All Posts By

Linda Howe Ely

Sketching at the SA Astronomical Observatory

The Urban Sketchers Cape Town had an outing at the SAAO today. The observatory was founded in 1820 and has the atmosphere of a place from an earlier time, in spite of being in a large city. It is surrounded by the waters of the Liesbeek and Black Rivers on three sides and there is a wonderful view of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak. It was cloudy when we arrived but the clouds lifted, with some cloud remaining on the peaks which was dramatic and beautiful. Some wonderful sketches were produced by the group in a short time.

I did a sketch of one of the buildings, and one of the mountain.

The Enamel Bowl

We were hiking at Cape Point a couple of weeks ago when I spotted a small white enamel bowl half buried next to the path. I love old enamel so put it in my rucksack and took it home. Although the rim was rusted away it cleaned up quite nicely and didn’t even have any holes!

I decided to put it in a still life with an old jug that belonged to my grandmother. I filled it with naartjies (tangerines) and put the bowl and jug on an Iranian cloth.

The painting is 25 by 25 centimetres. I really enjoyed painting this one; think it was the colours.


Noordhoek Plein Air Festival 7 April

I was invited to take part in the Noordhoek Plein Air Festival, held for the first time this year.

Noordhoek is a rustic and attractive part of the Cape so is an ideal place to paint outdoors. Over 50 artists took park and spent Saturday painting all over Noordhoek. I started off with a sketch of the beach.

It started getting a bit hot at the beach so I moved on to the common, which has lots of shady trees. I found a nice spot with a path leading through the trees and settled down to do my second sketch. Lots of people wandered past looking at at what all the artists were doing, others were picnicking or playing cricket on the grass so there was a nice atmosphere.

One of the picnickers was Joanna who was there with her son. They looked so nice sitting in a patch of sun on the green grass so I started sketching them.

I had had enough sketching by then so packed up. I mounted my sketches and took them to the Noordhoek Farm Village where the auction was being held. All the works were arranged on easels and numbered. Everything was very well organised.

My first sketch, of the beach, went to the highest bidder, but there was not enough time to sell artists’ second or third works. Joanna was keen to buy the sketch of herself and her son, so she bought that one.

All in all a great day out!

Light on the Saddle

I recently sold this oil landscape, titled “Light on the Saddle”. It measures 50 x 40 cm. The spot depicted is a neck between Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain called “The Saddle”. The painting shows the view from the eastern side, from Newlands. I love the drama of changing light on the mountain and was fascinated by the way the sunlight, coming under the cloud from the west, fell only on the Saddle. The top of Devil’s Peak is obscured by cloud.

Recent Still Life Paintings

Here are some photos of still life paintings I have done this year and last. The most recent was a small 25 x 25cm oil painting of apricots in an enamel bowl, below. The bowl was given to me years ago by my the mother of my art school friend, also Linda.

Below is another still life I painted this year. I really find some vegetables very attractive and just have to paint them!

I painted this still life with a cauliflower in 2016.

Every week fruit and vegetable sellers come to our house and one day they had some quinces for sale. I had to buy them to paint, and arranged them in front of our cookie jar, on an Iranian cloth. I was delighted when the owner of an interior design shop in the UK bought this work.

Another small still life I did this year was this one, below, of guavas in front of a jar with a pink geranium in it. It was bought by a lady who moved from South Africa to the UK, and misses guavas!

The still life below features a jug I inherited from my grandmother. It has the  letters CTC on it; this was a brand of coffee called Cape to Cairo, I was told. I put some deep red plums in front of it.

I painted the one below in 2016. The bowl was my mother’s. It also went to the UK.

UK Sketches

I went to the UK last month and visited family and friends in England. Also spent a week in Wales hiking and sightseeing. There wasn’t much time or opportunity to sketch but I managed these two.

Canterbury High Street

Betwys – y Coed Station

Tiny Treasures Exhibition

Four landscapes exhibited at the Tiny Treasures Exhibition at the ArtB Gallery, Bellville, in July. Each one is 20 x 20 cms and are painted in oil on canvas. This is an annual event organised by the Belville Art Society as a fundraiser. There were many beautiful little works on the exhibition.