Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Winter Workshops

When the cold weather approaches, our intrepid plein air painters pack up their sunhats and sunscreen until the next SASA arranged outing in September.

And to keep ourselves going,  indoor workshops are arranged over the May to August chilly months.

This year we were privileged to host four of SA's leading artists in their fields.

In May, Derric van Rensburg gave us the benefit of his knowledge in the field of acrylics - a workshop that was well attended with many oohs and wows!

Derric's workshop was followed by watercolour Master, Wallace Hulley, whose freedom and expertise with the brush gave many food for thought.

After Gavin Collins' demo at one of our monthly meetings, there was great excitement when he agreed to give us a workshop as well.  

And then, to crown a terrific year of workshops, Dale and Mel Elliott came through from their home in Villiersdorp for a workshop in oils and acrylics.

Thank you to you all.  Every workshop was exceptional.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tilly Schler Demo

Our monthly meetings this year have been exciting, informative and varied and the June meeting was no exception.

Tilly Schler had her audience mesmerised whilst she demonstrated all sorts of varied techniques with glue, sand, home made paints and inks and she even set fire to one of her canvases to create rocks in a seascape.

Tilly is a lady with extreme energy and enthusiasm and loves playing with water and inks and creating different patterns in the most vivid colours on her canvases.

An evening with a difference!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May Monthly Meeting

What a night!  

Artist, teacher and gallery owner, Lesley Charnock regaled us with her trials and tribulations about using a sketch book and how she had to overcome her own reticence about using one in public when she spent a two month sabbatical at the Cite in Paris.

From just that little sketch book, came some wondrous work - and that was the message Lesley wanted to impart - the absolute importance of sketching daily.  Take your sketch book with you wherever you go.  Sketch anything and everything and never mind what it looks like.  It's your practice tool and the high road to becoming a really good artist.

Thank you Lesley - it really was a great night!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don't sneer at 'con art' ...

... an article by Jonathan Jones, Art Critic of the Guardian newspaper in the UK and published on his artblog Jonathan Jones on Art.

Damien Hirst
This spring has seen a wave of scepticism unleashed against contemporary, or conceptual, art. We have been introduced to the pleasant term "con art" to mean, you guessed it, art that is conceptual ... and a con. Some reviews of a certain exhibition at a certain Tate Modern have taken a similar line and, even in a Guardian editorial, the contrast between current shows by artists who can make and others who get things made was pondered – Freud and Hockney being the makers.
I laugh with scorn at highfalutin attacks on today's art by people who don't actually care very much about the art of the past. I am going to pull rank here. I spent the Easter weekend writing about Raphael, examining his frescoes at the Villa Farnesina and comparing his work The Fire in the Borgo with a passage in Virgil's Aeneid. I reckon I give as much attention to the great art of earlier centuries as anyone around, and love it as much as anyone around, and I am quite happy to concede that some of my tastes are "conservative".
Anyway, I went yesterday, direct from early 16th-century Rome where my mind had been, to Tate Modern ... and was I appalled? Was I mystified by the idiotic fraudulence of it all? Er, no. I was fascinated and delighted by the art of our time. I contemplated Richard Serra's impossibly balanced slabs of steel and found myself thinking of Michelangelo's Prisoners . You can sneer at that comparison if you like... But are you sure you care about Michelangelo more than I do?
There is a lot to dislike in modern art. There are plenty of inflated reputations. There's a bland establishment vogue for it that grates on me – but perhaps what is happening is the end of that vogue. If modern art stops being respectable, that can only be good for it.
But polemics against it are so dull. No, I don't get all the aesthetic satisfaction I crave from the newest art. Why would I expect to? These are tough times, strange times. The best art of our age is bound to reflect that age. We are not imprisoned here. As human beings, we also have access to the heritage of great art going back through the centuries. No one is forcing us to sit around brooding about why Gillian Wearing is at the Whitechapel instead of Beryl Cook. Why not go and look at Raphael in the National Gallery instead? He is so perfect that it is as pointless to compare him with Hockney as with Hirst.
People who denounce con art are the true con artists, claiming the mantle of the great tradition while sometimes not really loving it, or knowing it at all.
Published on Wednesday 11 April 2012 on
Badge Jonathan Jones on Art Blog
For information on the art world and what is happening in the art world, click on Jonathan's name at the top of the page or click here.  Include this blog on your daily rounds for an informative look at the world of Art.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A letter from the President

2012 certainly has started off on a high note with the hanging of the 2012 Merit exhibition on Thursday 26 January and the wonderful Critique session at our Monthly Meeting also on the 26th.   The opening of the Merit took place the following evening, the 27th, so it was a busy 2 days.

The exhibition – which contains the work of SASA’s top 44 artists – per the judging for the Annual exhibition late last year - was opened by Derric van Rensburg who delivered a thoughtful, amusing and most entertaining speech.  Sales at the Merit have been good – 47 in total – and in next month’s newsletter we’ll be able to provide a full analysis of the exhibition and sales.  We’ll also be able to show cumulative statistics for the year up to and including this Merit exhibition.  ’It was curated very well, and the standard of the works speaks for themselves’ said Natalie Hirschman.

Natalie, Andrew and Derric
For those of you who missed the Critique session – well, you missed a marvellous evening, one of the best ever - based on the enthusiastic feedback received!   The 3 judges from Selection Day last August – Natalie Hirschman, Andrew Lamprecht and Derric van Rensburg – came back and shared with us their reasons for the scores they awarded.   In addition, they provided invaluable advice and constructive criticism as to how the paintings could be improved. 

Each participating member brought up to 3 of their Selection Day works. A member’s works were displayed on easels on the stage, each bearing the total score awarded.   Each judge then discussed their views and opinions on the works.  It was unanimously agreed that their crits were honest, fair, passionate and well-informed.  It was also notable that the judges sometimes differed in opinion on some works and this fact illustrated that art is indeed subjective and that viewpoints do vary.  Importantly, their crits were constructive and kind.   ‘It was most interesting, informative and inspiring, filled with insight and with gentle but constructive critiques, from which we can all learn’ wrote member Adele Galgut.   It was the most informative and valuable art lesson that I for one, have probably ever attended.   SASA’s mission statement includes the words [SASA is there] ‘for the advancement of Art’.  That night really lived up to our goal, and also broke our Monthly Meeting attendance record – with 113 members attending.

Natalie made an interesting comment that night, noting that her own art has changed as she ‘has learnt so much through the whole experience’ of being a judge for us.  She too enters many competitions and had always believed that the most important aspect was technical excellence.  But, after looking at over 470 paintings on our Selection day, many of which were indeed technically faultless, she has come to realise that a painting needs something else, something more, something that makes one stop and want to look again ... that indefinable ‘WOW!’ factor.  It could be a certain glow of light or use of colour or .... that’s the thing, it’s beyond description … but one recognises it when one sees it.

Lorna Jakins