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    June 2009
The Dancer …

As a classic Cape storm rages outside, the sea weather sweeps across this southern extremity, marking Winter as the time of rest, reflection and rejuvination.

Vineyards teach us about active rest as leaves colour and wither visibly, the sap dropping gradually but certainly. On a recent painting trip to the winelands, I was enthralled by the forms of gnarled vines strewn amongst the rows of an historic vineyard of bush vines. Like veritable bonsais, pruned twice annually and the roots ripped, these impassioned expressions of growth and the fight for life have taken unique form over almost a century since being established.

So I found myself neglecting the easel and wandering aimlessly about the steep slopes, selecting and discarding one after the other, until falling for a remarkable piece of wood - a ballerina. After the bronze casting and finishing patina, the bolt that fixes the foot to the base seemed optional as she balances effortlessly and gracefully, as if by a life of her own.

Finding a restful balance in life is not easy, yet here Nature once more provided the example.

The Fountain …

The rain continues to drive down and the day grows darker, calling the mind to be still and the body to rest.
With tired hands suffering from repetitive strain I retreated to magical McGregor, a village mysteriously unique and welcoming of weariness. Here my painting slowed, finding ways of seeing while still, finding acceptance and transformation.
The resultant works will be displayed in an inspired new venue designed by an inspiring McGregor friend the barefoot architect, Bruno. A new business premises, The Fountain is a monument to simplicity, situated on the Main Road. Please share the evening with us at 6 pm Friday the 5th of June, the eve of the Whacky Wine Weekend in neighbouring Robertson.

… and the Sunday-painter

On the few occasions that I have attempted teaching art, I have been humbled into realizing what gifts are required for that vocation. So knowing that I am an artist and not a teacher, I have responded by offering Painting Demonstrations in Franschhoek. Sundays 14, 21, 28 June at 9am in front of Bordeaux Street Gallery on the Main Road. 90 Rand pp and you do not have to be an artist. Bring a picnic instead of paints, but remember your hat, as we will be driving out to a suitable view to paint on location.As space is limited, reply to this email to reserve. Overcast weather is very good for creating atmospheric work, so do not fear if an opportunity to bond with unexpected elements presents itself. Getting physical is after all a recommended form of rest.

NiŽl Jonker

Read and see more about paintings completed recently.


4 June,
Gallery red black
and white,


5 June, 6 pm
The Fountain, Main Road, McGregor

6 June
Wacky Wine Festival

14, 21, 28 June,
Plein-air painting


© Niel Jonker 2009 | www.nieljonker.co.za | info@nieljonker.co.za | SUBSCRIBE | UNSUBSCRIBE