Anneri Marais – "Sea Turtle"

by Cindy Paul

Anneri Marais is a consummate pastel artist who creates portraits in that medium on commission. She works from studio photographs to capture the exact proportions of the portrait’s subject, and makes her magic using a good sense of drama in shadow, lighting and expression. "Body" is a showpiece for Marais’ considerable grasp on the subtle techniques required to make a good pastel picture, worth the fine art label. "Mernice" is a magnificent pastel closeup of a young girl smiling, another showpiece.

The artist has recently become captivated by the use of driftwood in rustic sculptures. "Choose to Say" is a perfect ambassador for this type of sculpture, an impressive full figure made entirely of driftwood pieces. Marais has also done a series of driftwood frames for mirrors, of which "Mirror 1" is a good example. The frames constitute the work of art and are created completely in driftwood. "Cross" is a lovely piece made of small pieces of driftwood, judiciously placed, a perfect material for this classic, meaningful symbol. This is a large piece, measuring 39″ wide by a full 63″ tall, the height of many of the people who would stand by it.

"Sea Turtle" is a unique sculpture, also made completely of driftwood. The turtle is displayed in its entirety using built-up, small pieces of wood worn smooth. The effect is one in which texture and gradations of color are paramount and the very audacity of the sculpture’s creation makes the witness smile.