Before, I created art wherever there was space in the house: be that on the kitchen counter, sprawled out on the lounge floor, or wherever my kids weren't currently playing. During the pandemic, I finally cleared out the garage and created a "studio" for myself and set up shop in between my husband's tools, drills and work bench. It didn't take long for my brushes, paints, easels and canvases to take over the space! It was also the first time that I realised I could invite people over to come and take a look at my work and so I am thrilled to participate in this years' Artweeks!
For my Artweeks debut I chose to showcase an array of themes, all which come with their separate story:
First and foremost: My "Africa" paintings represent the place of my birth, my childhood, my roots. I love painting women, esp tribal women who have their life etched in their faces and who wear colourful garments. Rather than concentrate on the hardships that many of them experience, I want their dignity and their grace to shine from the canvas.
I also enjoy painting animals - esp leopards (my favourite). Animals in the wild have a certain "look" about them and painting them makes me stay connected to my home country and reminds me of its beautiful landscape!
My "still life" was created mainly during the lockdown - being couped up inside, with nowhere to go, I found every day items more and more fascinating! ;) Inspired by Carravaggio, whose work I've poured over lately, I've really enjoyed practising with light and shadows to try and make the paintings more "moody". These paintings are quite small as I tried to paint as many as I could, whilst working my normal job and home-schooling my children. With so many ideas, I wanted the paintings to be cute and compact, so I could enjoy the process but then move quickly to the next one. One thing I have definitely learnt: I am obsessed with POMEGRANATES! They seem to pop up a lot.....
My pastel landscapes were painted during a time in my life, pre-Covid, where I tried to move away from the fine details I usually obsess over and to try my hand at "quick" and loose atmospheric scenes, just to see what it would feel like to me.
I would love for you to pop in to see my work! I have a big driveway with plenty of parking space and from there you can walk into my garden where I will greet you with some refreshments.
I hope to see you there :)
Born and raised in South Africa, I grew up on a timber farm in the highveld near Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. My days were filled with running barefoot through the "bush" with our family dogs and climbing trees in a skirt with my brothers. When I wasn't doing that, I lay on my bedroom floor and drew. Back then, my doodles consisted of pencil or "Biro" ballpoint drawings of unicorns, mermaids, princesses, witches.....
Later on, with the help of a friend's mother - who is also an artist - I developed some skill in oil and pastel. Even then I chose to paint portraits over anything else. I was inspired by old photographs of relatives I never met, faces I had never seen, actors or musicians that I aspired to be, who lived so far away on a different continent.
It's funny, feel like I have come full-circle: I used to dream about a different life "out there". Now, even years since I've emigrated, I remember my old life, my life on the farm. I look back on it so fondly and sometimes I still miss it. Now, I love painting ethnic portraits and wildlife! To me if feels like a "hommage". I miss the sounds, smells and views of Africa and by painting it, I feel like I am still connected.
Over the last few years I have found much joy in occasionally painting various other subject matters inspired by my new life. I never run out of ideas or inspiration and it is exciting to venture out and try something new.
I am usually working on many different pieces at one time because it helps me keep a fresh approach and lets me play out my different colour "moods". It is especially helpful when I am working on commissions, as it keeps the creativity flowing and I can take a break if I become too obsessed with one piece.