INLAND STREAM, DRAKENSBERG.
Eight days in
the Drakensberg on a painting holiday with Ulrich Schwanecke and
his team in the 70's changed our lives. I drove
in there with Janny and the kids as an attorney, and on the way
out I had made up my mind to actively seek ways to move totally
into the world of art. Painting full-time for
that extended week, and being amongst such super and stimulating
creative folk had a massive effect on me, and with the ever-present
support of Janny we managed to make the change-over fairly painlessly
after a few years. I never knock my previous profession,
as it taught me so many lessons that allow me to survive in art
- lessons that an art education could never have given me - and
I still miss the fine people I worked with. However
our lives were altered forever, and Monday became my favourite day,
as the new week's work began.
So the Drakensberg
will always be special for us. I painted there
'on the spot' in super locations, with some of S.A's finest artists,
and the wonderful atmosphere of the mountains still lingers. The
next year I was invited to be the facilitator for the oil painters,
and a number of years followed where I was co-tutor on these, the
Nation's most popular painting holidays. I was
partnered by two giants in South African art - Schwanecke, and after
him George Boys. I gained an amazing wealth of
knowledge, both technical and theoretical, from these two gentlemen,
and Janny and I also always worked well with their supportive wives,
May and Yvonne. Perhaps the greatest lesson I
ever learned from them was their ability to share their knowledge
unselfishly. I well remember the answer Ulrich
gave me when I asked him how-come he revealed all his technique
to others : ' perhaps if they catch up to me then I will be
forced to go forward, wont I ' , was his answer....
the mountains challenges one on all fronts. It
is vast, atmospheric, technically challenging and very emotional.
As the oils facilitator, I painted few watercolours
there, but I would make a conscious effort to do the odd watercolour
sketch at least every second day. This is a quick fleeting
moment I did at the lake, as the light faded.