2019 Highlights

Quite a lot of paintings got produced earlier this year in preparation for a show in May. The curator wanted 26 paintings and I’d only ever had a maximum of 4 or 5, so I panicked ever so slightly and got down to producing as many as I could, eventually coming up with 13 at various sizes, from tiny to enormous.

Here’s a selection of some of those.

If you’d like to see more please visit me on Instagram – @jancdw – which is more like a running commentary on what’s happening as it happens.

There’s a large building on a large hill in a huge landscape as one approaches Cape Town on the N2. As far as I recall it’s called Dassiesfontein, and one can stop for coffee and pies while browsing the olde style farm stoves, lanterns, enameled bowls and so forth cluttering the interior.
On my way back to the car on one of these stops I saw to my left a group of peacefully patient donkeys behind a barbed wire fence, and I took a number of shots.
I’d always thought it’d make a nice painting, so earlier this year I got down to it. It’s such a typical South African scene with the gate and fence and enormous sky.
Party Line
One of the delights of living in a rural area is the sight of birds gathering on telephone or power lines, particularly swallows when they come down from the clouds for a rest, a scratch and a chatter.
I’d already done a small version of this but happily revisited it in a larger format.
Although I used reference for individual birds, the overall scene was painted from memory, with scant regard for the needs of engineering – most power lines are 3 strands not 4, and I made no attempt to connect the wires with the pole and crossbars. I rather like it like that.
Call it poetic licence.
Available as canvas prints
Dream Wave
One night I had a dream that I was painting the line at the top of a wave as it curls from a peak into crashing foam.
So a week or so later I painted it for real (or at least in this waking dream), and this be it. The style is different to the way I dreamed it but I really enjoy the way the paint landed, sort of brushy and creamy.
Bird Tribesman
I had a small narrow offcut of board, a narrow strip of canvas, a shot of a Fish Eagle in the act of catching a fish, and a fascinating shot of a rather shamanic dude that had grabbed my attention from some CD liner notes (Boheme – Deep Forest. Awesome album).
They all came together over about a month or so, and to my surprise some people were utterly captivated by it. Sweet.
Available as canvas prints
Big Step 3
This is the third and final version of this fearless lass who first popped up as a bit of undergrowth in a painting of a baobab tree a few years back.
I did her as a quick sketch somewhere in the winter of 2018, then as a larger version a bit later with a bit more finish, and with both of those sold and in need of one more piece for the show last May, this one. Bigger yet and the most finished of the three.
Available as canvas prints

This one’s really the star of the year, and the biggest canvas I’ve undertaken since this painting gig began some 11 years ago.
It’s split into 2 canvases stacked vertically and measures 150×180 cm.
Originally based on a phone snap of a kid flying a kite on Hampstead Heath somewhere in the ancient past, it went through various shifts back and forth until arriving at a place I was satisfied with, by which time the kite had become a jellyfish and the landscape somewhat abstracted.
Click on a tile to see a larger version in close up
Please contact me for more info.


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