This Christmas, we were on a road trip with my sister and her family. The long hours of driving through the rolling grasslands of the Free State and the arid beauty of the Karoo made me wish that I was more of a landscape artist.
Although the arty side of me wants to leap out of the car with paints and easel, when I do have a moment to paint or draw, I gravitate towards the people or animals around me.
And they are a fidgety bunch! Landscapes and Still Life painting must be gratifying because the subject matter doesn’t twitch, or move or change, except for the shifting light and maybe a bit of wind. People scratch their noses, get distracted, get bored and just can’t help moving.
I managed to persuade my nephew to sit still for me, but the trade-off was that he had to read his book. Ah well, I get the challenge of foreshortening to play with! The only problem with reading is the hands, especially on fast readers. They flip pages so often you haven’t a hope of getting them to settle down to one pose, so it was either make it up, impose upon my subject to read a lot slower or just leave it out. I decided to be kind to my victim and neither invent a strangely mutated hand nor ask him to read at snail’s pace.