Friday, 28 April 2017

Wild Flowers and Pollinators Exhibition - Irma Stern Museum

An exhibition titled, Wild Flowers and Pollinators, will be held at UCT Irma Stern Museum from 13 April until 3 June. It will feature loans of botanical art of historical importance selected from Kirstenbosch’s Compton Herbarium and the University of Stellenbosch’s JS Gericke Library, seldom or never previously displayed. A contemporary component of work for sale will be provided by members of the Botanical Artists Association of Southern Africa, (BAASA), which range in scale from small paintings of birds and butterflies to an innovative floral scroll measuring eight metres.

Most of the loans date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The highlight is a set of plates by Ethel May Dixie painted in gouache and watercolour for Rudolf Marloth’s “The Flora of South Africa” on loan from the University of Stellenbosch. This pioneering publication with its richly coloured illustrations was commissioned in 1905 by Florence Phillips and issued in four volumes between 1913 and 1932. Other contributing artists represented include Florence and Emily Thwaits, Esther Smith and Peter McManus.

A complementary programme of events has been arranged, inspired by the natural world depicted in the paintings. Visit the website for details.

A pop up tearoom and walkabouts will be available each Wednesday from 10.30am until 12.30pm.

Curator Mary van Blommestein: “It is such a wonderful opportunity to be inspired and see our magnificent flora and some remarkable pollinators through the eyes of superb botanical artists from yesteryear and today”.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dead Leaves

Willie Schlechter Course in Gauteng - 07 to 09 April 2017

The theme of 'Dead Leaves' was perfect for this time of the year as autumn has set in to Gauteng.

We were asked to focus on putting in layer upon layer of neutrals to build up the form. Some beautiful colours were mixed, but Payne's Grey was definitely banned from the class (as it should be from all paint palettes).

Willie is a very patien​t teacher coaxing the best out of each artist. It was a good exercise for most of us to slow down and focus on form and fine details. We did not all complete our one leaf during the three days, but it was a wonderful fun time in the studio.


The Group with Willie

All the projects

Discussion time

The success of this workshop was the result of ​everyone's positive participation​, which is​ the recipe that makes a workshop of this nature a very happy and enjoyable learning experience.

Above all a very big thanks to Gill who remains the driving force and commitment to the art and our ongoing botanical journey to personal perfection. ​She is the person who does all the ground work in making gem moments like this happen. Thank you Gill​.


A happy vibe

Monday, 10 April 2017

Painting the Veld - A botanical artist’s contribution to preserving African wilderness

This article used with permission of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), copyright 2017, ASBA. 

STORY BY Jenny Hyde-Johnson

 Daily strolls from her studio in the Malmani Nature Reserve, South Africa, inspire Jenny Hyde-Johnson’s work. She grew up on the outskirts of Johannesburg with an abundance of wildlife and indigenous flora on the doorstep. Hours rambling through the surrounding veld offered an opportunity to study plants, birds, and insects up close and nurtured her life-long love of nature. Following a 25-year career in graphic design, Jenny now paints full-time the flora and fauna of South Africa. Her detailed botanical paintings won gold medals at all three Kirstenbosch Biennales she entered (2006, 2008, and 2013), and her 2008 pieces were named Best in Show. Jenny’s work was selected for the Hunt Institute’s 15th International Exhibition. Several private collectors, including Shirley Sherwood, own her paintings. Says Jenny: “My aim is to capture the rich tapestry of nature, habitat, light, posture, and jizz; to portray the very essence of organisms, their symbiosis, and the interconnectedness of life. So many subjects, so little time…”

Parinari capensis subsp. capensis with seed dispersal via single striped mice (amongst others), 12 x 20 in, gouache on paper, ©2008, Jenny Hyde-Johnson. This is one of Southern Africa’s underground trees that populated the earth at the time of the dinosaurs and before grasses had evolved. I love to show habitat as this is what shaped and nurtured the plant into what it is when I painted it.

PANTING, I HURRY UP THE LAST SECTION OF NARROW DIRT PATH and crest the hill. I suppress a gasp at the magnificence of the view opening up before me. No matter how many times I come this way, the gorgeous unspoiled beauty, stretching from these gorges of Leeuwenkloof many miles to the majestic Magaliesberg mountains beyond, never ceases to amaze and delight my soul.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

BAASA Gauteng AGM: Honorary Life Membership Awarded to Gillian Condy & more - photos

At the BAASA Gauteng AGM, held on 11 March 2017, Gillian Condy was awarded a certificate for Honorary Life Membership of BAASA. She was also presented with a gift of beautiful hand-crafted Gingko biloba leaf silver earrings.

Gill receiving her award certificate from Helene Joubert

Proudly wearing her new earrings

​From Gill: I wish to express thanks to the three regional committees for supporting my nomination for Honorary Life Membership of BAASA, which was presented on Saturday, along with some beautiful Gingko leaf silver earrings. Thank you Helene, for organizing them, and you, the BAASA members, for something I have desired for some time. I feel very honoured.

A new committee was elected. Helene Joubert stood down from the committee after many years of dedication to committee work. Thank you, Helene, and we wish you health and happiness as you find more time to paint. Welcome to two new committee members, Gwenda Caplan & Jax Mahaffey; thank you for making yourselves available. Not to mention a special thanks too, to those who have already served on the committee and given up so much of their time to help out. The Reluctant Chairman and Treasurer had their arms twisted to serve another year on the committee - you are very special and deserve a special thanks, so "Thank You!".

From lt to rt: Ronelle Oosthuizen (Newsletter & Graphics), Jackie Hugo (Secretary), Gwenda Caplan & Ingrid Howes (Events), Gill Condy (Reluctant Chairman), Mary Jones (Reluctant Treasurer), Margie Firer & Jax Mahaffey (Events).

Petro Lemmer, a botanist with an incredible knowledge of the flora of Gauteng, gave a most engaging talk on Spirals in Nature and showed us places where we never imagined they exist.

Guest speaker Petro Lemmer.