Road to Drakensburg Gardens

Location adventures:

The road to Drakensburg Gardens was the start of my I love for doing location work. Doing fieldwork is like going on an adventure. You never know who you’ll met or what you’ll see around the next corner, in the most unexpected places.

Alongside the road to Drakensburg Gardens

A5 watercolour: Winter time. The river alongside the road to Drakensburg Gardens, Natal, South Africa.

This blog is about the time spent in the Drakensburg years ago.

When our children were young, we often visited my parents during the time they lived near Sani Pass. Their house was situated on the main road into Himville. And their lounge had a fantastic panoramic view of the Drakensburg mountain range. Every afternoon you could witness the dramatic brewing of clouds and impending storms garthering over the expanse of the berg.

Can you believe it; my father at the age of eighty had built that house, including its large underground reservoir, out of bricks he had made himself! The house had an ingenious heating system. Shame, they went through such hardships to complete that house.

My sister also lived in Himeville at the time, in the house they built themselves as well. Their house wasn’t on the main road.

So it goes without saying, we had many a happy time with family gatherings. Going for walks, picnicking and swimming in rivers together! I remember a time when our girls had fun making mud pies and dressing up in old clothes.

Location experiences there:

My first oil painting was done at my parent’s dining room table. Looking down the street of Himeville, I did a location painting of a house behind a tall hedge. I still laugh, even today… In my painting, the roof of that house looked like a hat sitting on the hedge! Yes you are allowed to laugh.

Most people would have given up there and then. But then, I’m not everyone.  I’m plain stubborn. I still continued to persist in painting! Guess one learns a lot through each and every experience.

When the family went picnicking, ten to one, I would be taking photos of the scenes round about or do location work while they were frolicking in the nearby stream.  Other times we went for country drives just for the fun of it, and out would come my old fashioned camera.

Along the road to Drakensburg Gardens:

The photos and paintings in this blog:

  • The first were of a time when my father went with me, to see what I could find along the road to Drakensburg Gardens to paint. Sorry that the photos you see here, are rather blurry. They are very old photos. And the watercolour painting is an old one too, done about 1974. As to Drakensburg Gardens, it is a tourist resort, see map of the area provided.
Road to Drakensburg

Drakensburg Gardens. Beautiful place isn’t it!

  • And the second lot was from a time when my sister and her husband took us to see a farm along that same road to Drakensburg Gardens.
Huts on a farm, road to Drakensburg Gardens

A5 watercolour, painted later from a photo: Round huts on the farm we visited.

 

The watercolour of the round huts (called rondawels) was painted from the scene we came across in a clearing surrounded by eucalyptus trees, on the farm we visited with my sister. I presume the huts were for staff or used as a storeroom for farm equipment.

We were also shown the spot where the farmer’s family used to enjoy swimming down by the river. Can you spot the farmer’s pet dog down by the river in the photo? In the old days we didn’t have cameras that took panoramic scenes! We would have to join them to get panoramic views.

Road to Drakensburg

Joined-photo, taken of a stream running through their farm

Afterwards, the farmer showed us his dairy herd of black and white Friesland cows. I will never forget how large and magnificent that bread of his was. They seemed to tower above us as they passed us on their way through, into the milking parlour!

Results of my Drakensburg experiences:

Sorry I can’t show you more of the paintings I did in those days we spent in the Drakensburg Mountains and surrounding area. They were sold in a gallery, in Pine Street, Durban, Natal.

Even though I’ve moved since then from Durban, I guess my love of doing location fieldwork started way back then in the days that my folks lived in Himeville.

Oh what fun I’ve had:

To find scenes to paint I’ve been willing to climb down into rocky gorges, through fences and over boulders in my endeavours to trail through streams or venture along seashores. Not to mention the thrill of walking through forests and climbing up steep rocky hillsides to get a better panoramic landscape views. (Of cause I have a much better camera today).

You can have these types of adventures too, if you are willing to` go the extra mile’ and ‘do your thing’. No one ever experiences anything without making the effort, no matter what you have to do to achieve what you’re most passionate about.