ArtB Tiny Treasures 2021

Every year the Arts Association of Bellville holds an exhibition called Tiny Treasures. The Tiny Treasures are small works of art, limited in size to 20 x 20 cm. For ArtB Tiny Treasures 2021 I made four oil paintings of mountain paths. This year there was a selection and I was very happy that ArtB chose my works for this exhibition.

A track in the northern Cederberg

I have been hiking in the mountains for years and because I take a lot of photos, I had a large number of images of paths to choose. The first thing was to choose the right images, but that took a while. I needed to have shadows on the paths to give them depth. There also had to be something interesting to look at in the direction the path was heading.

A path in the Silvermine section of the Table Mountain National Park

I started by sketching the outlines of the paths and mountains on the canvas and used a black acrylic Posca Pen for this. The marks are quite strong and as intended, some of these marks remained visible once I started painting. Working on all four at the same time and moving from one to the other, I ensured that they all have a similar colour palette and work together as a set.

A path in the northern Cederberg

I really enjoyed painting these little works for ArtB Tiny Treasures 2021 and as I’m even more inspired by mountains now intend to do some more mountain paintings for my next body of work.

A path on Table Mountain

The exhibition is online only and ends on the 24th of July. All the works are up on the ArtB website

My 2017 ArtB Tiny Treasures are on this page

Lockdown Sketches

During lockdown I was not able to go out sketching and painting with the two groups I belong to.
One of the groups, Urban Sketchers Cape Town, suggested that we sketched what we saw at home, so I went into my garden in Plumstead and sketched there. 

Garden Sketch 1

I really enjoyed spending time in the garden and observing the plants and insects! I discovered that we have two resident lizards.

Garden Sketch 2

Sketch 3 was done after a visit to the nursery. I put the little plants on the table outside and they looked so good I had to sketch them.

Garden Sketch 3

The fourth garden sketch shows the doorway to my outside studio with some of my still lifes inside.

Garden Sketch 4

The fifth sketch was done inside. I decided to sketch some of the things on the kitchen dresser.

Sketch 5 – Kitchen Dresser

The sketches are all A5 in size. Happily one of the sketching groups has started up again and I look forward to joining them soon!

Sketching in Kalk Bay

Over the last few weeks our painting and sketching group has met in Kalk Bay quite a few times. (When it wasn’t raining!) There is so much to see there, we never ran out of things to paint and draw. For those who don’t know it, Kalk Bay was a fishing village, and still has a working harbour and retains its quaint atmosphere. It also has some very interesting junk and antique shops and art galleries. There are plenty of coffee shops and other places to eat. All the sketches below are A5 in size.

Kalk Bay Books, a wonderful book shop on the Main Road.
The Kalk Bay Trading Co, a fascinating shop
Fishing Boats
Kalk Bay Harbour Wall
Cormorants on a Rock

My Favourite Things

When I set up a still life, I try to use classic kitchen items. I have found that I have some favourites that I have painted a few times.

One is a porcelain jug which belonged to my grandmother. It says “CTC Coffee” on it. I believe it stands for “Cape to Cairo”. I like it because it has a simple but elegant shape.

CTC Jug and Plums

This is another white jug, enamel this time. It has a nice simple shape and I have painted it a few times. The cloth is also a favourite which belonged to my mother and has happy memories of family dinners.

White Jug and Guavas

I love enamel and have quite a collection. A lot of the pieces are turquoise, like the bowl below. They belonged to my mother and that was her favourite colour. It’s also a lovely colour to paint.

Turquoise Bowl and Lemons.

The painting below has another classic white jug in it, with a red tin given to me by my niece. The cloth is a favourite which I love painting. I bought a pair of them at a white elephant sale.

Still Life with Quinces

Art Society Paintout

The Constantiaberg Art Society held a members exhibition at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in January. During the show, on Saturday 19 January, members painted near the exhibition hall and promoted the Society and exhibition.

All participating artists were invited and six took part. Jeremy Day was first to arrive and set to work on some paintings of jars of sweets in his detailed realist style. You can see his finished works at

Next to arrive was Karin Davel, who “draws” with a sewing machine! She sat next to Jeremy and was soon busy sewing a portrait of him.

Karin Davel and Jeremy Day. Photo: Belinda Basson

Andrew Mogatla set up his easel across the way and painted the Dylan Lewis cheetah sculpture below the steps in his distinctive style. Read more about him here

Andrew Mogkatla. Photo: Belinda Basson

Belinda Basson and Elsa-Marie Fourie sat on a bench outside the hall with their easels and painted the view from there.

Belinda Basson (front) and Elsa-Marie Fourie.

I sat near Andrew and sketched Castle Rocks and the tea room and garden below.

Kirstenbosch Tea Room with Castle Rocks above.

Visitors to the garden came and chatted to the artists and went to look at the exhibition inside. We all enjoyed the day. Thanks to Kirstenbosch for letting us do this; it was fun!

Back to the Cedarberg

I was lucky enough to be invited on another hiking trip to the Cedarberg last month. We went back to the remote area near the village of Heuningvlei. There was a huge difference compared to last year’s trip in March when it was very dry. This time the landscape seemed much more alive as the streams were running strongly and there were plenty of flowers about.

Pool at Boontkjieskloof

From the Heuningvlei hut we climbed Middle Krakadouw and then went on to the Boontjieskloof hut.


Flowers next to the path

We had quite a relaxed time and I managed to do two sketches.

Sketch of Boontjieskloof Hut

Our last night was spent at the backpackers lodge at Heuningvlei where we enjoyed the hot showers and comfortable beds. Our dinner was prepared by ladies from the Heuningvlei community. It’s a picturesque old mission village and most of the houses have thatched roofs.

House at Heuningvlei

I took a lot of photos of the village in the evening and early morning.

Morning in Heuningvlei

More Holiday Sketches

After leaving the West country (see previous post) I went to spend a couple of nights with friends in a village in Herefordshire.

I did a sketch of the house before I left.

On the way back from Herefordshire I spent the afternoon in Worcester. While I was there, did a couple of small (about 8 x 8 cm) sketches in my sketchpack.

Path on the bank of the Severn, Worcester


Door, Worcester Cathedral

The next stop on the itinerary was Woodbridge in Suffolk, situated on the river Deben about 8 miles from the coast. I sat on a bench one morning when the tide was out and sketched the boats with the Tide Mill in the background.

The Tide Mill on the River Deben, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The next evening we went to the Star Inn in Wenhaston and I just had time for a quick sketch before we went inside for our dinner.

The Star Inn, Wenhaston, Suffolk.

I spent the last week in Gloucestershire and sketched the Market Hall, in Chipping Campden. Built in 1627, it was being repaired and there was some plastic sheeting on the roof!

The Market Hall, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.

In Mickleton I spent a happy hour sitting on the edge of a grave, sketching the church of St Lawrence.The atmosphere was very English accompanied by the calls of rooks.

The Church of St Lawrence, Mickleton, Gloucestershire.

My final sketch was a portrait of my sister’s dog, Rufus, who posed very well!


UK Holiday Sketches – Cornwall and Devon

I did a few sketches while on a busy visit to the UK in May and June, more than I did on my last visit – see blog post

My sketchbook was made with half smooth paper and half Bockingford watercolour paper in a square format. I also took along a “Sketchpack” for tiny quick sketches.
The trip started with a week in Looe, Cornwall, with visits to St Ives, Penzance, and Polperro.

St Ives

Quick sketch of a street in St Ives.

St. Ives

It’s a magical place, full of quaint narrow lanes, beautiful views and plenty of art galleries. There were some open studios and  exhibitions at the St Ives Arts Club and the St Ives Society of Artists’ Summer Exhibition There was some lovely work on show.

St Ives Society of Artists Exhibition


An old fishing town with houses on both steep sides of the tidal river, Looe is a visual delight. The sketch below was done sitting on the back of a bench half way up a hill and looking up river towards the bridge. The seagull posed obligingly for quite a while.

A view of Looe with Seagull.

East Cornwall Society of Artists Exhibition, Polperro

We walked the magnificent coastal path to the quaint town of Polperro. Popped in at the East Cornwall Society of Artists Annual Exhibition there. As well as paintings, they had some really nice ceramic pieces on show.


In Penzance I visited the Penlee House Art Gallery: and saw the exhibition ‘Bringing Home the Catch: Art and Fishing in Newlyn 1880 – 1940’. Afterwards I sketched in the Garden of Remembrance next to the Gallery. Open Studios Cornwall was on at the time and we popped in to see the exciting work of Glyn Macey,

Garden of Remembrance next to the Penlee Art Gallery, Penzance.


At the end of the trip we visited Kingsbridge and Salcombe in Devon.  While in Salcombe I looked at the Salcombe Art Club Summer Exhibition, which was very good. I also had time for two quick sketches of views from the window of a pub in Salcombe.

Quick sketches done in Salcombe.

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.


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