Painting outdoors with the Elliott’s in Beautiful Villiersdorp and Surrounds
The Elliott’s have conducted over 450 painting courses to date and they have shared their studios with a wealth of creative folk from all walks of life. Some five thosuand participants have shared a unique right-brain painting experience with The Elliott team over the past three decades and their most recent outdoor course was no different.
One is exposed to some world-class venues when painting ‘Plein Air’ with Dale and Mel and the following is an extract from one of the days painting on ‘Patryskop’ Farm near Villiersdorp: (‘Patryskop’ is one of four different beautiful venues where the groups of artists visit)
We recently visited ‘Patryskop’ Farm in Vyeboom; home to family friends, Jacques and Zelre Van Der Merwe, as one of the venues for our outdoor painting course. And I can’t really remember when I last found myself in such a beautiful setting than their tranquil spring water dam where we set up our easels.
This venue is a world class painting site and we were all privileged to experience what was a day in heaven alongside the crystal clear waters of ‘Awie Se Dam’.
There was very little wind when we arrived at about 10:00am on Wednesday morning and so the most beautiful reflections of the Franschhoek Pass Mountains were being cast on the water. Most of the artists jumped at this proposition in terms of painting material.
Zelre had very kindly put out the most delicious fresh fruit for us on their beautiful deck which span’s out over the water. And from this vantage point one can see the intricate web of life in the waters below.
The Large Mouth Bass congregate together below constantly searching for their next meal, whilst the odd terrapin surfaces every so often for air only to be disturbed by the hundreds of dragonflies that bob up and down the length of the dam. This along with the superb bird life (The sugar birds and chats) in the wild fynbos which encircles the bank of the dam is something to behold.
Once the group had done a ‘reci’ around the site, we settled down and began painting. As mentioned, some of the artists tried to capture the big picture, reflected beautifully on the water and then others tried their hands at smaller micro landscapes and things of interest in and around the water. I tried a biggish vista on a smaller board as I find it easier when working smaller. I will let the photos which I took try and tell the story.
After a lovely lunch which Janny and Carine put together for us, we touched up last minute sketches and ideas before packing up to head home.
Our day at ‘Awie Se Dam’ was the most special day for me of the four painting outdoors this time around and we were blessed to have access to such a beautiful place. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day, than painting amongst other artists, friends and family and the ‘old faithful Labby’- Luka, came along for the adventure…What a treat we had!
Elliott Art Studios and Gallery
80 Main Road, Villiersdorp, 6848
Tel: 028840 2927
Photos of the artists and other venues:
Jean Lois trying to capture the reflections
Eric Pretorius in deep concentration
The group at ‘Awie Se Dam’
The beautiful lunches which Janny and Carine prepare
‘Awie se dam’ at ‘Patryskop’
The great outdoor experience
Llewelyn Evans tackling the big picture
Sharon Wooldridge attempting the Kroonland Berg at Kaaimansgat near Villiersdorp
Eric Pretorius/’Monet’ at work
Llewelyn tackling the big picture at Stettyn