What a beautiful morning in Stilbay, a perfect day for Plein Air painting! Everything is packed and I am ready to go to a small little gem, the home of Mr Jurisch known as “Jurisch se huisie”, next to the ocean close to Masterstok on your way from Stilbay to Jongensfontein.
I reached “Jursich se huisie” after about 30 minutes of hiking. We had the privilege of meeting Mr Jurisch’s son in April and he told as the story of his dad, the big mussel-cracker he caught there and the small little fisherman’s house known as “Jurisch se huisie” that he built himself with sandbags!
Now to find the perfect setting for a painting with my “viewfinder”and setting up my plein air easel.
Coffee a perfect start to a perfect painting!The drawing is starting to take shape while applying monochromes. What a privilege to do what I love the most! In nature, experiencing God and His creation while the Hunchback whales play in the sea behind me!
The painting progresses!
Starting to add colors and capturing the moment.
Enjoying every moment with this painting!
More color matching!
Matching the landscape colors to ensure true colors as I experience it.
More colors! Matching the sand, rocks and different greens.
Almost finished with color matching, then it is back to my studio to finish the painting. I will post the final painting in time. What a blessed day!
My family and I visited the Matroosberg Nature Reserve last weekend and what an experience it was. I felt like a child again and could not believe the energy generated within me when I stepped unto the snow. I felt alive even though my hands and nose were freezing.
I could not believe the beauty that lies in-front of me, a beauty the will disappear when the sun shines, a beauty that needs to be captured before it melts away. I was so grateful for the opportunity to experience pure white snow and just knew that I had to capture this amazing picture on canvas.
Painting snow is as big a challenge as painting water, I decided to make a study on how to paint snow. I came across this 10 tips on how to paint snow, the first point made me laugh but it is maybe the most important point.
- Wear long underwear.
- White warms as it recedes. Just have a look at a far eastern sky with the big plumage of clouds over the prairie. The top of the clouds are very white but as you move down you will see that they begin to warm into a yellow phase, then to a pink phase and at the horizon to an orange phase.
- White that is near you tends to take in a blueish hue and in the middle ground it has a touch of purple.
- Look for reflections. Snow reflects what is around it, be it the sky, the wall of a barn, or other patches of snow in sunlight. Larger masses of snow will most likely reflect the sky so if the sky is grey, your snow will be grey.
- Keep it clean! White is a tough colour to keep clean, so remember to keep it from getting contaminated by the other colours in your painting.
- Be aware of the planes. Look for what catches the light directly, what’s in shadow, and what reflects the light. You will see a variety of values and colours in snow, but you will almost never see pure white. The refractive index from snow makes it whiter than white. To achieve this illusion add a dot (and when I say a dot I mean a tiny bit) of Cadmium Orange. You’re not trying to make the snow orange but trying to borrow a bit of the Cad Orange’s chroma to brighten up the white.
- Shadows in the snow are full of light, probably due to the snow’s reflective quality. Look for reflective light and variety in your shadows.
- Dropping the value of your sky a step will make your snow look brighter. No one knew this better than Carl Rungius
- White greys colour. It will not brighten colour. To make white whiter see #6
- Don’t be afraid to use some paint. Not sure why but thick light colours tend to come forward and not recede like most darker colours.
With these 10 points and my beautiful pictures below, I am now going to start my snow painting and will keep you posted on how I progress.
Today I am very grateful to our Lord for blessing us with rain in a time that we needed it the most. I am also heartbroken for all the people who lost their houses during the storm and do not have any shelter during these extreme weather conditions. Sometimes we as humans do not understand all the good and bad things happening in our lives, we can only pray that our loving God will cover us with His love and protect those who need it the most.
I decided to paint a King Protea in remembrance to all the people that lost everything during the storm in Cape Town and during the devastating fires in Knysna.
I am currently in Stellenbosch and I am inspired by it’s beauty, not only of nature but also the people. Stellenbosch is a gem and will always be close to my heart. We decided to visit artist Marius Prinsloo at Blaauwklippen Gallery on Sunday and had an amazing time with Marius and his friends, what a privilege.
My paintings will soon be available in galleries in and around Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Bellville and Cape Town.
“Beautiful Red Roses” – 30cm x 40cm
“For that special occasion” – 21cm x29cm
Autumn in Stellenbosch still remains the most beautiful time of the year with all the leaves changing color. I draw my inspiration from nature and when nature changes seasons I love to spent time painting out of my heart.
These paintings are currently available at Danté Art Gallery in Somerset West or contact me direct.
Here is a list of answers to questions that I am often asked:
Here are 10 things you did not know about the artist, Antoinette van der Merwe: