A Year In Hermanus Painting Abstract Landscapes

We spend a year in Hermanus from March 2019 to March 2020 and while we were there I was painting abstract landscapes.

There’s no doubt about it, Hermanus has beautiful views. I was so inspired by them that I spent the entire year that we were there painting the sea and the mountains.

En plein air

Tracy Algar @ Hermanus New Harbour

Being closer to the sea, and with fewer country views from the house than I was used to, I wanted to paint outside. Being on the cliff path or on the beach was about more than just the view, and I wanted to express how a location felt and what my experience was of being there. Sometimes that experience was finding rocks to put on my sketches or holding things down with my elbows while I painted with my hands. Yes, it gets windy down there.

The solution I found was…

  1. Some quick and messy en plein air sketching without putting pressure on myself to create a “whole” painting while I was out there battling the elements.
  2. A number of messy sketches to play with back in the studio, where I could mix and match my favourite bits into a composition that I liked.
  3. Lots and lots of new ideas in my sketchbook to inspire larger paintings in my studio.

Here are a few of the landscape paintings and collages I painted in Hermanus

If you are interested in seeing more of the process that I employed and some of my outdoor painting experiences, check out the videos below.


  1. Mags Baleta

    Hi Tracy
    Sue Wolff told me about the workshop you are doing at Zesty Lemom next weekend. I would love to know more about it. Do you still have space how long is it and what are the costs.

    • Tracy Algar

      Hi Mags. Thanks for your message. I have replied to your email with more details. Just one point, the workshop at The Zesty Lemon is on Wednesday 29th January, not on the weekend. I hope that suits you. All the best, Tracy


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