Downtown shopping by Maree  Clarkson

Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – 12″ × 8″
From my Africa / Ethnic series.

The Cape Malay community is an ethnic group or community in South Africa. It derives its name from the present-day Western Cape of South Africa and the people originally from Maritime South-east Asia, mostly Javanese from modern-day Indonesia, a Dutch colony for several centuries, and Dutch Malacca, which the Dutch held from 1641 – 1824.

The community’s earliest members were enslaved Javanese transported by the Dutch East India Company. They were followed by slaves from various other South-east Asian regions, and political dissidents and Muslim religious leaders who opposed the Dutch presence in what is now Indonesia and were sent into exile. Starting in 1654, these resistors were imprisoned or exiled in South Africa by the Dutch East India Company, which founded and used what is now Cape Town as a resupply station for ships travelling between Europe and Asia. They were the group that first introduced Islam to South Africa.
Info from Wikipedia

I did this from my imagination, starting off with two figures, letting it develop as I went along. Therefore, here the image was the inspiration for the words, whereas, often a song or certain words will be the inspiration for my sketch.

Most of the Malay people (about 166 000) live in the Bo-Kaap at the foot of Signal Hill in Cape Town and some of their recipes are world-renowned as “traditional South African dishes”. Here’s a recipe for an age-old favourite :

Bobotie is a sweet curry mince dish set in an egg custard traditionally served on yellow rice, but is delicious with Basmati too.

1 slice of white bread soaked in milk
2 onions, chopped finely
2 t crushed garlic
500g topside mince
15 ml curry powder
2 ml salt
2T Chutney
2T brown vinegar
2T Worcester Sauce
2t Turmeric
2T Brown sugar
100 ml sultanas
2 eggs beaten separately
1 cup milk with a pinch of Turmeric

Heat oven to 180 deg C. Fry onions in oil. Add mince and brown.
Add the curry powder and other spices.
When well browned, remove from the heat.
Mix in the Sultana’s and one beaten egg and the soggy bread.
Spoon into a greased oven dish.
Mix the milk and second egg together.
Pour over the mince mixture.
Arrange some bay leaves on the surface.
Bake for 45 minutes.

  1. 26th July 2010 – FEATURED in Inspired Art
  2. 7th August 2010 – FEATURED in Vibration in Art & Verse
  3. 12th September 2010 – FEATURED in African Art at Heart
  4. 18th October 2010 – FEATURED in First Things
  5. 16th April 2012 – PIC OF THE DAY in ‘Bubbling Artists’
  6. 2nd June 2012 – FEATURED in Fauna, Flora, Landscapes and Architecture of South Africa
  7. 12th June 2012 – FEATURED in Artists Universe
  8. 10th august 2012 – FEATURED in Mozambique
  9. 21st August 2012 – FEATURED in Decorative and Traditional Art
  10. 21st October 2012 – FEATURED in Women Painters

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Elizma Knowles
    Elizma Knowlesover 4 years ago

    I LOVE this! It sommer makes me homesick :-)

  • Ag Elizma, so pleased you like it! If you’re home-sick, that means you’re due for a visit!!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Sangeeta
    Sangeetaover 4 years ago

    Great image, especially as it emerged from your imagination :)

    I had no idea there was a Malay community there, and a decent sized one at that. I’m from Malaysia originally by the way.

    That recipe looks good, may try it someday soon!

  • Thanks Sangeeta. The Cape Malays and their religious leaders played an important role in the development of the language and culture of the Cape colony. They have preserved their cultural identity and Muslemic creed and the old Malay Quarter with its steep and narrow streets, the plain artisan houses, Mosques and Minarets reaches from the Buitengracht street up to the Signal Hill. The houses were restored and colourfully painted. The architectural style is a synthesis of Cape Dutch and Edwardian.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • scallyart
    scallyartover 4 years ago

    Fabulous work Maree.

  • Thanks so much Kerry!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • craftloft
    craftloftover 4 years ago
  • Oh yea!! Thanks for accepting Mariaan!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottover 4 years ago

    Nice!!! I’ll never understand how people can balance jugs & such on their heads. I can’t even keep a hat on!! ha!

  • You’re like me! But those turbans they wind around their heads helps! Thanks Marsha!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 4 years ago

    This is so beautiful and alive!! I love the shadows too. Very well done Maree!!! “Bobotie” is not only one of my favourite words in Afrikaans, but also one of my favourite dishes!!

    I think you deserve my special “feature” for this:

  • Oh wow! Thank you for such a brilliant comment Liz! And when you make your favourite dish, you can invite me!! hugs and kisses!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Ken Powers
    Ken Powersover 4 years ago

    Very nice interesting piece Maree! This is not something I ever see where I live! Great work!

  • Thanks Ken.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 4 years ago

    wonderful painting and the recipe sounds great – can you use something other than milk? I never use it.

  • Thanks Shulie. I’m sure water would work just as well.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Yannik Hay
    Yannik Hayover 4 years ago

    Beautiful aquarel! you do beautiful art. Cheers :)

  • thank you so much for that Yannik! Much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Julie-Ann Vellios
    Julie-Ann Velliosover 4 years ago

    beautiful work – thanks for the recipe too – you did this work from your imagination??? – how clever you are!

  • Thanks Julie, hope you enjoy the recipe! It really is delicious! Imagination, yes – it’s just 2 figures and then fill in some details… lol

    – Maree Clarkson

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