To select, combine and concentrate that which is beautiful in nature and admirable in art is as much the business of the landscape painter in his line as in the other departments of art.
The role of the artist is to find the deepest feelings of human nature and expose them to the good or the bad. I choose to follow hope and life.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.”
I come from an exceptionally traumatic background. From the age of four up until my late twenties I suffered abuse in my closest relationships. At eighteen, I went to varsity in Potchefstroom to study my life’s passion – art. Extreme anger, hatred against men and rejection followed as I tried to find my feet as a student/artist/young woman. Anorexia became a way for me to control my environment and emotional turmoil. Themes of angst, despair, anger and abuse filled my paintings. I won prizes this way. I won respect and admiration for my talent. But I was also reliving the suffering and continually victimising myself, which ultimately dug the pit of hopelessness deeper.
At the age of 29 life came to a turning point, as I had come to the end of myself – I gave up on trying to build life my way. I turned to my faith (which I had rejected along the way) for help and became part of a faith-filled family – the Church – which is where I met and married my wonderful and loving husband, Rob. I never looked back.
In the past, I had used my story and negative feelings as the source of my artistic inspiration. You see, everyone can resonate with negative visual language – we all drift towards it, because it is a reflection of our imperfect selves. The Bible speaks of it in this way: “Sin gives birth to sin, but Spirit gives birth to Spirit”. I became a victor instead of a victim. I saw light and wanted to speak light in my visual language.
The more I began to see what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable through my walk of faith, the more I put it into practice – both in my personal life and in my artistic practice. I realised that the dark paintings I had painted before were not inspiring the viewers to a higher calling or glorifying the Creator, nor even showing what is good and lovely.
I then became very inspired by the works of Romantic landscape artists like William Turner and John Constable, with their subtle treatment of light and colour.