The South African landscape in painting

I pay tribute to those painters who have stood in the South African landscape with something like awe.  As with the 19th-century landscape poets before them, they paused and were touched.  The need to capture what they saw, what they felt, was strong.  I share some of these works.

An etching by Cecil Skotnis.

A detail of that etching.


A work by Isabel le Roux.

A work by Pierneef.

An etching by Eunice Geustyn called Passage.

A work by Erik Laubscher.

A work by Willie Strydom.

(c) Will van der Walt

Les Semboules, Antibes

October, 2018



Some of the sources of images have been lost.  I acknowledge what I can.

Isobel le Roux  –

Pierneef  –  cunda club

Willie Strydom  –





I don’t know how I could have travelled without a camera.  Yes, one remembers some things, but just as soon one forgets.  I haven’t dared to count the number of images I’ve taken since 2007 when I left for South Korea.  I have a suspicion that I took about  5,000 images there.  And I haven’t begun on my seven years of association with France.  Some images are documentary and they don’t pretend to be anything else.  But yes, it is precisely the unusual that attracts me as well.  I share some images.  

In the Dongdaemung shopping centre in Seoul, there were many things that caught my attention.  I love the juxtaposition of the unreal models and the shopping assistant.

In February this year I experienced snow for the first time in France.  I had to touch the stuff and this is the record of  my touching it.

A kite-flier on the beach at Strand, Somerset West, Western Cape.

On the Cap d’Antibes, these yachts came by and I tried to catch them at the right moment.

This image from a factory in Anseong, South Korea, haunts me.

 This image is a combination of something inside a window while the window itself was reflecting a person behind me.

This image is of a sort of hip-hop mural in the playing area of the local primary school, here in Les Semboules.

This is a mural at the Bulguksa temples in the South of South Korea.  I find the difference and similarity between the two murals fascinating.

These are car tracks left in the snow in February.  I found them quite expressive.

This is an interior image in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice.  The building itself is a piece of sculpture.

On the day it snowed I walked in the snow leaving an imprint which filled with water.  In the reflection I took this image of my hand.

All Directions … Cemetery

Some pessimist must have erecetd these two signs together.

(c) Will van der Walt

Les Semboules, Antibes

October, 2018


My photographs


Bronze man in the shadows of trees, Monaco


Random images – Table Mountain

Let the poetry of unnamed images work for you, the reader.  If you are interested in the sources, I can provide some of them at the end.


(c) Will van der Walt

Les Semboules, Antibes

September, 2018



Etching, W. Stettler 1669, from “Hoerikwaggo”

Table Mountain – source lost

Table Mountain wind – source lost

False Bay sunset – my photograph

Drawing, Gus Ferguson

Etching/Painting, G F Riedel, 1780 – from “Hoerikwaggo”

Sail Ship – source lost

Table Mountain sunset  –  source lost

Table Mountain in wind – source lost

Table Mountain – artist unknown – from “Hoerikwaggo”







Dubai Airport, 28/8/2018, 00 :10

Open the oven door and put your face in.  That’s what you feel as you step down the flight steps to the waiting buses that will take you to the terminal building.  If you can believe it, the bus takes at least 15 minutes to get there.  No, it’s not airport traffic; it’s the distance.

And I see the terminal building through a haze of exhaustion, a kind of spectacular dream, the nightmare luggage check, rivers of anxious people flowing this way and that.  Then, the trek to the boarding gates from where my ‘plane will lift into the night air above the Arabian desert.  For me, there is no sleeping.  Troubled dozing, maybe.   This is the price I pay for travel.  And yes, I’ll keep paying it.


I amuse myself by taking photographs and long after that I amuse myself again by giving the images graphic treatment.  I share some of them.




And, from the round-corner port I see Table Mountain.  It’s still there.  The airport itself zooms for a minute and then stops.  I feel in a daze.  My friend is standing at the entrance with his Waiting for Godot sign, a little in-group joke we have.  When I see the faces of my country, hear their words, I begin to be touched again,  a feeling that doesn’t actually leave me.  I can feel my second breath.

© Will van der Walt

Well, where would it be?

August, 2018


My graphics (publ by RockCloud)

With thanks to Douglas and Dave for fetching me and welcoming me – friends I have had for more than 58 years.



The French word for heat wave which, up to now, I haven’t known or known about.  There has been no need.  But the last two weeks have been the hottest I’ve experienced in France.  It might well be the hottest weather that anyone under forty has known.

I remember the heat in Durban — thick, wet and clinging.  Elsewhere in South Africa the summers are dry.  The Côte d’Azur is different from France:  when it’s snowing in the rest of the country, the day is sunny here; while France was getting the brunt of the Saharan heat sweeping up through Portugal and Spain, with temperatures soaring to 40°C, the Côte d’Azur reached only 34°C.  But, make no mistake, the thickness, the wetness, the clinging are there.

Everything wilts

The meteo on TV keeps promising change.  At the beginning of the third week we have begun to wonder at their competence.  Each day we draw the curtains to live in stygian gloom. We get the roof fan turning. We switch on the air-conditioner.  Our supply of chilled mineral water is dwindling. I walk around the apartment in my Australian underpants;  Claudie is too hot to notice.

This year long-standing weather records have been surpassed globally.  Sceptics are having a harder time in persuading us that climate change is a hoax.  Will we see winter again?

The tight smile of the air-conditioner

At nine minutes to four — yes, let it be documented — the first hot drops of rain began falling on the place below our apartment window.  As I write this evening, there is a cool breeze bringing benediction to the passage and to our rooms.

Place Charles Cros – note the rain puddle

© Will van der Walt

Les Semboules, Antibes

9th August, 2018


My photographs



ERIC MCKEOWN – Photographer

I have for many years admired the photography of Eric McKeown, a South African cameraman and artist.  He was born in the 1960s and I have always sensed that those times of creativity, of questioning things and believing in art were somehow fused in his being.  I share some of his work.

This image he calls “Dunes”.  Like some of his other images it has a touch of the dream.  It is also well composed, with a fine colour sense.

The composition of this image “City” radiates from its compelling centre.  I don’t recognise the cityscape.  It might have been in the United States.

In this playful image collage of his partner, he  captures her moods.

Again, the dream-like quality in the “Sandton Tower”.

The appeal for me here in “City” is the strata of colour with the fading city at the centre.

A well-composed image “Clouds” that has for me the feel of a baroque roof mural.

This image “Lagoon in moonlight” has a brooding.  The texture itself has an unreal feeling, bordering on sepia abstraction..

This tribute “Zebra” has a glow about it.  The photogenic quality that zebras have also helps.

“Me and my Cat” is an imaginative selfie, bordering on abstraction.

(c) Will van der Walt

Les Semboules, Antibes

July, 2018



Photography by Eric McKeown (copyright) 


With thanks to Eric, for permission to display the images 

Empire State in New York


 The first in a series of two

It is interesting to see people’s reactions to graffiti art.  Quite often they judge it as if it were some less than savoury expletive.  But even a superficial glance must convince one that, in the decades after the 1960s, graffiti art has evolved in form and quality beyond all expectation.  It has been said that graffiti art has taken the history of art into new directions.

The images that I have are random.  Others might have a better representation of what Cape Town offers.  I share mine to get the chat going.

These two works are by the Cape Town artist, Faith 47, who has achieved international repute and has been invited to paint murals in capitals of the world.  The first is on the vibracrete fence at Zonnebloem school in District Six.  The second is six storeys high – a woman in traditional dress and her child.

These works are on walls in Woodstock.  The first two may have an ideological message.

The next two are part of commercial advertising.  In the last one the barred shadow of the burglar bar over the bird only happens at certain times of the day.

© Will van der Walt

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2018



My photographs


See also “HipHop Graffiti” in   







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