Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Around the Eastern Cape

A cluster of drawings and watercolours from the late-1980s reveals that I did a fair amount of travelling through the Eastern Cape.

This is a view towards some of the towering sand dunes along the coast at my beloved Bonza Bay, where I grew up.

Walk along the beach from Bonzies to Nahoon Mouth and you're likely to spot fishermen on the rocks, their lines buffeted by the often turbulent surf.

This seems to be a view from the Nahoon side of Bonza Bay towards Gonubie.

Cape Recife is a wonderful nature reserve at the point of the Port Elizabeth peninsula. I have a feeling one or two of the old houses adjacent to the historic lighthouse have been demolished in recent years.

Somehow, purely by chance, this acquired a wonderful nautical feel. Below is a sketch of a trawler in Algo Bay, while above is a man on a bench overlooking the sea. What mystifies me is what the ship's wheel-like shape is.

This little rock, which juts out of the sea near Pollok Beach is a favoured resting place for cormorants. Notice the man walking amidst the rocks at low tide.

The Donkin Reserve was declared public open space by Sir Rufane Donkin, acting governor of the Cape, shortly after the arrival of the 1820 British settlers. Viewed through some of the foliage on "the Donkin" is the top of the clock tower on the Grey Institute (1859).

Just nearby is the Hill Presbyterian Church (1883). In the foreground are four of the row of Donkin Street terrace houses (1860-1880).

The St Matthews Mission Anglican church, which was built around 1855. My wife-to-be Robyn and I visited friends of hers at the mission in the late 1980s. He was a young minister, but later went back to university to study law.

Through my new partner I again got involved in the Karoo. She and her family, though based in Cape Town, had spent most of their childhood holidays on their grandparents' farm near Steynsburg. These two koppies, Teebus and Koffiebus, are near the farm. Foolishly, I started to paint a watercolour wash over the sky and found the ink simply ran all over the show.

This is one of the koppies viewed from Robyn's grandparents' farm, which was owned and run by her uncle when we visited.

I'm not sure where we ventured on this ostrich, but it was certainly on the move.

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