Category Archives: painting holiday

2010 art project promotes Africa

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2 October 2009

The 2010 Fine Art project, a visual celebration of the world’s most-watched sporting event, is assembling an international collection by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists to promote African visual arts and Africa as a powerful cultural destination.

2010 Fine Art is a South African company that has acquired a global licence to produce and distribute fine art related to the 2010 Fifa World Cup – the first time in the 80-year history of the tournament that Fifa has granted such a licence.

And according to general manager Rob Spaull, the project will be one of the largest international art collaborations in history.

“We are assembling an international collection by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists that celebrates Africa and the Fifa World Cup,” Spaull said in a a statement last month.

“With five artists from each nation that qualifies to play in South Africa, we will have 160 original works from every corner of the globe.

“Add to that the exceptional pieces being assembled for the 2010 African Fine Art Collection, and the fact that we will be exhibiting not only here in South Africa but in all 32 countries during 2010, and you start to get a sense of how big an opportunity this is to promote African art and Africa as a destination of choice.”

According to Spaull, 2010 Fine Art is busy adding artists to its international and African collections, and has begun to identify and appoint gallery partners in the 32 countries where it will be exhibiting.

“The second phase of development will see the creation of a three-dimensional virtual art gallery in which all of the works from both collections will be able to be viewed online as part of a seamless virtual walkthrough,” Spaull said.

The 2010 Fine Art website – www.2010fineart.com – allows visitors to see which countries have qualified for the World Cup and what art is available from each. As new teams qualify, their art will be loaded and updated.

“Art is a language common to all,” says Spaull. “It opens windows of understanding between foreign cultures, and unites peoples who might otherwise share no common experiences. Sport, like art, creates bridges between cultures, and brings people together through shared excitement.

“The eyes of the world are turning to South Africa as never before. We must make every use of these global opportunities to promote African visual arts and Africa.”

SAinfo reporter

Mother Nature’s spoils

I take a different look at nature, not how to paint it but rather how to appreciate Mother Nature’s spoils.

I have taken the liberty of using information from CC Africa RANGERS so as to be sure my info to you is correct.

I don’t really think you will ever need this trivia, except in a quiz, but it’s fun to know and just one of the ways our rangers are able to enhance your South African Painting Holiday with masses of African titbit’s and Ranger stories. So here goes:

Five useful remedies that can be found in the bush:

  • Russet Bushwillow – makes a great herbal tea.
  • Sodom Apple – the juice is used to treat fresh wounds.
  • Acacia – the cambium is chewed and the juice swallowed to treat stomach disorders.
  • Aloe Secundiflora – the inner plant can be applied on skin as protection from the sun.
  • Lippia Javonica – crushing and inhaling the leaves will help to relieve colds and flu.
  • Lions-paw – an extract from the plant mixed with pumpkin seeds is used to treat tapeworm.
  • Now wasn’t that really interesting? Next time you are painting a Lippia Javonica you’ll be reminded of this article and be able to act all knowledgeable. However, I’ve lived in Africa for years and have never met anyone using any of these cures, (well maybe the aloe even I use aloes) but then again I live in the suburbs of the third largest city in South Africa, with every amenity available to me, so maybe that’s why!

    A Thought 4 U

    “Don’t copy anyone else. You are the best one of you there is. Be yourself, and exaggerate yourself slightly.”
    Paul Daniels, Magician
    par exellence

Here’s how to do the diski dance

Forget the macarena. Forget the moonwalk, or the new move reportedly planned for Michael Jackson’s comeback. South Africa’s own diski dance is set to get the world jiving to an African rhythm when the football World Cup arrives on the continent for the first time.

The diski, comprising a series of choreographed soccer moves, features in the latest television advert from South African Tourism, aimed at generating excitement at home and abroad ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

The advert will air on global channels including CNN, BBC, Eurosport and Skysport between now and the World Cup kickoff on 11 June 2010, giving soccer fans a chance to learn the moves and “feel the rhythm of African football”.

Click here to play video.

Posted on SouthAfrica.info on 20 May 2009.

Combine football with a wonderful painting holiday tour of KwaZulu Natal to have the best of all worlds in one glorious package.

Star Gazing

Now is a good time to book your painting holiday in November to incorporate a spot of Star Gazing and painting, as in the southern hemisphere, November is a great month to lie back on a mountain slope, or on a sand dune still warm from the days sun and do a spot of star gazing. Here you can watch the antics of wonderfully named comets such as Encke and Tempel-Tuttle whose orbits pop through our earth’s orbit making it possible for us to see fantastic meteor showers producing spectacular shooting stars.

Every year around November 17, plus or minus a week the displays from these comets are truly spectacular with thousands of ‘shooting stars’ flashing across the sky every hour. They are said to be linked to the formation of Stonehenge and the Star of Bethlehem.

When you join our South African Painting Holidays at one of our Berg, Bush or Beach lodges far away from the light pollution of the cities, you will see the night skies in all their glory, like nothing you will have experienced in Europe or much of the USA… so treat yourself to a luxury painting holiday you will never forget and enjoy natures own firework display in Africa this year.

Still on a light note (pun intended ;))
Here is my favourite BUMPER STICKER for artists..
“2b or not 2b”
From the artist network forum

Painting in mountains where once dinosaur walked

Facts courtesy of KZN Wildlife Rhino Club

The Drakensberg Mountains, meaning “Dragon’s Mountain” in Afrikaans and called uKhahlamba, “barrier of spears” in isiZulu, are the highest mountains in Southern Africa, rising up to 3,482 m (11,422 ft) in height. Geologically, they are formed from basalt and sandstone resulting in a combination of steep-sided blocks and pinnacles. The sandstone layer was deposited as the remnants of a gigantic sea that occupied much of what is now Southern Africa some 500 Million years ago. The Basaltic layer which overlies this was deposited about 220 Million years ago in what many geologists think was the largest volcanic eruption in the history of the world linked with the splitting of the tectonic plates of Africa and South America.

In these mountains we often find fossilised sea shells and wonder how they could be here when we are so far above the sea. Even more curious are dinosaur footprints on the roof of a cave at Giant`s Castle! These footprints were left in the silt of the ancient sea. The Drakensberg is one of only two mountain ranges (along with the Simian Mountains of Ethiopia) to have been formed in this geological way, which accounts for its extraordinarily distinctive formations and colours. The landscape is dominated by extremely steep cliffs, some of them amongst the most impressive cliff faces on earth, such as the Amphitheatre Caves and overhangs are frequent in the more easily eroded sandstone It is here in the caves and on rock faces that the ‘First People’, the San Bushmen, lived and where they painted their view of life in these mountains.

You can come with me to see these extraordinary paintings and paint a few of your own in this amazing part of the world, while enjoying a South African Painting Holiday

Photographic help from David Peterson

Today some photographic help from David Peterson

David discusses exactly how to use his technique in lesson 2 of his free Image Editing Secrets course. He has a tutorial for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and the free Google Picassa.

Have you had a problem when shooting scenes with both inside and outside subjects.

Either everything inside is dark in the resulting photo, or everything outside is too bright. When a photo has a high dynamic range. That is, they have bright sunlight and dark shadows. It is impossible with current technology to have both parts of the photo correctly exposed.
While you can’t eliminate the problem entirely, there are a couple of choices you can make to minimze the problem.

Recompose The Photo

This is probably the simplest solution. Take a photo of a scene with very bright and very dark parts, move your camera to eliminate one of the extremes ie either close curtains for the shot, or take the photo from the window looking inside.

Use Exposure Lock

If you can’t recompose the photograph, instead tell the camera what part of the image you would like to see. The rest of the photo will be either over or under exposed (too bright or too dark) but at least you will see your subject. You can do this by placing the center of the image at your subject; half depressing the shutter to lock the focus and exposure; move the camera to re-compose the image; and fully depress the shutter.

Some cameras have an option called ’spot metering’ to set the part of the image you’d like to be correctly exposed. If your camera has this setting, enable it before using the technique above.

Use Fill In Flash

If your scene has a sunny background, but your subject is in the shade (or has a hat on), turn on the flash. I know it seems wrong but it really does work! By using the flash, your subject will look as bright as the background.

Use a Filter

If your scene is of a bright sky and a dark ground (for instance at sunset, or on a cloudy day), you can use a graduated neutral density filter. This filter cuts out some of the light from one part of the photo (the sky). This will correctly expose the ground and the sky. These filters can be complex to setup, so I don’t usually recommend them for beginners.

Fix The Original Photo in an Image Editing Program

Finally, if you can’t take another shot at the same location, you can fix the original image by changing the levels using a paint program. This works best when your subject is darker than the rest of the photo (because cameras lose detail in over-bright areas). The darker the subject, the harder time you will have fixing the image.”

MY PAINTING TIP FOR TODAY

Techniques are useful tools to learn but your style will become apparent as soon as you understand that you need to produce not the likeness of a scene or object, but an account of how you as an artist, relate to it
Thanks to Bob Brandt, issue: A&I March 2006

P.S. Accept our warm invitation to join me on a painting holiday I promise you will remember – forever!
ALSO: Remember there are only a few days left to book your holiday with South African Painting Holidays if you want to take advantage of
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Frogs in my garden

On the 2nd of February it was World Wetlands Day which commemorates the signing of the RAMSAR Convention, an international agreement on wetland protection.

As we have a lovely couple of days painting in iSimangaliso Wetlands Park it’s a good time to reflect on the wet world of our froggy friends and their cheerful cacophony and the enormous good they do in controlling insect pests.

They are apparently some of the most sensitive indicators of environmental damage and any chemicals or pesticides in their habitats have a devastating impact on frog populations.

There was a time a few years ago, when the whistles, chirps or croaks of frogs were rarely heard in the suburbs, even though many gardens had pools or water features. But, that certainly isn’t the case today. Our rather strange weather, wetter than normal, has proved a sheer delight to the frog populations in my suburb and on warm and wet nights they are regaling us with very loud frog serenades.

I hopefully presume that this is a good indication that the message is getting through to Joe Public to use substances that are environmentally friendly.