Today I took a trip around the peninsula to Smitswinkel bay.  I have been working from photos I took on my silly little cell phone and wanted more material.  It was a lovely still, hot day in false bay, although the water was icy cold.  I took a few photos and then settled down to paint a watercolour of the bay.  OK so I took on a big chunk, from the top of the mountain to the pool at my feet – it just kind of happened.  I am keen to develop a less detailed way to paint scenes like this.  But here it is.

This is on Hot Pressed Arches and is 380 x 280mm

I like this in places – the rocks in the left middle ground went well.  But I think the fynbos around the houses is too busy and I could have saved time and attention by simplifying this drastically.  Maybe I will try this in the studio to develop approaches to the different parts of the painting.

While I was painting I heard a scream.  Looking up I saw a baboon running across the rocky beach towards me.  It ran up to the rock just below where I worked.  All the sunbathers scattered.

I stood up so he paused and sat down.  Maybe he did not smell any goodies in my pack.  He was a really big guy and I was not sure what to do.  I just did not want him to destroy my palette which is probably worth a few thousand rand with all the paints in it (eeek – there’s a thought…).  I was working on a big rock and considered lifting that to hurl at him but I know this often makes them retaliate – which he did later when the owner of the picnic threw rocks at him.

There was a standoff.

photo of a baboon

Eventually he looked away.  Then he went off to where a family had set up umbrellas.  They were not around.  The baboon really tucked into their picnic.  Some locals came and shot it with catapults.  But in spite of landing some vicious hits the baboon snacked on.

Then this guy came to chase it away with his umbrella, which I didn’t think was such a smart thing to do.   This was a big baboon and they are immensely strong and they have massive canines.  Not an animal to mess with.

Then the family returned.  They had dogs which chased the baboon away at first.  He retired to a nearby rock with a bag of chips.  But they wisely carried and dragged their dogs away when the baboon came back for more.

This was a creature who needed a jolly good leaving alone and everyone stood by and watched – holding their dogs back – which was a very good idea.

And then along came Jones (na na nanana na na) – slow walkin’ Jones, Slow-talking Jones…

One of the locals pitched up with a paint-ball gun and two very tough looking jack-russels.

The baboon took one look at the paint-ball gun, and headed down the coast, harried by the two small dogs. Interesting!

Here are the words I found on DigitalDreamDoor:

I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on Channel 2
A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was chasin’ poor Sweet Sue
He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh,
“If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch
I’ll saw you all in half!”
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He turned on the bandsaw (and then, and then…!)
And then along came Jones
Tall thin Jones
Slow-walkin’ Jones
Slow-talkin’ Jones
Along came long, lean, lanky Jones
Commercial came on, so I got up to get myself a snack
You should’ve seen what was goin’ on by the time that I got back
Down in the old abandoned mine, Sweet Sue was havin’ fits
That villain said, “Give me the deed to your ranch
Or I’ll blow you all to bits!”
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He lit the fuse to the dynamite (and then, and then…!)
I got so bugged I turned it off and turned on another show
But there was the same old shoot-’em-up and the same old rodeo
Salty Sam was tryin’ to stuff Sweet Sue in a burlap sack
He said, “If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch
I’m gonna throw you on the railroad tracks!”
And then he grabbed her (and then)
He tied her up (and then)
He threw her on the railroad tracks (and then)
A train started comin’ (and then, and then…!)

Everyone soon settled down to enjoy the heat of the day and cool sea.

Here are two watercolours I completed of this girl stepping over the rocks for a swim.