Archive for March, 2013

Monika Mazur

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Monika Mazur works with oil and mixed media to put visions of brightly colored, sweeping subjects on her canvases. She has a varied collection up at SouthAfricanArtists.com, including two striking nudes, a couple of florals, and a poignant mother and child.

"Tulip" is a strong oil on canvas which depicts two deeply colored red-orange tulip blossoms on a field of the same color. The flowers are given to the viewer in the hard-hitting O’Keefe style which typically depicts the image in an extreme closeup, no matter the size of the canvas. Two tulip blossoms cover a good three-quarters of the Mazur canvas, extending out far beyond its borders in such a way that our eye tends to follow them, then drift back in.

The heavy use of red-orange is  relieved in this attractive piece by a few black-green leaf shapes in the background at the base of the canvas, as well as some welcome green stalks and leaves in the foreground. Quite nicely carried out, "Tulips" would be a splashy centerpiece for the right environment.

Mazur’s "Waterlilies" is an irresistible painting. This piece is also reminiscent of famous artwork, calling to mind both Monet’s and Manet’s works on the same subjects. A spray of waterlilies and the curvy round leaves that surround them float on a sumptuous field of aquamarine water. One can almost see the surface of the pond swell and ebb. Mazur portrays her waterlilies in deeper colors than the impressionists, with a nod to contemporary modern interpretations.

 

Eilerson – "Revival"

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Eilerson is an artist with only one name and a singular perspective. He works sometimes in acrylics on board, sometimes in mixed media on paper, and frequently, just with pencil on paper. An artist with notable ability in drawing, Eilerson presents an eclectic collection of his work on SouthAfricanArtists.com. Some pieces are well-rendered realistic drawings, and some, like the subject of this post, are works of fantasy and emotion.

"Revival" is a bright, happy painting carried out in acrylics on board. It pictures a foreground full of white flowers, all turned toward the viewer as if looking back at him or her. Behind, is a middle ground of primal red hues, terminating in a high blue hill topped with three crosses. The heavens beyond are caught in the process of opening up, an inspiring and moving sight.

"Revival" is a meaningful work for Eilerson, displaying his spiritual side in a vivid, almost primitive manner. It’s a symbolic, carefree piece, laid down straight from the heart with great sincerity and panache. There is no laboring over technique in this painting, just a palpable need to convey an earth-changing moment.

By contrast, "Debbie" is an intimate, quiet portrayal of a little girl, done in pencil with much attention to technique. The girl sits on the ground, sweatered arms on the knees of her jeans, and peeks out at the witness. Her fisted hands are placed in front of her face, almost covering the eyes, which smile out at us in the epitome of innocence… a sweet, lovely picture, indeed.

 

 

Jonathan Hindson – "Sleeping Reflection"

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

At the impressionable age of eleven, Jonathan Hindson moved with his family from Johannesburg to France. Straightaway, he began studying in a Bordeaux art school, though he avers that his South African roots are still alive inside him.

His body of work on SouthAfricanArtists.com is as eclectic in style as the images he portrays. Acrylics, digital art, ink, print work, and several mixed media pieces are displayed in Jonathan’s gallery. Many pictures are quite large or created in unusual sizes. Many are collages. All are extremely contemporary and intriguing.

"Sleeping Reflection" is one of Jonathan’s most successful pieces, although it is by no means among his most costly. A masterful depiction of a nude woman sleeping, this canvas draws us in to a secret, fascinating world. The figure, erotic and pale, sleeps on her front torso with her head to the side. She is witnessed in the reflection of a mirror, in front of which we can make out vague shapes of furniture, dark and hard-edged, in pleasant contrast to the light-colored scene beyond. Fully one-third of the canvas is taken up with a study of old wallpaper, stained and intricate in its Victorian floral design. Just past the sleeping woman is a wall with textured layers of darkish reds and indeterminate shadows, highly abstract, as if representing the subject’s dreams… or nightmares.

Hindson offers several other canvases, each one as absorbing as the next. He is a well-trained craftsman and an inspired artist, destined for success and recognition.

 

Deric Botha – "Demons"

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Deric  Botha is a devotee of the abstract, the fantastic, and the sublime. His work represents the machinations of an artist who considers realism superfluous, opting instead to portray on canvas the images of his own subconscious.

"Demons" is one of these portrayals, an evocative painting consisting of the faces of dozens of demons crowded together, all staring straight into the viewer’s soul. Haunting and, without question, ghost-like, these particular demons also have something almost friendly, even funny, about them. One gets the feeling they aren’t really as frightening as they’d like to be.

This painting, like most of Deric’s other offerings on SouthAfricanArtists.com, is made using mixed media in bright, primary colors, heavily outlined in black. It is one of Deric’s more expensive pictures, but is extremely affordable.

Another piece by this interesting artist is simply called "Clowns." It depicts an equally unsettling vision of faces in a complicated, intertwined landscape of colorful, boldly textured, geometric shapes. Hidden figures will suddenly peek out at the viewer, the longer they stare into the painting. Right in the center is the clown, a non-committal, bright red face with a bulbous nose and white-outlined mouth and eyes. Though "Clowns"was born in a different place from "Demons,"  it is nevertheless a citizen of the same fantastical country.

Deric Botha is a painter with a whimsical, tumultuous viewpoint, sometimes happy or sad, but most often an intriguing mixture of the two.

 

Estelle Logie – "Blue Vase"

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Estelle Logie is a tremendously facile artist whose preferred medium is acrylic, though she also has a number of watercolors under her belt. She has exhibited her bright, appealing work all around the country, and her gallery on SouthAfricanArtists.com includes landscapes, village portraits, figures and floral pieces.

"Blue Vase" is a stunning representative of the best Estelle has to offer. A somewhat narrow vertical rectangular canvas is filled to overflowing with a vase featuring flowers that are saturated with life and color. The blue vase that the painting is named after is riveting in its deep, rich blue and many reflections, and the eye keeps coming back to it, as if addicted. Churning curves of huge leaves echo the round flower petals and are vividly reminiscent of Chagall’s  fantasy florals. A deep, wine-colored cloth is the base for all this wild loveliness.

In start comparison, "Abundance" is, on the surface, a staid, yet attractive canvas comprised of quilt-like rectangles and squares fitted into each other, each representing a different vignette. The artist describes this painting as "The abundance of the creation in all facets of life in harmony."

Two splendid landscapes, "Overberg Street Scene" and "As the Crow Flies" also show the wide spectrum of interpretive styles Estelle is highly capable of employing. The first is an artistic picture postcard of the entrance to a charming village, complete with church steeple, and the second displays a very different village in a crowded, chunky Cubist style.

Caroline Street – "Clivias"

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Fine artist Caroline Street grew up with a father who was a craftsman and an artist. Caroline’s main subjects reflect her love for the magnificent South African wildlife, architecture, and exotic flora, with several portraits of interesting people included. She is self-taught, yet inspired.

The artist works in oil on canvas, displaying her vision in either photographic realism or pointillistic fantasy. She keeps an extensive collection on SouthAfricanartists.com at all times. One standout is named "Clivias," a sumptuous display of the popular flower that blooms once a year throughout the area. Caroline achieves a remarkably rich detail and extraordinary depth in this realistic painting. A simple palette of greens with shocking rust-colored flowers captures the viewer immediately, while a cornucopia of textures, all impeccably carried out, provides a nearly unending treat for the eyes.

For a basically self-taught painter, she is extraordinarily nimble and obviously loves and respects her craft. "African Sunset" is an example of her unique approach to the landscape of the region, portrayed with great impressionistic freedom and joy.

"Lioness" is a stunning closeup of the head of this wonderful cat, and features hundreds of finely placed, tiny brush strokes, which the artist used to mimic the thick fur, its contrast, and texture. In the background is a stark field of tall weeds in olive on black, full of movement, yet delicate. And "Exotica" is a portrait of everyday shrubs from the artist’s own garden, brightly painted in unexpected colors that transform the normal into the fantastic.

Dave Croad – "Approaching Storm"

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

A native to South Africa, Dave Croad is a professional artist who graduated from watercolor to oil. "Approaching Storm" is a dramatic depiction in oil of a single white home, set out in the countryside among pleasant rolling hills and seemingly endless space. A herd of cattle huddle together in the mid-ground, while the foreground consists of the long, bold lines used by the artist to represent a landscape in the eerie lighting of an impending storm.

The appealing farmhouse is of the whitest whites, with tall green trees framing its back and sides. A red roof serves to further accentuate the whiteness of the walls and the deep contrast of the small black rectangles that are the windows. Behind it, and behind the hills that provide, one might hope, some form of shelter, the blue sky is being swiftly overtaken by a single, enormous cloud.

The effect of the painting is immediate. One understands that this is what it’s like living in the country, and we accept it, even as we wait, a bit anxiously, for the storm to arrive.

"Road to Nowhere" is another oil by this artist that is not to be missed. It displays the incredible power and beauty of a South African countryside with effortless rhythm and power.

Landscapes and traditional seascapes are Croad’s usual subjects, and he imbues each of his paintings with his own, easy-going yet nicely controlled style. "A Quiet Anchorage" is a great representation of the landscapes Croad creates, at once serene and blissful, but never without movement and vitality.

 

Wayne Richards

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Artist Wayne Richards utilizes his classical experience and gift for realism to portray the female form at its most mysterious. He aims for a sense of mystical purity in his nude female figures, always the focal point of his paintings, and succeeds handily.

His work is by no means simply photo-realistic representations of the subject. Richards very consciously places each of his meticulously depicted subjects in a dreamlike locale that suggests fantasy, other-worldliness, and even potential danger.

"Untitled" is a good example of this approach. Richards takes the viewer, with exquisite care, into a strange, dark landscape. The female who is the focal point is nude and gleaming with reflected light, yet her long black hair almost completely hides her face, strengthening the mystery. The ominous shapes of foliage, both dead and alive, surround her, but she herself kneels uncertainly on a wavy expanse that might be water. Far in the distance, framed by the round exit of a huge cave and tree roots, is a misty, golden light.

The artist is clearly an expert when it comes to the manipulation of light and dark, and the profound effects they can have. "Plundered Innocence," for example, shows the startled witness a dramatic crouching figure, almost spotlit in a golden glow against the deepest black background. A good third of the canvas is in darkest shadow, yet in front of the girl’s form and behind her are hints of rich texture and color.

Wayne’s canvases tend to be over-sized, usually about 30 inches wide.

Bridget Randall – "Warthog Kneeling"

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Bridget Randall’s artistic work shows a marked partiality to animals, in particular, the many wild and semi-wild animals and wildlife in South Africa. Among her pieces of art on SouthAfricanArtists.com are collectibles such as the otter, the pangolin, the dikdiks, and the warthogs. Bridget also shows an undeniable penchant for horses, and for working in the demanding medium of bronze, as well.

"Warthog Kneeling" is a perfect representative of the Randall collection. The fantastical warthog comes to life in exquisite detail and all its splendid unattractiveness, presented in a kneeling posture that gives the animal a vulnerable quality. The person who takes home this unique bronze sculpture is bringing a conversation piece and, ultimately, a good companion, into their life. Every viewer will want to see it from each angle, touch its rugged, yet smooth bronze hide, and experience the quiet yet undeniable friendliness this kneeling warthog evinces.

Others in Bridget’s fine collection include "Otter Cape Clawless," a masterful bronze rendering of the otter, one foreleg up and ready to go play. "S9 Dikdiks" is a breathtakingly lovely bronze piece featuring a pair of these graceful creatures, huddling close to each other and alert. "Rolling Horse" (S42) is a startlingly faithful portrayal of a well-muscled horse on its back in the throes of mid-roll. And S25, "Pangolin," offers a fascinating look of this remarkable South African wildlife ambassador, complete with innumerable scales, all rendered individually in painstaking devotion.

The artist’s love of both wildlife and sculpture are plentifully evident in each of her pieces online.

Marie Theron – "Figs"

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Marie Theron is a successful full-time artist who has exhibited her work all over the world. She works with either acrylic or oil on canvas, showing perhaps a slight preference for acrylics but a mastery of both.

The acrylic on canvas Marie has simply titled "Figs" is as luscious as the fruit it features. A gorgeous palette of rich purples and reds, set off by a few olive-green leaves, is a treat for the eye. Five purple figs are still on the vine and one fig, in the lower foreground has been cut in half to display its inner glory.

Simple and artistically executed, "Figs" shows its subjects outlined in both stark white and black, with pure white highlights. The background is a feast of amorphous reddish hues, shaded by green, all in heavy, sumptuous strokes.

Many of Marie’s paintings feature landscapes. "Everything is Possible, Saldanha Bay" is a classical view of ships in a bay, beautifully rendered in oil on a canvas panel. A good 80% of this particular canvas is given over to shades of blue in the water and sky.

There are times when this artist departs from her safe zone and enters into the world of whimsy and suggestion shown to us by geniuses such as Cezanne and Van Gogh. "The Cat’s Viewpoint" is a case in point, featuring the masterfully depicted world of a cat’s imagination in deep cubist colors and unapologetic, improbable forms.

Bold colors, outlined subjects, and a grand sense of style are the hallmarks of this accomplished artist’s work.