Bruce Backhouse Watercolour Workshop


Bruce Backhouse, just completed an extraordinary water colour workshop at Bergplaas Nature Reserve. Participants experienced the art of 'seeing' and discovering their own unique 'handwriting' which resulted in amazing creations of the unique Sneeuberg mountains. We are look forward to 2018, for the next Bruce Backhouse Workshop.

A water colour painting workshop with Bruce Backhouse at Bergplaas in the deepest Karoo was an unforgettable highlight of 2017. His caringly hand-painted name tags set the tone and energy for the group. With his guidance one learned to pin down the blazing reds and yellows of the autumn poplars against the blues of the sky and the grey-green mountains in constantly changing light. One was given the courage and freedom to interpret the landscape according to one's own experience of it. No wifi or cellphone for three days was bliss and afforded the quiet focus and concentration needed to cover a lot of ground. This was truly a peak experience. Now it's just practice, practice and more practice.Jacqueline, Somerset West

'In moments of reflection about the course, I am left feeling very privileged to have been inspired by Bruce's skill, generosity and thoughtfulness. I love that through painting I have found a new way of perceiving and appreciating the natural environment, not least the magnificence of the Karoo landscape.'Sarah Bean

'Thank you for offering us the remote, tranquil and beautiful expanse of Bergplaas for the water colour workshop. As we all agreed, the seclusion and lack of interruption from the outside world made it possible to be very present in the moment.'Christine Mouton

The water colour painting course taken by Bruce Backhouse was definitely more of a creative retreat for me! An escape from the city to just push the reset button and enjoy peace, quiet, astounding natural beauty, fantastic company, an abundance of delicious food, no cell phone reception and the pure joy of having a pencil and paintbrush in my hand! Bergplaas offers an environment of simple pleasures where one is encouraged to settle into a new rhythm of calm. It almost has the feel of a family-run Italian restaurant where there is a genuine and thoughtful approach to how it is run. Thank you Cindy, Wayne and Layonne for a wonderful stay!

Bruce's painting sessions were thoroughly enjoyable throughout. It never once felt like we were "at school" and instead of him teaching us to paint he rather subtly encouraged us to look at our own work through less critical eyes, enabling us to develop and appreciate our own "handwriting" as he called it. It was such a pleasure watching him paint and admiring his patience with the process, allowing his work to develop on the paper as he had interpreted from the scene.

I walked away from the weekend feeling incredibly fortunate to have participated in such an experience. I look forward to returning to the Karoo to enjoy its vastness in the very near future!Kate [Professional Architect]

We arrived flat-footed and awkward
Minds closed to beauty and air
Blue was blue and green only green
The sweet water refreshed us
And our Master inspired us to look and to see
And slowly, slowly we started to open our eyes
We left with lofty skies and soaring cliffs
Smiles of colours soft and bright
And we walked on air.