Friday, July 13, 2012

Shepstone Gardens



On Monday a group of us went to Shepstone Gardens, a Heritage site and a busy wedding and events venue. It is a whole conglomeration of stone constructions - houses, chapels, pathways, walls, a garden shed and a studio, commissioned by the Modderfontein Dynamite Company and built around the turn of the century by Afrikaners after the Anglo Boer War - from 1 000 tons of quartz rock. Apparently Mahatma Gandhi stayed on and off in the encampment at the foot of the ridge, while his friend, the architect Kallenbach was building.

The first sketch I did there is on its way as a postcard in the Postcards from my Walk project, so I won't show it yet. (my last one never reached its destination in California, so holding thumbs for this one!)
I had another prepared splashy watercolour sheet in my sketchbook and the blues and browns fitted well into the shape of the wedding chapel, so that was my next subject.

There was a little boy looking like he needed something to do (he was on school holidays and his dad was working in the Gardens) on the lawn next to me so I offered him a sketchbook and pencil, which he shyly but eagerly accepted. He told me his name was Gift, and he spent the next hour or more drawing intently - watching me looking up and down and sketching, and then following suit. I think he indeed has a gift, to be so young - in Grade 2 so not more than 6 or 7 - and concentrate for so long on his carefully observed drawing. I left him my pencil, I think I'll go back with a sketchbook - a possible young urban sketcher/artist/architect in the making!


10 comments:

Robyn Sinclair said...

That's a beautiful watercolour of the chapel, Cathy.
I love your little friend Gift's drawing. He certainly knows what he's doing. Such a lovely connection for you to share.

Sadami said...

Hi, Cathy,
Very touchy story and the lovely drawings. Pass my best wishes to Gift.
...and yes, you're so nice, Cathy!!
Kind regards, Sadami

Vicki Holdwick said...

A lovely watercolor and a story just as lovely. How nice to be able to connect to a young person in just such a way as this. He is quite good at observing and I expect he will continue perhaps because of you.

xoxo

Charlene Brown said...

How lucky Gift was that it was you he saw when he was casting about for something to do... The resulting story and drawing are pure enchantment!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Robyn, Sadami, Vicki and Charlene - it was a special connection - made my day - and maybe he will carry on drawing!

RH Carpenter said...

What a story! I think you both were given a gift that day - he, for your generosity and care; you, for meeting this young artist!! I hope you see him again. Love the sketch - so well done and your buildings are always so beautiful with life in them even though they are stone or brick.

Marie Theron said...

I love the chapel and the detail sketches too, and a lovely story too!

carolking said...

I like the sketch of the chapel and the story about Gift with a gift. You were so kind to let him draw with you. What a wonderful experience for you both.

BTW, I've been having a hard time leaving comments on your blog. I'm glad it let me do it today.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks so much Rhonda, Marie and Carol... have no idea why there was a problem with comments - hopefully blogger has fixed it!

Sue Pownall said...

Great sketch and how lovely of you to encourage this young boy :)