COUNTRY LANDSCAPE, QUEENSTOWN.
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.
Both 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 Art Society.
So 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.
I often went
out with my Gran to paint at localities such as the one above. Sometimes
I worked in oils, and sometimes in watercolours. My
gran painted mainly in watercolours and pastels, whilst my Dad was
predominantly an oils artist.
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. I used the 5 steps in their simplest
form. Remember that the colours get cooler as
one recedes in the painting. See section 5 for
full details on the 5 steps, with examples.