Western Cape Artists’ Society spreads its wings

David and Victoria by Diane White.

From its origins in the 1970s, the Western Cape Artists’ Society (WCAS) has come a long way since it first catered for the art of watercolour painting alone.

In 2013 it extended its mandate to include those who work in any of the visual fine arts, and welcomes both beginners and professionals alike.

Meetings are held monthly in the Somerset West Library hall and are very social affairs usuallyconsisting of a demonstration or talk given by an artist outside of the Society, a tea break and chat, and a chance to view art and learn valuable tips from other artists.

A variety of topics are presented, from painting in various mediums (such as oils and acrylics), to drawing in charcoal or pencil, sculpting, and photography as an art alone or as an aid to painting.

The audience has watched delicate floral water colours develop before their eyes; seen dramatic, brooding landscapes confidently portrayed on large canvasses; smiled at the quirky art of representing cartoon characters; experienced the exotic locations visited by an artist who teaches on-board cruise ships; and marvelled at the trials and tribulations of those who attempt to make their living as artists.

Apart from monthly meetings, groups of our artists also meet occasionally to paint “en plein air” which means, in essence, capturing an outdoor scene (such as a harbour, rustic farmhouse or majestic mountains) as rapidly as possible before the light changes too much, or before the inevitable wind, insects or appreciative crowds/animals become too much to bear.

Appreciative onlookers frequently gather when artists are at work. Nothing makes one appreciate the beauty and character of our country more than seeing it through the eyes of an artist. In an increasingly disposable, materialistic world it is refreshing to create something original.

Whether it is a simple sketch of an animal, a bold representation of an abstract idea, or a realistic rendering of a landscape, the work is one of a kind and hopefully sends a unique message to each viewer.

Artists continuously experiment, adapt and grow and to this end the WCAS offers a number of one-day workshops to broaden the experience of both amateur and experienced artists.

The Society’s artists sell both locally and internationally, and hold two in-house exhibitions a year.

By permission of the Harold Porter Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay, the WCAS will be holding its annual Merit and Little Gems exhibition in the Nivenia Hall from 8.30am daily until Sunday January 22.

WCAS invites you to visit the exhibition and to chat to some of its artists who will be painting on site in the beautiful garden.

For more information on the WCAS visit www.facebook.com/WCArtistsSociety