretted far too long in the product. Ego is pretty stubborn and tenacious, always trying to push me around but I am biting back! I am determined to do art everyday, if not a painting, something, anything. I loved hearing your thoughts and I so enjoy your speech mannerisms. From what part of the world are you from? I know you mentioned that you had lived in Namibia. I do have an inquiring mind. 🙂

      • Hey MPB – I live in Somerset West with my little family. We are about 50kms from Cape Town about 5 – 10Kms inland from Strand on False Bay. We have so much beauty in our town but also we are losing it to developments and “loss of habitat”. We even have leopard in the mountains around the basin – though they are rarely seen. I loved Namibia but yearned for the green of the Cape. I really want to go up there again – In fact my first ever exhibition was up there – Looooong ago – you can read the story here if you like. thanks for your kind comments

      • Ah….by your latest post I looked it up and figured it must be near Cape Town. I have no idea what that part of the world is like, I will research it. If my little spot here (20-30 mile radius) develops, I think it would be a miracle….thank goodness! 🙂

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