Castella adds: "Walter said they had good times in Bethulie. They were two hippies, him and Catharina."
The young family with a Kombi kept moving and even spent a year in the Kalahari with the San people before settling in Upington, because Meyer "liked the sun".
Their original house, on Jan Groentjie Drive, near the Orange River, had plenty of roses and birds, and Meyer's passion for both extended to arcane knowledge, far removed from his classical art training.
Meyer got distinctions for his fine-arts degree at the University of Pretoria, winning the New Signature prize for painting in 1984 while a student. After graduation, he studied at an art academy in Dusseldorf, Germany, avoiding military conscription.
He returned to South Africa with a desire to paint distinctly South African landscapes. In 1990 he had his first solo exhibition in Johannesburg and, supported by Catharina, never looked back.
In 1994 he won the coveted FNB Vita Art Now merit award and his paintings hang in national galleries and collections including the South African National Gallery (Cape Town), the Durban Art Gallery, the Pretoria Art Museum, the South African Reserve Bank, and in London and New York.
Catharina was awarded half of Meyer's work when they divorced in 2008, making her a major collector. After she was gone, Steve Botha, who lived next door to him and Sophia, stepped in to sell his paintings.
Now editor of the Hadeda local newspaper, he marketed Meyer's work systematically and with zest, before they fell out over Meyer's drinking.
"I would send a client a painting to look at for 30 days and I sold every single one of them. Nobody returned a painting."
He sold Upington Motor Spares owner Nik van Blerk nine pieces. His wife Elize says of one in particular: "I thought it was just brown, but the instant I saw the colour on the canvas, it was the start of a love affair."
Some of Meyer's paintings from that period are outstanding; others are less memorable. Letsatsi Lodge, in Vanrhynsdorp, has about 30 Meyers on its walls, allegedly exchanged for minimal reward.