Calendar 2023

cover of a calendar

Please Note:

There are calendars in stock

Calendar 2023 -a year in the making.

The Lourens River emerges in a spring in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. It flows through nature reserves, farms and parks. This sparkling, murmuring gift to our basin carries a message of life through two towns then meanders over the beach into False Bay. This sparkling, murmuring thread carries a message of life all the way through two towns in our basin.

So began the description of the project.  The watercolours created this year honour the beauty of our river.  The 2023 calendar appreciates the work of the Lourens River Conservation Society, the volunteer organisation founded in 1980 to preserve the Lourens River in as natural a state as possible.  The task taken on by the Society is worth focus.

The Lourens River needs care

Many people in the town don’t notice our river. Some people use the open space for squatting. Some people see it as an inconvenience and would prefer to see the water confined to a concrete canal.  Still others view the river as a source to be plundered, collecting rocks for their garden for instance.  There is a need to elevate our river in the minds of the people in our basin. I think it would be wonderful if people in our town and downstream in Strand really treasured the river. The Lourens River Conservation Society have dedicated themselves to achieving this end. The Society cleans the river, removes alien vegetation, and educates the public about the ecology of our river.

As 2021 was drawing to a close I started talking with the Lourens River Conservation Society about a watercolour project.

photo of a watercolour artist

I had created two calendars in the past two years.

My PATCH Helderberg Child Abuse Centre calendar was selling out.

The year before I had created a calendar specifically for Radloff Park, our beautiful park bordering on the Lourens River.  The year before someone in the Friends of Radloff Park asked me if they could use my watercolours for a calendar.  I thought that was a great idea and sent them some JPGs of watercolours I had created sitting at the river.  I also started work on a set of watercolours to create a calendar.  This took me a year!

I approached the Friends with my work but as October drew to a close in 2020 I realised I would have to get moving or the year would slip away.  So I designed, printed and marketed my calendar.

As 2021 drew to a close I found myself standing at the river selling calendars again. But I also began thinking about the next calendar project.

I had a few cups of coffee with Jan Tromp whose father had established the society back in 1980.  As we put together an agreement I started work on the watercolours.

Photo of a calendar cover
Cover of a calendar with a watercolour

Collecting the visual material was a significant part of the project.  There are places along the river that are magical in their beauty.  Vergelegen Estate welcomes guest who want to walk along the river.  However some of the areas along the river are a little unsafe, not places to be after dark.   In Victoria Park people sleep along the river bank.  It is not a place to be after sunset.  Even the community under the bridge on Main Road in Somerset West present issues.  I have once been accosted and came close to being robbed passing the area on foot just after dark.  Also it is remarkably difficult to gain access to the upper reaches of the river.  To get material for my paintings of the source I hiked over the ridge from Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch and down the Lourens River gorge.  But for the most part our river is a great joy to appreciate.

The images below were created for the calendar.