Nicolene Gericke – "Shell Festival"

by Cindy Paul

With a Fine Arts diploma from the University of Cape Town and abundant exhibitions, Nicolene Gericke is a well-known fixture in the South African arts community. Her online collection has a wide price range, and includes a number of different subjects, themes, and approaches.

"Shell Festival" is in the lower spectrum of prices, but a valuable work, nevertheless. The first thing one notices when viewing this piece is its unusually narrow shape. It’s an oil on a board measuring a full four feet high and just a little over one foot wide. The subjects are shells, a wild array of them, set in a vertical row, one atop the other. The composition is imminently pleasant, and the shells are faithfully depicted. The color palette ranges from white to blues and greens, with a rusty sienna in the graduated background.

A remarkable work called "Vineyards at DeDoorns" is at the top of Gericke’s price range in this grouping. It’s a splendid landscape that the artist created from a photograph, though it is masterfully painterly in nature. A quilt of farms, framed by a foreground and background of hills, with rugged white mountains behind them and a blue-white sky above them comprises this charming piece.

"A Million Dollar View" is a stunning landscape depicting a farm with several structures on a wide-open plane. A storm is brewing, affecting the lighting that sweeps the multi-colored fields below. The dramatic play of light and dark gives this work an expressionistic nature.