Janny and I were brought up in the inland town of Queenstown,
in the Border region of the Eastern Cape. We both had happy
families, and although we always knew each other, in fact
lived near each other, she only saw the light later-on in
her youth and we became romantically involved when we left
school (!). So at heart we are 'Oos-Kaap
mense' (Eastern Cape people), and this has obviously manifested
itself in my painting in a big way.
my father Leslie, and my maternal grandmother Emily Horne,
were amateur artists of note in those circles, and they gave
me, along with my mother Molly, endless encouragement and
support. I painted indoors in my Dad's studio
from a fairly early age, and outdoors whenever the occasion
arose, and I was schooled in a home and community that had
an exceptionally high regard for a host of the good conventional
South African artists of the day. The works
of Errol Boyley, Edward Roworth, George Lang, Thornley Stewart,
Nils Anderson Gregoire Boonzaaier and of course the renowned
Wiles family hung in many homes, mostly because the town and
area was serviced by a very active and professionally-run
it was probably a combination of environment and heredity
that I gravitated towards the arts, and the combination of
my father's studio and lots of encouragement led to a more
than average involvement in painting.
often went out with my Gran to paint at localities such as
the one above. This is a typical open country
landscape, with all the elements one finds in the average
platteland scene - sky, middle-distance, foreground and various
other contributing factors, hopefully giving it extra energy.
Maybe the horizon has been placed too much
in the middle, and there could have been a little less foreground.
Note the use of black and white cattle to
add interest and a 'zits' of strong chiaroscuro.
I have often put in hints of flowers to settle a foreground
that might be a little bland - it usually lifts the area.
Remember that the colours get cooler as one recedes in the
painting. See section 5 for full details on the painting of
a normal clouded sky.