Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stellenbosch and Portchie

My previous post happen to be about  beauty so often overlooked and taken for granted on one's doorstep - when I visited Lourensford Estate a while ago.  Living in the famous winelands of the Cape, and in particular the Stellenbosch region, a mere 15 km away, is another such gem.  

After tending to some business in Stellenbosch I decided to not head back home but to go for a stroll in this picturesque town.  It is not uncommon to see a constant stream of young people strolling around as the majority of them would be studying at Stellenbosch University.

A popular destination for tourists because of its cultural heritage, the beautiful old buildings and so many oak trees, its a merry mix of students and tourists that grace the streets.  Having a trusty compact digital canon in handbag in case of emergencies, I whipped it out and put on my best tourist grin and boldly took photo's of whatever tickled me.

I clicked away, without any problems - amongst others, of the oh-so-typical elephants/giraffes/beads that you find everywhere.  Not really interested in that, after all - the streets and shops are quite riddled with the curios in places.  One of the shopowners was not happy with my few clicks - even when I tried to explain that he would have got a bit of free advertising on my blog. Feeling a bit deflated I meandered further downtown - clicking here and there - when out of the blue, Portchie's studio, The Red Teapot Gallery, loomed in front of me in glorious colour.  My deflated mood drained into a crack on the pavement and the blazing colours sucked me in and I felt like I was in a smarty box.  What a magical crazy fantastic mix of fun and colour explosion eneveloped me.  

Portchie himeself was there about to tackle a blank canvass.  We exchanged a few words and he was happy for me to take as many photo's as I wanted and signed the two prints I bought for my daughter.  What a change from the earlier experience from the whatchamacallit-african-curio-seriously-overpriced I-will-never-go-there-again place!

I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland that discovered a giant splendid smarty-box and was dizzily delighted by the explosion of colour which wrapped itself around me.  Somehow if Portchie himself burst into song it would have been appropriate and fitting.  Even if someone held out a glass of bubbly champagne it would have been appropriate.  

And I know, all I had was my little digital - but you'll get the picture :D.  So, without further ado - here's Portchie in his Art Gallery, smiling, friendly, chatty, open-armed in this bright and cheerful happy playground of his.  Thanks Portchie! 

Portchie - the colourful Artist
Playful and whimsical
Bought a print of this one for my daughter. She love VW's
Love the detail close up 

I loved the fact that he had other artists work as well
Flying Pigs? 
Pink flying piglet at your smiling service 
I  know I know - but I couldn't resist them.  Are you smiling too?
Playful colour explosion 
She is so gorgeous
Loved her detail 
I'm  not sure whether these are Portchie's own scultpure's or  not.  
I was thrilled to see Frans's work there too 
colour me everywhere

Close-up of a scene in one of the paintings
Another close-up detail 
'Daisy will you marry me'?
Beetle Juice

Thanks Portchie - you coloured my day

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  1. Stellenbosch with its wet streets behind the flying pigs... and only you can describe it so colourful, Karin. It makes any "deflated mood drain into a crack on the pavement" :)
    Love it!

    1. Thanks Anchen - its the best place to see flying pigs I know :)

  2. what great memories you have brought back - we were in SA in 2005 for a belated honeymoon and happened upon Portchie's gallery - what a find - ended up breaking the bank and boughy 13 paintings which brought the beautiful Portchie colours to Brussels - he visited us there as well on one of his European tours - those paintings are so uplifting - what a great painter !!

    Ronan (now in Ireland)

    1. Hi Roman,
      Thanks for stopping by. It must be a great thrill to him to know how far and wide his paintings are enjoyed.

  3. I'm revisiting a few of my old blog posts, wondering whether it's time to remove the blog as I've rather neglected what was once a pleasant pastime. Now I'm having second thoughts because I still enjoy seeing these posts and the photos. Should I revive this old blog friend of mine? ­čĄö

  4. Gosh, 9 years ago already, and it still brings back such a happy memory of the colourful Portchie and his delightful art.


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