Paarl Rock: Painting of Stone Tree!

Plein-air painting of tree in Paarl:

This plein-air watercolour painting of an umbrella stone tree was done at Paarl Rock reserve, outside the town of Paarl, in the Cape, South Africa. Check google map below. Umbrella trees are sometimes called stone trees or Italian stone trees. Its botanical name is pinus pinea.

Paarl Rock reserve view

A5 watercolour: Umbrella pine tree. Scene from the Paarl Rock reserve parking and braai area.

 

Paarl Rock directions

Google map of the town Paarl, in the Cape, South Africa

Our eldest daughter and her husband took us to see the and the beauty of the reserve. And while we looked round the reserve, I took photos.

Paarl Rock is a huge bulbous granite rock,

an igneous outcrop of rock that towers high up above the reserve in all its glory.

Paarl Rock

Small dam in the reserve. Paarl Rock is seen in the background.

While the men and our eldest daughter were away hiking up Paarl Rock, our youngest daughter and I sat down at some benches to do some plein-air painting. The panoramic view before us was so stunning laid out before us! She had never done any plein-air painting before, so it was a great new learning curve for her.  I only had a small location paint box and a few brushes with me. I laid out my painting gear on one of the tables and shared it with her.

I included an umbrella tree in my watercolour:

Well I had to, didn’t I!?  Couldn’t give up the chance to paint one when it was standing right there at the edge of the parking area.  I’ve only seen the stone pines in Cape Town and in New Zealand. In New Zealand they look more haggard. Maybe the wind factor is much stronger there along the west coast.

Paarl rock reserve

Photo of some umbrella trees in Paarl Rock reserve.

I love these trees because of their strong characteristics. My watercolour painting doesn’t show their odd twisted branches. Perhaps because this tree is farther inland, away from the strong winds the Cape Town Table Mountain umbrella trees have to contend with.

I long to paint these trees in oils!

Can you imagine a scene with their dark dramatic shapes against a stormy mountain scene! Wow. My senses just sizzle when I see misty or atmospheric weather conditions. Do you also get that feeling of excitement when you see something great that attracts and appeals to you, and you feel you just must paint it?! Please leave your comment below in the comment block at the bottom of the page.

Want to see more plein-air paintings?

Check out the plein-air painting’s page and category:  My location gear and Delta Park cosmos painting.

How to paint Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos flowers on a rainy misty day:

Want to paint cosmos flowers? With each blog I do, I like to include artistic tips. So there is always something for artists to learn from my blogs and website.

On the day we landed up in Delta Park, west of Johannesburg:

Our eldest daughter picked us up and then a friend, intending to have a lovely outing together in spite of the weather.

Sometimes the weather isn’t great for painting outdoors. But, because you’re found yourself in a lovely spot, you can’t miss the opportunity of taking photos. Here now, was the chance to gather visual aid material I could use later. Which I have!

Cosmos flowers grow in Delta Park

Photo of the river running through Delta Park, Johannesburg.

On this day in 2009 it had been raining. We waited quietly in the car until the rain stopped. Then I jumped out of the car and took as many photos as I could, of the tranquil atmosphere around us. To me that was exciting. Mist always has its own impress charm.

And been Easter time, what do you think? Cosmos flowers were out waving in the soft misty breeze. Cosmos, I couldn’t resist. Here were fields of them!

How to paint cosmos flowers?

I hate pictures with tight posies of flowers. They don’t look natural.

I like painting cosmos in their natural state, out in the open weeds and all. If you leave out most of the stalks in your painting, it brings out and accentuates the feeling of extreme freedom the cosmos flowers represent.

But in the watercolour painting illustrated here, I didn’t include any close-up cosmos, like I usually do. I had thought of doing a composition that consisted of a field of distant cosmos. I don’t think I’ll do that again. Tiny spots just don’t do justice to their profound beauty. It’s more impressive with a few close-up cosmos in the arrangement, don’t you think!?

Cosmos flowers in Delta Park

A4 Watercolour 20.8×29.3cm: Cosmos flowers in Delta Park. The cosmos painted against dark background show up more easily.

I’ve also noted that a horizontal composition of cosmos looks better than a vertical composition. In the vertical setup the cosmos flowers look crushed-up, from both sides!

And as to size:

A5 watercolours of cosmos flowers are too confined. A4, A3 and A2 sized paintings of cosmos flowers are more exciting. You can really feel the feeling of their freedom in bigger sized compositions.

Here is another link on this website about doing plein-air painting:

  • Check out the page: Plein-air Painting Fieldwork
  • And also check out the Plein-air Painting category in future. Will be displaying more paintings soon, which I did long ago.

If you want to know where Delta Park is, here is a google map of the place:

Cosmos flowers in Delta Park

Delta Park is west of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is also a sanctuary for wild birds.

15 Things That Make Great Artists

MAKE YOURSELF A GREAT ARTIST

There are so many good artists out there that are struggling to make themselves known, so…

  • Who doesn’t want to know… how to become a famous artist!?
  • It’s a shame that no matter how good an artist is, they never seem to get acknowledged for their talent.

HERE ARE 15 POINTS TO CONSIDER:

Things that will turn any artist’s world around and validate their talent. You may think the following things very obvious, but sadly very few people take the time to consider or use possibly them.

Make yourself a great artist

A5 watercolour: The end of a beautiful day

Here are the fifteen points that make people great artists:

First of all: How do prosperous people attain fame and success? What do they have that others don’t have?

ONE:

A powerful inner drive to achieve success:  No matter what their opposition maybe. Make no mistake, there is opposition in all things. The people who succeed are those who don’t allow things to put them off achieving their ambitions. So how strong is your ambition?

How does anything happen?

TWO:

An adventurist spirit:  A willingness to taken on challenges. In art, this comes with a strong need to express oneself and then allowing yourself to be carried along by the adventure of activity within the moment creativity. So don’t allow mistakes to put you off.

How strong is the will of the person in their desire to paint?

THREE:

A strong belief and confidence in one’s ability to paint.  It requires gutsy-ness and a willingness to take an emotional trip through any problems and mistakes that may occur while painting.

How much is your desire to learn new things?

FOUR:

A requiring mind:  A great inner excitement when doing research and a willingness to go beyond the norm to acquire new concepts.

Do colours turn you on?

FIVE:

A deep fascination and a love of colour: Whether it’s the inter-relationships of colour, blending and merging of colour, or the boldness or contrast of colour.

How many people really take note of their surroundings and observe things with a deep meaning?

SIX:

The ability to see beauty in all things, no matter how mundane. This happens when a person uses all their senses and allows their emotions and feelings to inspire them.

And have you seen the light?

SEVEN:

A deep awareness of light and how it plays on things. How it creates atmospheric conditions, halos and rim-lights, the sparkle and contrast of highlights, the shimmer of light on water. Even the colours of light in shadows!

For years experts have said that a drawing ability is important. And some people don’t think so.

EIGHT:

But the ability to see and draw the basics is important:  Why? Because, for example: you will be surprised how many people draw a straight line at the base of a glass bottle or vase, etc. They can’t see the eclipse curve resting on the flat surface of the table.  On the other hand, a good artist is one who knows how to see, select and draw basic shapes and isn’t bogged down with unnecessary trivial detail, especially when starting a painting.

Many people say, “I wish I could paint,” but never make the time to do it!

NINE:

How great is your desire? If you really desire something, you will do anything to achieve your goal. Make up your mind what you want out of life.  You will never become a good artist, if you never get around to painting. Expertise comes with practicing often.

People often give up before they begin. Especially when they are criticized…

TEN:

Knowing your worth helps to deflect unkind remarks and unqualified criticism. And the other hand been prepared to learn something new. Am I willing to look beyond the criticism; does their opinion have a valid point?

Fame comes with doing things differently! How exciting and dramatic is your artwork?

ELEVEN:

Unique talent: The ability to translate a mundane scene or subject into a unique format, using distinctive styles of workmanship. Artwork that really grips peoples’ attention has emotional impact that goes beyond factual photogenic reality. What can you do differently? How are people decorating their homes these days? Can you start a new trend? And be known for that trend?

What is your personality like?

TWELVE:

Extrovert personality: A captivating individual with a distinctive temperament that draws people attention and is highly acceptable socially. Someone who can hold their own when interviewed on television. What do people think of you? Are you exciting to be with?

And that is not all!

THIRTEEN:

Filling the gap between been ordinary and extraordinary: Not been only the` talk of the town’ but of the universe! Has your art made a hit for a day, for a week or out there in peoples’ faces regularly? So much so that it becomes a popular hallmark brand? How often do you paint? How often do you put your artwork out there for people to see your talent?

Is it all about you? What of the people you expect to buy your art?

FOURTEEN:

Are you painting stuff that people will want to buy? Is the quality of your good enough? What do people want? Have you considered their feelings and preferences in art? Have you done your research? To start with, what do you think turns people on? What do people need? What are they looking for? What niche are you able to fulfill? What is happening to the world? What can you offer the world that will make an impact on the minds and hearts of the people?

Is it luck that some people have the good fortune to become great artists?

FIFTEEN:

  • You can’t rely on luck! No one knows you’re a great artist, unless you do something that makes people sit up and take notice. Does anyone see your artworks? Where do you display your art?
  • Sometimes it’s having the right connections! If you don’t have a relation who owns an art gallery or runs an art magazine or is a presenter on TV, you will have to make the right connections yourself. Get out there on the internet and find your niche.
  • Do you have big enough capital to finance your goals and ambitions? Advertising takes money! Isn’t it said: nobody does anything for you, without money some how been involved! What are you prepared to do?
  • If you look back in history, most of the great artists were poor! Everyone has to start somewhere. If you have a strong enough will and personality you will find a way to overcome problems, no matter the opposition.
  • Plan and research your project. Make a to-do list and think things through. Out of that, what will be your greatest move, that will turn your life around? Now, be brave enough to do something about it.
  • And it doesn’t stop there. When a snag turns up, don’t give up, just adjust your plan of action again and again, until you get results.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BEEN A GREAT ARTIST?