Monday, October 11, 2010

Graaff-Reinet revisited

As noted on an earlier posting, in the early- to mid-1980s I was married to a Graaff-Reinet woman, which led to our making regular visits to her parents living in this, the gem of the Karoo. I found another sketch pad in my stash with more drawings from that time. This was very thin, almost translucent, A4 paper, which seemed to agree with the oil pastels I was using.

One of my better drawings of the magnificent Spandau Kop overlooking Graaff-Reinet.

The majesty of mountains - a view probably from the top of the Valley of Desolation.

Another view at the Valley of Desolation, looking down on some of the towering dolorite columns which make this one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in SA.

The vistas from the look-out points at the Valley of Desolation are often breathtaking.

One of my brothers-in-law from that first, short-lived marriage, taking in the view.

In the distance, the jagged edge of the Trandjiesberg.

Back at her folks' place, her father's favourite chair.

Another chair in the house.

Back home, I gather, in our flat in Kestrel Street, PE. We had this noisy parakeet, which, like my marriage, eventually flew away.

Working in pen now, this is a sketch of a delicate carving I brought back with me from my sole stint on "The Border" as a military conscript in 1983, which has been covered earlier.

A close-up view of the head of that carving.

At that age, in my case anyway, young men are afflicted by a rampant libido. It often drives us into marriage for the wrong reasons. You are lucky to survive relatively unscathed and still in pocket. Anyway, one way of dealing with all those thoughts, I found, was to draw. This is a somewhat stylised view of a woman apparently washing.

So what if one celebrates the female form - as I have done in this drawing from a very fertile imagination.

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