I recently took a trip to the southern Drakensberg with some friends. I have been visiting the area since I was a small child and it is, in my opinion, just one of the most breathtakingly beautiful areas to visit in KZN. Visiting the berg at this time of year I was really looking forward to being inspired by the warm colours of late winter/ early spring veld. Visiting an area like the berg the scenic beauty is almost overwhelming. It’s a curious kind of beauty really in that the aesthetic appeal is obvious, even blatant and yet, if you sit in unobtrusive observation you become aware of a beauty that is far less obvious, with a far greater intricacy and appeal. Subtlety is, in my opinion the most genuine form of beauty.
Included in our original itinerary was to visit some of the galleries local to the Underberg area. I had really been looking forward to admiring the work of the local artists; I am always incredibly impressed when artists manage to capture feeling and emotion in landscapes.
Unfortunately, of the two galleries we had hoped to visit the first was “closed for construction” and the second was simple “closed”, so not much luck there. So unfortunately there is not too much “artistic” news to share in this post but I thought I’d focus rather on the extreme beauty of the area and how it inspires me to get in touch with my creative side.
Whilst hiking in the mountains, observing the amazing variety of flora which exists in such harsh conditions I was filled with admiration for artists who are able to capture the beauty of that incredible landscape. It got me thinking about landscape artists in general. Painting a landscape is so very different to painting a person or animal (my typical subject matter). I have attempted one or two landscapes in the past and I will be the first to say that there is major room for improvement (understatement of the century), but landscape painting is definitely something I would like to work on because there are just so many incredible scenes in this country that are worth capturing.
This trip reminded me once again of how incredibly diverse and special South Africa is and more so, just how truly grateful I am to be able to share this trough my work. I have returned home truly inspired to paint.