Monday, 6 August 2018


After graduating with a degree in Fine Arts, Sonja Frenz worked as a graphic designer, a teacher and a lecturer at the University of Pretoria. In 2004 Sonja moved to Cape Town, and quickly built up a solid reputation as an art teacher. She is a co-owner of Creative Arts Atelier in Durbanville, a fine arts supply shop and teaching studio, where she teaches about 50 students per week. She is currently taking a breather from teaching to explore her own artist voice.
A self-proclaimed lover of colour, Sonja decided to get back to basics and explore the world of monotones to deepen her knowledge of tonal values and refine her drawing skills. She presented us with a charcoal drawing of a forest landscape that holds a special place in her heart.
To start, Sonja introduced her charcoal toolkit; running through the various types of charcoal mediums and their uses, how she incorporates pan pastels, her multitude of mark-making and erasing tools, and what paper she prefers to work with.
Sonja showing us her array of drawing tools.
Sketching and talking is quite a difficult feat, but Sonja, with her years of teaching experience, smoothly navigated the show-and-tell of technique demonstration.   

Sonja giving us some wonderful advice.

She is very generous with her knowledge and gave advice on a range of topics related to being an artist, throwing in personal anecdotes to highlight lessons learnt. She emphasised the importance of planning and drawing skills, stating that the alternative is to fix it on the canvas, which is harder and more stressful. 
Sonja with her drawing.
She gave tips on how to filter information to make it relevant to your journey; to welcome what triggers your interest, and not to imitate others, but to lean into your own unique artistic voice. She gave tips on pattern-awareness, perspective, vocal points, how to bring emotion to your art, and training for true concentration. She described her love for process over product, explaining that one should not paint only to sell, but to give yourself permission to paint what you love, to explore techniques, to make mistakes and thus, to grow as an artist.

Treasurer Melanie Meyer thanking Sonja

You can find Sonja online at or on Facebook at
CAS members enjoy a 5% discount at Creative Arts Atelier

Words by Lizzie Kruger

Monday, 9 July 2018


Noeleen Kleve, artist and printmaker, gave about 60 CAS members and visitors a very interesting and insightful talk on the Art Biennale events she attended in Venice (2017) and Sydney (2018). 

Noeleen Kleve at the CAS meeting

She called these events the Olympics of Art and the audience was treated to some showstopping pieces that proved the observation.
Noeleen Kleve in Venice

The Venice Biennale is the most prestigious of all the Biennales; it occurs every 2 years and has an international curator every time it runs. The focus of the Art Biennale is on contemporary art in a variety of mediums, including huge interactive exhibitions. The exhibitions scattered all throughout the city, encouraging attendees to explore the city and the art scene as one. 

Map of Venice showing Biennale exhibition spaces (red and green)

 There are 2 main venues that can easily take up 8 hours each to work your way through all the stunning art pieces. The 2017 Biennale was categorised into 9 pavilions and Noeleen shared examples of work from each pavilion, which included historical and new pieces from local, regional and international artists, highlighting some recognisable South African artists like Liza Lou and African artists like Abdoulaye Konaté. Note: Both these artists have work displayed at the recently opened Norval Foundation Art Museum in Tokai.

Liz Lou’s collaborative work “The Clouds”. 600 beaded cloths woven by Zulu women.
Clay bowls with tapered end pinched to resemble a mouth-like form. 
1000 acrylic colours painted on a wall (Venice)
Abdoulaye Konat'e

The Sydney Biennale was the 21st one and the curator was from Japan. The theme was “Superposition” and the incredible contemporary art pieces were presented across 7 venues in the city. Noeleen showed artworks on display, as well as shots from the adjoined Vivid Sydney event, which involved projections onto various buildings, including the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House - Still of Video Projection

Indigenous Australian artist Esmeralda Timbery

In conjunction with the Venice Biennale, Noeleen spent a month in Venice on a printmaking artist residency. (please refer to Jan 2018 Palette for presentation write up)

Noeleen's personal workspace in the “residents’ room” at Scuola di Grafica

Noeleen once again encouraged the audience to do an artist residency to further develop their artist voice. She suggested the following website for available opportunities -

Words: Lizzie Kruger

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Wyn's calm demeanour and well-prepared power point presentation on how to approach a painting, 
backed up by sketchbooks full of daily inspirational studies - to show that she practices what she 
preaches - led us to understand why there is such beautiful depth to her work. 

Wyn Rossouw with the painting she did at the meeting.

The finished work

Through careful thought, experimentation, research, to learning from others and an in-depth understanding of colour and her chosen medium, she is growing daily.

The soothing piano music and Wyn's focus on the job in hand, kept everybody spell-bound.

The end-result had a beautiful 'Wyn character' - harmony of colour, great composition, interesting broken
 edges and brushstrokes...underlined her words spoken at the beginning of the talk/demo: 
'Use the best quality materials you can afford!'

Wyn's paints

Wyn's palette

I guess we all wish we can spend more creative time in her presence, as she is a Master! Thank you.
Words: Karin Davel

Wyn has very kindly sent us her notes of the evening demonstration:
I chose a very simple still life. The concept was to capture the essence of the pomegranate fruit, especially the gem like pips. My subject was well lit with background and foreground as sparse as possible, to enhance this.
I laid out the following pigments:
Titanium White
Naples Yellow (light) / Naples Yellow reddish / Yellow Ochre (light) / Yellow Ochre (dark) / Cadmium
Yellow (light) / Cadmium Yellow (medium)
Mars Red / Cadmium Red (medium) / Permanent Carmine
Cobalt blue / Ultramarine
Burnt Umber / Burnt Sienna
I used Italian Art Shop odourless spirits and Medium No 1
I used the following brushes...
Dynasty 2,5 cm flat
Raphael flat bristle No 22
Rosemary & Co long flat Nos 4, 6 & 8
I had a palette knife and a painting knife on hand.
My support was a Supawood board, painted with 4 layers of gesso, lightly sanded in between.
Using the Dynasty flat brush, I began with a notan sketch of my subject. I used a mixture of
Cadmium Red and Burnt Umber, loosened with a little spirit (turps).
Before it dried, I worked with a rag, dispersing as well as wiping back paint. I also put in more darks where needed. A tonal sketch resulted.
I checked that it was still working compositionally ... the picture plane roughly divided into thirds, with all the ‘action’ centrally. In addition, a rabatment division to align with the most eye catching arrangement of pomegranate seeds, roughly 5/8ths into the picture plane. I also planned an ‘L’ shaped lead in. All this can be checked with the final result.
Since I prefer this stage to be dry before I proceed, I prepared another similar tonal sketch beforehand, which I continued to work on. Now it was time to add colour. I used my other brushes, generally from the broadest to the smallest, to apply the paint to the tonal sketch. I used a little of my medium to keep the paint at the buttery consistency I prefer.
I started working in the classical way with oils, from dark to light, and from thinner to thicker paint.
I continually referenced my subject, carefully observing and comparing tonal values, dark and light massed shapes, positive and negative shapes, colour shapes and temperature, and lost and
found edges. I was careful to include some background and foreground colour into the subject
and vice versa.
I remained aware of any lead in to my subject, especially to the jewel like pips, and emphasized this.
I needed to effectively capture the shiny dark jelly surrounding the pips and the contrasting white pith.
This latter, I rendered in impasto paint.
Using my fine rigger, I finally applied very careful touches of titanium white mixed with cadmium yellow light, to highlight some pips. I wanted these to really ‘pop’.
The music I played during the demo was ‘Islands’ by Ludovico Einaudi.”

Tuesday, 8 May 2018


We were privileged to have the very experienced artist and art teacher Penny Steynor to demonstrate a watercolour painting to us, which she pretty much finished in just under an hour. Penny started the session with a lesson which covered “Subject, sketch, effects, composition, colours and techniques."

Penny's main points when starting a painting.

In preparation, decide your purpose, figure out what you want to paint, and know where you are going. Do a tonal sketch to compose your painting. Find your focal point and remember one third light, one third dark and the rest medium tones.

One of Penny's tonal sketches.

Penny likes to use a limited palette made up of two transparent colours and one opaque.
She made it all look so easy as she painted away moving her board around to manipulate the paint and water and used a hairdryer to dry the painting to speed up the process.
She stressed that one should only have one go at getting the horizon line looking perfect to avoid a build-up of paint.

Penny working on the foreground.

Penny had applied masking fluid to the sketch before coming to the evening and stressed that it should not be left on for more than 24 hours. Soften edges and waves by wiping with good old toilet paper.

There are three tones in the sea, deep sea, mid sea, and foreground sea and foam.
The splash was made by flicking masking fluid with a toothbrush.

Recommendations: Rosemary brushes, 300g learner Bockingford paper
Research artists Gordon Lake and Phil Cloete, watch Alvaro Castagnet and Jacob Zbucvic

We were also treated to having a look at the calendars of her paintings which Penny has produced every year since 2011.  Fourteen pages of the most beautiful paintings per calendar which were passed around during the meeting.
It’s amazing what 50 000 hours of practice can do to help when you’re painting under pressure in front of an audience.
Penny was magnificent and the audience were spellbound. In fact it’s the first time that members did not wait for me to do the formal thank you to the artist at the close of the meeting……they sprung to their feet and surged forward to see the completed painting and to ask questions. We had a chuckle as I presented the gift quietly to Penny on the outside of the group who were looking, discussing and admiring the end result.

Written by Linda Gotlieb.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

March Meeting - presentation by Jeremy Day

Jeremy was thoroughly entertaining and such a natural speaker who had the audience hanging on his every word. His fantastic sense of humour, so prevalent in so many of his art pieces shone through in his talk as well. The jokes flowed comfortably, and he weaved interesting facts and jargon into his speech like the pro he clearly is.
As a new member to CAS, he mentioned how familiar and welcomed he felt amongst all the artists and how great it was to be surrounded by familiar faces.
Jeremy told us about his early years as a youngster drawing up hundreds of labels for a clothing company. He worked in the Cape Times advertising department, and even broke free to start his own successful advertising company in 1975. He dabbled in furniture design, scale models and even sculpting for a while.
His love for painting emerged again after almost two decades of dormancy due to family and business commitments, and plunging in, he opened his first solo exhibition called Tranquillity in the early 90’s. He encouraged his fellow artists to take this vital step, saying it’s vital for exposure. Scary yes, but vital.
About 10 years ago he became a full-time artist. He joined local art societies, and through these avenues, met artists that inspired his greatly. He spent time studying at Ruth Prowse under Erik Laubscher, which he sees as a cornerstone period in his artistic journey. Jeremy celebrates constructive criticism amongst artists, saying feedback he received in the past has been was firm, and non-offensive, which made him grow stronger as an artist.
Jeremy recommended the 90minute work – break – 90minute work style of painting, saying it has been proven to be more productive than trying to sit and paint for hours on end. He suggests leaving a cliff-hanger to come back to so that you are excited to get back to work again. His goal every day is to have 6 hours of productive working time. He explained the difference between hyper-realism and photo-realism and why he identifies his work as ‘’Localism” i.e. local content with realism. He showed us that he still enjoys artistic freedoms in his creations and how to use a variety of tools to perfect our methods. Especially noteworthy is how handy Photoshop is in the planning phases of a painting!
Jeremy showed us how he uses photoshop.

The finished work.

Jeremy showed us a variety of his art pieces and walked us through the thinking and creation processes of each one. 
Die Missies met die Spanspek

He talked about his signature water lily in his paintings and how he manipulates dimensions to fit in with the mood of the painting, whether it be poking fun at the South Africanisms we deal with every day (e.g. his painting titled Martyr’s Horse); or his keen observations about every life (e.g. his painting titled Die Miesies met die Spanspek) or when he uses his artistic voice to showcase the state of the nation (e.g. his painting titled Reclamation). You can find out more about Jeremy, as well as see his fantastic art works, via his website:
Words by Lizzie Kruger


Sunday, 11 March 2018

February Meeting - Clare Burgess Presentation

The title of the presentation was: "Travels with a Landscape Architect, from Moore to Martins - a presentation of outdoor sculptures & artworks from around the World."

Clare Burgess has her own practice as a landscape architect, also lectures both at UCT and CPUT, and had a wealth of knowledge to impart to the audience. She has an incredible passion for landscaping and the impact this art form has on the emotional state of the people who move through the dance between sculptures and nature. Clare explained how it is necessary to position art in a landscape, and not just put it down anywhere.

She took us on a journey through a variety of local installations, including both Delaire Graff, and Paradyskloof, in Stellenbosch, which houses over 60 Dylan Lewis sculptures. She also referred to the Dylan Lewis's "Untamed" exhibition in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in 2010.

To her, the viewer experience is of utmost importance, and she took us on a virtual stroll through these gardens, highlighting the balance of hard with soft, masculine with feminine and how landscape artists married these concepts through vegetation in the landscape and natural elements of the sculptures.

She took us through the Khayelitsha Hospital gardens and Mitchells Plain Public Transport spaces, which were two local projects that she has been involved in. She emphasized the importance and pleasure of involving the local artists and communities in these art pieces, as it creates ownership and pride. School children from Mitchells Plain designed the playpark and the projects also acted as an employment initiative. At the hospital the mosaic on the sculptures were all done by locals who could explore their inner creativity.

Clare took us on a history trip, teaching us about the most memorable and ground-breaking sculptures on the planet, including The Statue of Liberty in New York; Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and then most importantly, Michelangelo's David in Florence, which is an ideal example of Renaissance art which celebrates balance, harmony and symmetry in all art forms. She also spoke about Henry Moore's sculptures and how they are placed in the landscape. She also referred to the Zimbabwean stone sculptures.

Clare’s passion for the town of Nieu Bethesda in the Eastern Cape came through as she spoke about the surrounding landscapes, the wildlife and the charm of this little town that houses the famous Owl House, the house of Helen Martins, which is one of South Africa’s best examples of Outsider Art installations. Outsider art, sometimes referred to as naive art, covers a broad range of media. The hallmarks of outsider artists often involve spontaneity, influenced by the world around them, and often involving the incorporation of found materials, such as broken ceramics, glass, wire and cement. The execution of the works often includes a high degree of stylisation of form, and an unconventional conceptualisation of theme and application of media. Outsider artists are mostly self-taught individuals, who in many instances often remain obscure until their deaths. (1)

The Owl House was declared a National Monument site in September 2017, and with a very dedicated group of volunteers we can see why this historical house draws so many art lovers to the area. Clare volunteered her time to prepare a landscape masterplan for the Owl House Museum in Nieu Bethesda.
Helen Martins’ fantastical sculptures inspired Athol Fugard to write the much-loved play, “Road to Mecca”, which later became a film. The play is currently running at the Fugard theatre until the end of March.

1. From

Sunday, 18 February 2018

30 January Meeting Presentation – Noeleen Kleve

Noeleen Kleve, a South African visual artist and printmaker, took us on a wonderful printmaking journey at our first meeting for the year.
Noeleen Kleve with CAS Chairman Linda Gotlieb
Residing in Kommetjie, she teaches and creates out of her studio, inspired by the rich social and environmental diversity of the area. Coming from a Graphic Design background, receiving her visual art degree through UNISA, Noleen fell in love with printmaking early on.

She has an incredible wealth of knowledge about the various means of printmaking, and her enthusiasm was complimented by her strong teaching ability, taking us through a high volume of theory on printmaking. She started with the origins of printmaking, took us through the various kinds of printmaking, and ended on an inspirational note by telling us about her journey to Venice last year.

Whilst teaching us about the various types of printmaking, she sent around both plates and printed artworks for the audience to see how the techniques differ. The magic of printmaking surely lies in its tactile nature, as we ran our hands over both rough surfaces and ones that hardly looked like it was touched. Intricate designs eaten out of metal by acids; silicon grit melted onto Perspex surfaces; prints made by both relief and intaglio methods. The audience was swept into the possibilities, and the buzz of enthusiasm and inspired art lovers filled the room the whole evening.

Noeleen spoke to both the beginner printmaker and artists who yearn to rekindle their love affair with this art form. She broke down the complex terminologies and methods into everyday language, warned us about those rookie mistakes that creep into even the most experienced printmaker’s studio, and myth-busted the false belief that prints are just blind copies of one original. It became clear that printmakers walk the tightrope between science and art with grace.

She showcased art pieces from her recent series, named ‘Sensucht’, coming from a German noun translated as "longing", "pining", "yearning", or "craving", or in a wider sense a type of "intensely missing". A striking example was an ultrasound of her unborn grandchild transformed into a map, capturing the longing for family and loved ones far away.

Noeleen spent a month in Venice at the end of 2017, taking up a printmaking residency, which she described as an enchanting experience. Having dedicated studio space from 08:30-22:30 daily, she played in what could only have been a printmaker’s heaven. With 13 presses in the studio and 6 other permanent artists, she fully embraced this month of experimentation, learning and affirmation of knowledge. So much so that she only spent 4 days out of the studio, taking inspiration from the daily commute between her apartment and the studio. She called herself a kid in a toyshop and implored us all to take up an artist residency somewhere in our art journey.
Recommended website for artists residency:

Words: Lizzie Kruger

ETCHING CLASSES: Tuesday afternoons 13h30 - 16h30. Minimum of 8 weeks recommended. Small classes (max 4 people). Several etching techniques taught. R250 per session, all materials included (except paper and copper) which she stocks in studio. She also teaches 2 classes on Mondays and one on Tuesday mornings, but those sessions are full. There are currently 2 spaces left on Tuesday afternoons. For more info, please contact Noeleen directly. / / 083 330 5577

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Summer 2018 Exhibition

Summer 2018 Exhibition

Our summer exhibition opened on the 15th of January at the Richard 
Crowie Hall, Kirstenbosch. 

Guests gathering before the opening.

Helen van Stolk

Inspiring contemporary art Helen van Stolk delivered an inspiring and 
heart-felt opening address which was greatly appreciated by everyone 
The main exhibition hall
A busy day at the exhibition

CAS Secretary Lizzie Kruger helping a buyer.

Sales started well before the opening and by the time the show ended on the 
24th of January there were three long columns of labels with red stickers on 
next to the sales table.

Tracically one of our members died during the exhibition. Richard Jacobs, a
member since 2012, had sold a work and was walking up the drive to the
gardens with a replacement work when he suffered a heart attack. We were all shocked by the news.

Richard Jacobs with family at the opening.

The poster of some of the works on show.

The invitation

Karen Burns

Elephant Eyes 2 by Pauline Fine

Fantasy Delight - Bird by Fil Angelakis

Ali Lauren Melck

Thursday, 7 December 2017


The last CAS meeting of the year saw a large crowd of members and guests arriving at the Alphen Hall in Constantia laden with paintings and plates of food. 


One of the highlights of the "Art on a Plate" was fruit in a bowl made of ice.

A merry evening ensued, with much socializing, eating and drinking. 

THANK YOU to our generous SPONSORS of this competition, ET&H  Fine Art Canvas (9 Barron St, Woodstock), and The Italian Art Shop (Riverside Mall, Rondebosch)!!! Also, thank you to our gracious, talented and missed, former chairperson, Fran Sexton, who generously donated a midweek break at her Daisy Darling B&B in Darling. What a lovely surprise and desirable gift (I am Won by Chantelle Van Zyl!!!! 

Chantal van Zyl, winner of a mid-week break at Daisy Darling B&B, draws a number for the next lucky prize winner.

It is through our sponsors’ generosity that we are able to attract such a high standard of competitors, and are able to provide such a wonderful bounty of prizes. We hope to continue these winning relationships!

Some of the canvases donated by ET&H canvases
Secondly, well done Artists!!! – and thank you to all who entered! It would not be a competition without competitors. We had such a fabulous display of creative, colourful, original work at our year end competition, not to mention all of the Art on  Plates! 

Some of the artworks entered.

We had the most entries EVER (57), and competition was fierce. In past years, often the winners were obvious early on in counting the votes. This year, due to the number of high quality entries, the increased number of voters/members, the wide variety of work, and the individual taste of the voters – our peers, it was not at all apparent who the winners would be until the final ballots were counted, checked and re-checked! This was very exciting, and concerning – as many worthy entries did not receive an award-winning number of votes, which can bruise egos and hurt feelings. This, of course, is NOT our intention or congruent with the mission of C.A.S. – which is to inspire and encourage developing artists. Don’t be deterred!!! It is the nature of any competition. All of the pieces exemplified the talent of our organization. Let it feed the fire of your creativity and competitive spirit!

The voting procedure and point allocation works like this: Each member is allowed to vote for 5 entries, rating them where they evaluated the position of the entry. That is to say,  a number one vote would receive 5 points, a number 2 vote would receive 4 points, a number 3 vote would be allocated 3 points, a number 4 vote would receive 2 points, and a number 5 vote would be awarded 1 point. Points were tallied and ascribed accordingly to the nominated entrant. 

Last, but NOT least, Competition Results:

1st Place – our own, beloved, wonderfully deserving: SUE PAULSEN with her entry ‘Tomatoes’ which garnered 71 points!!!
Sue Paulsen

2nd Place – the brilliant, kind, fresh face: CHRISTOPHER REID with
 ‘Protea Explosion’, which earned 69 points! – talk about a close race!

Christopher Reid

3rd Place – the much appreciated plein air artist: BETH LOWE with ‘ Kalk Bay Morning’  accruing 66 points.

Beth Lowe

4th Place – the delightful and talented: KAREN  BURNS with ‘Silver and Lace’ –     65 points, another slim margin

Karen Burns

5th Place – the amazing: SONJA RIVETT-CARNAC with ‘Happy Days’ – 63 points

Sonja Rivett-Carnac

6th Place – our accomplished and productive: PENNY STEYNOR with ‘Simply the Sea’   -56 votes

Penny Steynor

7th Place – the very talented: RICHARD JACOBS with ‘Ovambo Girl" 51 points
Richard Jacobs

8th Place – the lovely, diligent, and educational LYN NORTHAM with ‘Be Blessed’  – 48 points

Lyn Northam

9th Place – the young, evolving, exciting: Mandy Herdien with ‘Catch of the Day’ - 47 points

Mandy Herdien

10th Place – the admired, knowledgeable, famous amongst us: Wyn Rossouw with ‘Shades of  Morandi- 3 Jugs’ - 46 points 
Wyn Rossouw

WOW – what a tight race!!!!
Thanks again to all our members, entrants, and sponsors who made the event so joyous and exciting. We are very blessed to have one another.
Words by Connie Rossmeisl – Competitions Portfolio