Cape Town South Africa
The explosive history of Southern Africa seems to have subsided into the unease of a new and cautious democracy. I don't think that the
entire verdict on South Africa is out yet,
but like paintings, that lean toward the positive, inspiration and support for the young administration is crucial. Unlike those, who have not
had the means of escape from the
disaster area, my views might have become compromised. Returning here from abroad after so many years absent, can only reveal a
portion of the South African story, that
has gripped the imagination of the world. Beyond its borders to the north, greater Africa struggles with post colonial administrations and
fledgling new democracies. Traveling
across many nations in order to do my work, I have rarely come across people with so much heart as South Africans. At a time when most of
them should be enjoying the rewards
of liberation and freedom, the rest of Africa has descended upon their cities in search of a better life. Like looking out across the ocean, with
no end in sight, squatter homes are
growing by the hour, in my beautiful home of Cape Town. Undocumented, hungry and without much possessions, these refugees will pose
the next great challenge to a tired
nation. In her eagerness to emulate the exciting western world with its star studded excesses, our very young democracy has alienated the
very poor. Leaving them destitute and
hopelessly abandoned. This has resulted in the type of survival crimes that poverty and hunger, inevitably breeds. A vicious cycle fueled by
alarming and rising HIV figures, like
darkening clouds threatening the dawn. A young post apartheid rainbow nation faces its uncertain future.
My arrival here from Istanbul Turkey was during the heart of winter and it was some time before the weather allowed me to paint out of doors.
With the arrival of an early spring though, enabling some interesting paintings from Signal Hill, Langebaan and also along the northern beaches of Table Bay.
Table Mountain with Devils Peak Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
Devils Peak which slopes down to the Cape Flats seen from Signal Hill. Wildflowers and high grasses cover the slopes of the hill veering
into the city below. During this work, a
cold rain front was approaching from the west across the Atlantic Ocean. A hot and clear day gave way to rising winds and sudden burst of
rainclouds which is seen here moving
rapidly from right to left. Extremely accurate weather forecasting enabled me to start early and resolve the painting in late afternoon, minutes
before the entire mountain and most
of the city was covered in thick clouds bringing with it lashing winds and heavy rain for most of the night and following morning.
Bloubergstrand and Table Mountain Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
The Cape Doctor is a fierce south easterly wind that arrives here with Spring each year. This is one of such windy paintings when a tied
easel to some wooden railings saved the
day. The wind threatening to blow everything not tied down right across the Peninsula and into the Atlantic Ocean. The foreground of wild
grass tufts and beach dunes providing a
textured configuration giving solid structure to my third painting from Bloubergstrand, a popular view of the Mountain for photographers and
as it appears, painters as well.
Table Mountain Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
Dunes and coastal scrub at Bloubergstrand, the northern side of Table Bay. A clear morning turned cloudy during late afternoon. Strong
south easterly winds persisting from the
previous day made for difficult going. Early summer is usually a windy time in Cape Town with occasional showers limiting my painting
opportunities. I had the option here of
resolving the canvas with clouds covering the mountain during late afternoon, but decided to keep the clear sky. The October weather has
been tough for painting out of doors.
Strong south easterly winds have been blowing for days. These winds are necessary for the dispersal of pollens throughout this botanically
rich and diverse area.
Table Mountain Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
Bloubergstrand and Table Mountain on a windy day with choppy seas. Easel tied to garbage bin due to strong south easterly winds which
made work extremely difficult.
Table Bay Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
Unusual view of Table Bay from Signal Hill showing the Hottentot mountains and Bloubergstrand to the north. Cape Town's Waterfront
complex at lower right from where boats
depart for tourist trips to Robben Island. Like most of my canvases where blue dominates because of recorded light on a planet which is
surrounded by an atmosphere of oxygen,
carbon and hydrogen particles, resulting in the blue envelope of color. Claude Monet, the French impressionist, explaining the natural world
as predominantly blue,
complimented by the advent of other colors. Here, I have resolved the canvas with strong application of cobalt from the tube.
Orange Kloof Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
A view rarely seen, is the back of Table Mountain. I had planned to paint from Llandudno Beach, but late spring clouds from the southeast
over Table Mountain proved
irresistible. Ideal weather conditions brought late wind gusts to Bokkamans Kloof near Hout Bay and cooled temperatures down. Here to the
left, is the back of the Twelve
Apostles, which stretch along the spine of mountains on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cape Peninsula. The peak on the right is Constantia
Corner, leading into the Constantia
Valley, a rich and fertile basin where early settlers found their new garden after the one at the Castle proved futile due to lack of fresh water.
The middle section is Orange Face part of the Back Table.
Langebaan Lagoon and Constable Mountain Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 65 cm South Africa 2006
My first venture north of Cape Town found this emage alongthe coast of the Langebaan Lagoon. One of the oldest settler communities in
South Africa. Here Constable Kop (Mountain)
rise above a very flat terrain with sparse drinking water due to high amounts of salt in groundwater. This northerly view showing the ealiest
settlement of Oudepost on
middle left horizon and Saldanha Bay on the furthest point north. Rising to the right is Langebaan and its suburbs, and along the water's
edge, one of the original farms of
Stofbergsfontein. Painted on the rising tide which stopped etthe foot of my easel at the end of the day. Near perfect conditions
complimented by curious but hospitable villagers.
Lions Head from Signal Hill Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
The slopes of Signal Hill with Lions Head lit by the afternoon sun. This low lying mountain forms the shape of a reclining lion with its head
facing south. This unusual view painted
from the northern slopes shows early plantations on the horizon which environmentalists are battling to replace with more indigenous
species. Separating the city of Cape Tow
from its western Atlantic coast beaches of Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, where most of Cape Town's wealthy have sought refuge from
the influx of rural people moving here
from the rest of Africa. Lower down to the left of the slope, the Malay suburb of Bo Kaap have kept rich traditions alive in a tightly knit Muslim
community. Painted from the Noon
Gun restaurant, which offers the best Cape Malay food in South Africa, on a typical late winter afternoon, with clear skies and moderate
temperatures that brought light clouds
from the Atlantic Ocean late in the afternoon. Foreground indigenous flora displaying bright purple flowers in early spring.
Kloof Nek and the twelve Apostles Table Mountain Cape Town 20 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm South Africa 2006
Easterly winds pushing clouds over the top of Table Mountain and bringing with it rain. Southerly view painted from the Noon Gun restaurant
at Signal Hill, showing the granite
mountains that form a spine southward along the Cape Peninsula. The suburb of Kloof Nek nestles at the foot of the mountain from where a
cable car operates, taking tourists to
the top of the mountain 3,652 feet high. To the left, Australian indigenous eucalyptus trees which have taken over most of the peninsula, as
it has done in California.
Zinatul Mosque District Six Cape Town South Africa 22 x 26 inches 50 x 68 cm 1999
One of the two buildings of worship that was left standing when District Six was destroyed. The other was the Moravian Mission church.