Top Cape Costal Towns That Inspire My Art
The rustic beauty of many coastal towns near Cape Town and along the Garden Route is the inspiration for artists, photographers, writers and poets. For Cape Town artist, Andrew Cooper capturing the essence of each location is what inspires the subject matter of many of his paintings. Cooper shares five of his top coastal weekend getaways that inspire his art.
Arniston, near the southern tip of Africa, is where I love to spend most of my time. There is a unique feel to this small fishing village that never seems to change. The little urban development that’s taken place there over the years hasn’t seemed to spoil its rustic charm. I usually rent a self-catering house overlooking the sea called The Deck. From here I can directly access the beach and love to explore the rock pools and ancient fishing traps along the coast. Sunrises out of the sea inspire much of my art because of the light and reflection it has on the water.
Churchaven, overlooking the Langebaan Lagoon is a wonderful little village situated in the West Coast National Park just one hour from Cape Town. This massive body of water’s colour palette is a huge inspiration for my art. At different times of the day you are bound to find a new shade, pattern or texture in the water. When I am not painting, I love to explore by running or walking along the beach or in the nature reserve. I don’t have anywhere in particular I like to stay but should we go in a big group, there are many beautiful homes to choose from on Perfect Hideaways website.
Hermanus has always been an old favourite of mine. Despite the ongoing development taking place in this once sleepy holiday town, nature’s force is apparent in every direction you turn. At the coast, I enjoy strolling along the cliff paths and feeling the spray of the waves as they explode onto the rocks below. It’s also the only way you can actually hear a whale breathe without venturing out into the bay on a boat. In the mountains, you are surrounded by views of the ocean and abundant vegetation of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. There is so much to take in, that every image I paint offers something unique.
Witsands along the Breeder River is another coastal town that inspires my seascape paintings. Its remote location is what draws me to it. We usually rent a house right on the beach, which allows me to watch the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides as it spills in and out of the river mouth. Capturing this scenery in a painting allows me to experiment with the way light is reflected at different times of the day as well as the motion of the tides as it swirls across the sand. Collecting oysters at low tide is a must as well as fishing along the banks of the river. It’s the ideal weekend getaway just 3 hours from Cape Town.
The Garden Route from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay offers so much in terms of outdoor activity. As a runner, hiker and fisherman I am in my element. A favourite place for me to hike is Jubilee Creek in the Goudveld Forest near Knysna. There is so much inspiration in the forests and coasts along this region, it never gets old. The scenery is also forever changing with the seasons.
To find inspiration as an artist isn’t difficult as long as you remain true to who you are and what you love.