Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lunch at Camps Bay

In every corner of every city all around the world, there is a group of people we label - hobos, tramps, homeless - here in Cape Town, anyone who lives off the pickings of the street is called a 'Bergie'.  This is a derivative of an Afrikaans word, Berg, which means mountain. 

Now the mountain that is referred to is Table Mountain, that flat topped edifice associated around the world with our city.  The original homeless inhabitants used to live on the slopes of the mountain, finding caves and rock shelters, hence the name.  

Of course, they no longer live on the mountain, instead taking shelter in doorways. There are a number of houses that have been turned into hostels for overnight stays, but not that many take advantage of them except when it gets really cold or when the rain comes pouring down.  They are fiercely independent and very rarely beg.

This gentleman is a resident of the Camps Bay area, a quiet, well mannered person who, for reasons unknown to us, lives on the streets.  He had no trouble with having his picture taken, asking for nothing in return.  Someone had given him a piece of fried fish for his lunch.


 I have included a google map of Camps Bay if you feel like gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean!

40 comments:

Willy. said...

"LOVELY" expression!!
Cngrts, Willy.

AK said...

This is a lovely painting. An expression of a lunch interrupted. Beautiful strokes. All your works are brilliant. The blog is really interesting. Would be happy to join you in your saga with paint and brush.

AutumnLeaves said...

What life is shown in this man's face. A beautiful portrait Liz.

My email is LeavesOfCrimson[at]att.net

Arti said...

Very good portrait of the gentleman, Liz.You never know what drives one to live the life one chooses!Nice info...

Melanie Rawlings said...

I realy like the values in this painting. the copos is very interesting.

Prabal said...

I love the expressive work here Liz. And the man looks very strong and independent of course.

Dean H. said...

Wonderful work yet again, Elizabeth! Very painterly.

Sadly, I expect the number of homeless will be increasing in the USA.

Gary said...

Love the layers here Liz. You have a strong hand (a good thing).

Anthony Duce said...

This is a wonderful portrait of the man. Love the tones and the expression.
Some of the models hired at the local art center live similar lives. They are so interesting to draw, but at the same time I am wondering and wanting to know so much more about them as I'm drawing them. They rarely share....

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

beautifull painting, and words too
a very important post, thank you

Art with Liz said...

Gosh Willy, thank you.


Hi AK - always great finding someone in Africa, especially someone who paints as well as you do! Thank you for the visit and the comment.

Art with Liz said...

Dear Sherry, thank you. You are always so encouraging. I sent a pic to you - maybe you can use, maybe not.


Ah there's such a story in that face Arti! As you say, we'll never know.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Melanie (what is copos?)


Hey there Prabal - thank you! He has a lovely painterly face, full of character.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Dean, I really appreciate your comments. I sometimes think the pace of life today can cause a 'dropping out' of society as much as anything else. A lesson for all of us to slow down?


Hi Gary, thank you so much for visiting and the great comment.

Art with Liz said...

Your comment was incredible Tony. It made me think that maybe that's what we should be doing as well - inviting people such as this man to be models for a morning. Increasing their sense of worth and independence. Well done to you guys.

Benny and Lily said...

Beautiful
Benny & Lily

Lauralee said...

Great, fantastic.

travelingsuep said...

This is a fabulous painting. I love the colours and tones you have used.

btw arrived here from Marian Fortunati's blog.

marty said...

Liz, c'est un portrait magnifique de cet homme sans logis ! C'est rendre hommage à ces gens qui n'ont
sans doute pas choisi cette vie !
bisous, bonne semaine

padmaja said...

Liz, this is one of your super best! I like the expression, half of hunger seems satisfied,very genuine portrait!

Sadia Hussain said...

A painting portraying character.
Very skillfully done Liz !
Brilliant!

Marian Fortunati said...

A powerful portrait, Liz!!!
And thanks for a bit of a reminder about the lives of those who through choice or circumstances live very differently than most of us.

Be well!

dominique eichi said...

Liz , such a wonderful piece you did and I love the explanation associated with Table Mountain which btw my daughter climb all to way to the top when she was doing a "semester at sea " going around the world.
I appreciate your stop at my place too, thank you. Such a poignant subject.

Pam Holnback said...

Great painting. Poignant story.

Barbara Pask said...

What an interesting character. I love how painterly it is, really like seeing all of your brushstrokes in his face.

Charlene Brown said...

'Bergie' is a great name, implying a preference for being 'out there,' which you've captured beautifully in this stunning portrait. I followed your Google link to Camps Bay and landed in Street View, not gazing at the Atlantic, but south to the Berg!

Carol Horzempa said...

I keep coming back to look at your portrait of this homeless man...didn't have time to make a comment before.

Those penetrating eyes really grab me...almost feel like I know him but of course that is impossible.

I really enjoyed a ride along the coast on your Google map. Camp Bay is another place I would like to viist...just beautiful!

Claire Beadon Carnell said...

So much character in his face - you've painted this magnificently, Liz.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Laura!


Hi Benny and Lily! Thanks guys.

Art with Liz said...

Hi Lauralee - thank you for the lovely comment and the visit.


Hello Travelling Sue! What a great life you lead. Thanks for the kind words.

Art with Liz said...

A man without a home. That's great Marty, thank you!


Thank you Padmaja - I really liked his face and it was great to paint him.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Sadia!


Hello Marian! Thank you and yes, you're right, we have so much and sometimes it's good to be reminded of those less fortunate.

Art with Liz said...

Hi Dominique! So you know all about our Mountain! What a great trip your daughter must have had. Thank you for the kind words.


Thank you so much Pam.

Marie Theron said...

How well we know these characters! The face and arms are nicely painted, Liz. The plain background is effective with such a detailed image!

Art with Liz said...

Hello Barbara. Yes I think I'm starting to enjoy the brushstrokes and leaving those marks! I still fuss sometimes, but am getting better. Thank you.


Hi there Charlene! Thank you, and to let you know, the mountains behind Camps Bay are part of the Table Mountain chain, called the 12 Apostles.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you Carol for the lovely comment and the visit. That Atlantic Seaboard side of Cape Town is very beautiful - but like every city, there are not so pretty sides as well. Come and visit, anytime!


Thank you so much Claire.

Celeste Bergin said...

I think we all know that it would be easy to be him..that is what you have captured here--how we are looking at ourselves.

hmuxo said...

So much emotion in his face Liz and you captured it in this wonderful painting. Very interesting story.

sam said...

Lovely work Liz, really like your choice of subject and his character.

SKIZO said...

Thank you for sharing
This fabulous work with us
Good creations