… but is it a happy place … and is he a happy old man … I wonder?
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve stopped my car and found myself immersed in this kind of scene and thought to myself … Wouldn’t it be great to live this far from the madding crowd, with the kind of lifestyle of this old man, in this kind of amazing spot, soaking up the setting sun in the foothills of the Langeberg mountain range. Then I have to stop … and think again … and count my many blessings. The reality is the old man’s probably looking at me and thinking in his own inimitable way … “Wouldn’t it be great to have a fancy camera like that … and a zooty little car so I could drive off to Cape Town and visit my children … and eish … those Nike’s!” He would probably dearly love to be in the very midst of the madding crowd, closer to family and friends – and running water – and a roof over his head that doesn’t leak, and other such luxuries … not to mention bare necessities and basics. Think again Petebon.
Anyway … as for me, it’s back to late light on the Langeberg again. Despite everything I just can’t get the Langeberg and Riviersonderend mountains out of my system these days I’m afraid … especially around the Robertson region.
Mountains aside … I love the color in this painting. The green window shutter and yellow doors … especially the one on the right, and the orange trim on the cottage, and the bit of dirty red on the truck grill, all just do it for me. Since the “Caledon Canola” painting I’ve been getting a bit braver and bolder with colour, especially green, and really been enjoying breaking out of the typical Bonney grey / brown mold for a bit. Change is as good as a holiday they say. I don’t often put people in my paintings but this old man was sitting on his stoep looking like he really belonged there. I absolutely couldn’t leave him out, and he gave me some food for thought … and got me counting my blessings.
It’s quite a big painting (90 x 120cm) so he’s more visible and prominent in the real thing. As it turns out he plays a key part in making this painting special with life and story. The cottage and old man are imported from Calitzdorp and the truck I added just for fun and fiction. (And because I love old cars and trucks and painting them I guess … Ermm … just been watching ‘Gas Monkey’ … again!)