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Rand Gold Mine , 90x80cm, oil on canvas,2013

A long time ago, when Hermann Niebuhr came back to Joburg, we made some excursions down Main Reef road, looking for clues to the spirit of Jozi. On the East Rand, close to the fabled Snake Road mine dump, we found some derelict buildings. In the detritus were many small plastic signs that had once steered mineworkers around the equipment that gets the shiny stuff out of the ground. And one of the signs we took back to Lilian Road bore the simple inscription “propane on”.

Over the course of many workshops held on the stoep of Lilian Rd, “propane on” became a key idea in the mythology of how an exhibition comes together. Further workshops revealed that the stages are: 1. Churning or scratching around. 2. Finding your Line and Length. 3  Propane On, and 4. Brushes Down.

I reached Brushes Down last Friday at 6.30pm. I’ve been at the landscape business again, from early January, working towards a June 1 show at the William Humphreys Gallery in Kimberley. It’s a grand moment, make no mistake, but one still has a lot things to do. Like taking stuff to the framers, touching up nicks and scratches on old frames, listing and photographing work, and varnishing the paintings I did two years ago. I like W& N Satin varnish, by the way, and the best thing to apply that with is the Roberson Priming Brush, purchased in London by Marjorie MacLean. It has a copper ferrule and a handle made out of laminated wood, and it lasts forever.

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Made in France, nogal

There was a lot of work involving crates. The unpacking and re-packing thereof. My rudimentary carpentry skills were called into service (ah, what a fine invention is the electric screwdriver!) I’ve sent 62 pieces off to the North West, and it was a moment of pure delight when finally the laden truck trundled off down the road. I shall soon be bringing up the rear, with a few stragglers in the back of the Nissan. Onward to Kimberley!

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Sometimes a crate notion…..