Friday, July 31, 2009

PPC cement workshop

PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Workshop comes to Nelspruit

PPC Cement painted the Phezulu Woodworking warehouse in Glenwood, Nelspruit, red this weekend. The event was the PPC Young Concrete Sculptor workshop, targeted at local artists in Nelspruit and its surrounding areas, young in the art of concrete sculpturing.

Nearly 30 artists and potential artists attended the workshop. Bheki Luphahla, PPC’s Technical Consultant was there to answer all questions related to the technical use of concrete. He also exposed workshop attendees on how to use concrete for creative expression as well as its versatility. Kay Potts, Chairperson of the PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Competition judging committee, was also present. She shared with the team the dos and don’ts to help them qualify to enter the competition taking place later this year.

According to Ilona Peltzer, Chairperson of the Lowveld Association of the Arts, the first-time workshop in the area proved to be a success. ”It was so amazing to have something different in the Lowveld. We so often have workshops on painting and other forms of Art, but this was the first time for sculpting, more so in concrete. We can’t wait to have another one. ”

Presented in partnership with the Association of the Arts Pretoria, the PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards competition is now in its 17th year and has become one of South Africa’s most prestigious visual arts accolades.

“The PPC Young Concrete Sculptor workshops give artists, young in the art of concrete sculpturing, the opportunity to manifest their artistic talents. One can immediately feel the change of vibe in the morning and when they leave in the afternoon. Then one knows the sculpting bug has bitten a few. We have a number of our prominent sculptors who got bitten by the bug and now look back with pride at the start of their careers, when they first participated in this competition. I look forward to having a few competition entrants from the Lowveld this year,“ says Nomzamo Basson, Public Relations Manager for PPC

For more information on the 2009 PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards Competition contact Nandi Hilliard at Association of Arts Pretoria via telephone on 012 346 3100, fax on 012 346 3125 or email at or go to

Judith Mason

We received this from Barbara Moore:Judith Mason Cr e a t i v i t y Workshop
I know that I don’t have to explain who Judith Mason is… I?
I have long admired her art, and so was delighted to be able to attend a creativity workshop with her. It was the first time I had met her and found her to be charming, and so supportive of us amateurs. In fact one of the things she particularly said was
that she has come to value amateur artists and support their efforts.
Judith based the creativity workshop on a princess-and-the-frog fairytale—brought up to date with appropriate feminism, where upon visualizing a married life with responsibilities, lots of kids and a chauvinist husband, the otherwise ecologically correct princess dines that night on frog’s legs and preserves her independence!
We were given four tasks, using simple drawing or pastels or painting...anything we liked.
1. Draw a four panel cartoon of the story.
2. Decorate a paper plate with a ”salad” of drawn butterfly wings—taken from a variety of butterflies on a printout provided by Judith.
3. Draw the frog prince morphing from frog to handsome prince in three stages.
4. Draw the princess in her beloved nature environment, using birds, bees, butterflies etc, but humanize her and de-Disney her.
We did all of this in about three hours, and finished off with our own meal of “frogs’ legs” (delicious Woolworths mini chicken kebabs) and champagne (that’s why we had to bring a wine glass!).Our homework is to create a painting of the princess…..should be fun. It was a great left brain morning.Judith is not feeling well, and her drawing workshop will move to September, maybe at AGM.



1. Opening and Editorial
The Lowveld Association of Arts was formed in September 2008. One of its aims and objectives is to send out newsletters and to keep members up to date regarding opportunities in the world of art. We trust you will find it both entertaining and instructive. Please feel not only free, but compelled, to let us have any news, information, criticism and suggestions for this newsletter. We will try to keep in touch with all of you, our members.

At the outset, please let us know in what format you want to receive this: e-mail or printed and sent by post.

2. An up to date on what has been happening since we started: - we have established a “blog” site , viz.
- In January local artists were invited to send paintings to the Pretoria Association of Visual Arts exhibition; 4 artists responded and their works were accepted and Erika and
Ilona’s paintings were sold.
- our first exhibition, “Best of the Lowveld”, was held in the Nelspruit Civic Building, in the Banquet Hall from 23rd to 26th March. The opening on the Monday night, 23rd, was well attended and enjoyed by an appreciative audience. Of the nearly 90 paintings displayed 10 were sold. We are grateful to Mbombela Municipality who offered the venue for free, parking, however, is something that needs attention in future - SANAVA (SA National Association of Visual Arts) held its AGM and our chairperson, llona Petzer, represented us at the meeting in East London. SANAVA has 27 branches and 20 affiliated organizations. It is affiliated to the International Association of Arts.
- The annual Uplands Festival, held on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May, was a full house: Some 60 artists were exhibiting in 9 classrooms, and more than R150,000 worth of art works were sold. This exhibition gets bigger each year and is something we will support.
- In June we had a most delightful workshop with Judith Mason, during which frogs were “turned” into princes and butterflies became princesses! - In June Louis Audie gave a series of workshops in White River,
- The Rendezvous Centre, at Hazyview, held an arts and crafts fair over the weekend of 20th June. Although a good venue there were very few feet and not much sold.
- INNIBOS: The opening at the Civic Centre, Nelspruit, was a most prestigious affair. Professor Marius Wiechers gave a enlightening talk in honour of the guest artist, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, who could not be there but was represented by her son and daughter. The art on show was mainly works from well known national artists but included some good work by invited local artists. Pieter Bisbergen artist and lecturer from University of Pretoria did a demo on his way of painting and also did a “walk about” talking about some of the work exhibited. This was so interesting that we felt we should invite him to come down to the Lowveld again. (more later.). 2/… 2.Due to the fact that The Lowveld Association of Arts had not yet been formed when the committee of Innibos planned the art for 2009, our Association was not directly involved. Innibos did however ask Odette (This and That) to accommodate local artists in the garden and in her Gallery . This “arts in the garden” formed part of the arts meander.
3. And, coming up……..- Eugene Hurter will be holding another workshop in White River on 15 & 16th August.- Watercolour Workshop by Sue Dickenson August 7-8. Contact Odette 082 603 1321
- Mica hosts a course on oil painting and how to make your own frame. Contact Heila 013- 7554848- Watercolour Soceity : workshop 24 July: about HAVING FUN, getting creative juices flowing and breaking some watercolour rules (did I hear a huge cheer go up!?!), as well as try some quick and experimental techniques for salvaging failed paintings as well as painting some new stuff. Contact Barbara 082 4543233. (Sorry, bit late!!)

4. Other news:
i. Botanical Gardens: We are in negotiation with the management to use the venue at the entrance for R3500 per month. We will be able to judge the success of this as a venue after Innibos, as this has been used for one of the ‘outside’ Innibos venues.

ii. The Municipality has again kindly offered us the use of the Banquet Hall at the Civic Centre for four days on October. We are thinking of having an ARTS FAIR for this, inviting all members, arts teachers, WSSA and anybody else who could boost an arts awareness in the Lowveld. We are awaiting written confirmation from the municipality and only then
will we give out more details iii. The Lowveld Honorary Ranger, together with the Lowveld Association of Arts, has embarked upon an initiative to raise funds for conservation in the Kruger National Park. We are inviting artists to participate by donating a wildlife painting. These paintings will go on auction at a banquet (Think magnificent art, glamour and a delicious Gala Dinner) organized by the Honorary rangers in March 2010. Quentin from 50/50 will be the master of ceremonies. This is a wonderful opportunity not only to do something for conservation, but also to get maximum exposure, as the auction will be on Sanparks website and “friends of the Kruger” will be able to bid, from as far as the States! Wildlands in KZN has been doing this for many years and this has been a huge success. Go to to read more of their story….we want to do something similar for the Kruger. Art will be selected by a panel of judges. The Honorary Rangers will also help organize an art exhibition at the banquet (separate from the art to be auctioned) and then move the exhibition to a camp in the Park.

iv. We are in contact with the Mpumalanga Government regarding funding for a gallery site. Early days on this but rest assured we are only too aware of the need for a permanent venue for displaying our members’ works of art
As art is really the sharing of a passion for the pleasure of visual perception we will continue to strive for opportunities to display. 3/…. 3.

5. Herbert Evans Art Shop
Remember that their Sale will be starting beginning of August. If you can’t make it to Johannesburg during August, let us know. There may be a plan to place orders that can be sent down to you by courier. Even do this as a group….
6. Annual General Meeting
Our AGM will be held on the 16th of September 2009 10.00 at Uitsig Estate Nr 2. Pieter Bisbergen (from UP) will do a demo and a short talk. Those who had the privilege to see him during Innibos were extremely impressed, so do not miss this!!
7. The International Portraits Competition
This will be an International exhibition to be held in Mauritius. Entry fees are 40 Euro and the deadline for submission is 30th July. For more info contact ilona

8. Spring Fair at Halls in September
Gail Marsh (of Halls) has contacted us, inviting all artists interested to exhibit during their Spring Festival. Although we feel that the entry fee is a bit high, you are welcome to contact Gail at 076 409 1515 or if you are interested. Perhaps also say you reckon this fee is high and they’ll get the message that all artists don’t sell paintings for R1000’s

9. Friends of the Association
Judith Mason has donated R2000.00 towards the association to start a group “Friends of the Association”. Any company / individual willing to donate an amount to the LAA will always be mentioned in our letters and on the blog. Please try and get such donations toward art in the Lowveld, as we need funds to start our own gallery!!! 10. Spier Contemporary 2010 Competition
The Spier Wine Estate runs a bi-annual national competition that is becoming a most prestigious (that word again!) affair. See for more details

11. Something different: a bit of art history:

.            Kandinsky: Russian, born in Moscow 1866, died in France 1944
- Studied law and, at age 30, was offered professorship at Tartu University in Estonia.
- But, having seen an exhibition of French Impressionists, decided to move to Germany to study painting fulltime.
- He progressed from traditional naturalistic scenes to abstract canvases that made him one of the great pioneers of 20th century art.
- Bright colours were used for effect, not naturalism: trees could be red, horses and hills blue. “Colours and shapes speak to people just as musical sounds do. “Colour is a power that directly influences the soul”, he said.
- He saw the artist at the apex of a triangle moving into the future, the base representing the mass of humanity who are slower to see the light.
- He carefully mixed colours: sage, sky blue, maroon; and experimented with texture, using controlled paint splatter for a sandy effect. 4/…. 4.
- In 1921 he was asked to join the Bauhaus art school in Germany. He started painting his signature hard edged abstracts with bright colours, black lines forming the skeleton for vividly coloured shapes on a pale background. Jagged saw teeth motifs, rainbows, triangles, circles, sometimes recognizable boats creating structure with their masts and spars. - He left Germany in 1933 to settle in the South of France where he spent the rest of his life somewhat isolated from the art world. But his work is widely considered a true expression of modern art in its most colourful form. Taken from TIME April 27, 2009. 12. Comments:
This is a news letter: please let us have your comments on the format you would like to receive this ‘letter’. We will welcome any news items and announcements about any exhibitions you are involved with or know about.
Do you want members’ news? What some of our members have been doing? Where they are now, both physically and in the art world? For instance, Marietjie Henning has just sold three paintings at an exhibition in America, with the promise of more to come!! See our blog for more details!

You can send your messages to me, Rob McQueen at,or tel./fax 013-7500700,or to Ilona Petzer at or 013-744 1292.
Have a splendid day and do not even think of stopping your painting juices, but keep them flowing!