At the beginning of 2020 I was on a consulting engagement in Botswana. When I am not painting in watercolour I work with teams to define and execute strategy. So on 26 January 2020 I checked in and went through the immigration process. I sat in the departure lounge, ordered a cappuccino and settled down to find a suitable subject for a watercolour of the day.
A rather refined lady wearing trews sat at a table nearby and poured herself a glass of champagne. She sat with her hands folded. Very good! Painting of the day January 26 …
I worked with an energetic team on my first day. In the evening I was bushed and had dinner with the team manager and her husband. At the end of it all I was finished. It was therefore a foot or hand night: Painting of the day January 27:
I worked with the team in their offices the following day. When I returned to the hotel I did this painting of locals chatting at the hotel pool-deck. Painting of the day 28 January:
We headed over the border to Sun City in South Africa for the next session . It was so beautiful driving through the bushveld again. The butterflies were out in force – all flying North, against quite a strong wind, I believe to their breeding grounds.
We started a new workshop after a bite of lunch and finished the day in the dark. It was therefore another hand and foot night. Actually a Hand night. Painting of the day 29 January:
Early the next morning I got up to explore a little before we had breakfast and started work. Sun City is a hotel complex and golf-course in the middle of savanah and bushveld. They have created a game reserve nearby and impala roam on the fairways. I sat near the lake and painted this watercolour looking out towards the 16th hole. Painting of the day 30 January 2020:
I skipped the breakfast but took advantage of the incredible coffee making machine in our conference room. That day I drank 10 cappuccinos.
I got up early again the next morning and walked down to the tee for the 16th hole. Then I painted a watercolour of the view looking back. Painting of the day 31 January 2020:
That afternoon we returned to Gaborone. My flight to Cape Town was on Sunday mid-day so I had time on Saturday to capture the workshop documentation at the hotel. I also met with some of my clients to talk about the week and the way forward. And I did this little painting from where I sat. Painting of the day 01 February 2020:
On the day I left Gaborone I had time for three little paintings. The first was of the leaves of the tree under which I sat for breakfast. The second was on the golf-course next to the hotel. And the third was of the apron looking out from the Mugg and Bean at Gaborone Airport: Three paintings of the day 02 February 2020:
And that was that. I always like to have a cappuccino and do a sketch looking out over the apron, as I look forward to boarding for home.
Now here is the issue that I would really like to have some feedback from you if you have read this far. These paintings were all painted on three sheets of 300gm Arches Hot Pressed – just over A4 in size. I quite like how they look all the paintings together on each sheet.
One sheet has a painting of a rock from some time before the trip.
The painting of the apron also has some paintings I did after the trip. There are two paintings of the runners sitting around chatting at Route 44 Market after the Stellenbosch Parkrun at Audacia Farm. This was my painting of the day for 29 February 2020.
Aura and I used to do the run and sit and have coffee in the shade of some large gum trees. When I could I would do paintings of the people around and these were part of that. Shortly after this I did some work in the Eastern Freestate – and then we all locked down. During the lockdown the Route 44 Market site became a building site – it looks like they are building a mall there – though I assume it is a revamp of the sheds in which they held the market.
The last sheet also has a painting of Lourens River in Radloff Park on it. It is undated.
Well this has been quite a long story – but here are the three sheets:
And now (after all that) here is the question: What do you think is the best way to present these paintings? I could cut them up (which seems like a shame) and frame the Botswana paintings in a group…
or I could present the three sheets as finished products.
What do you think?