Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

Musing for October : Some of the old snobbery is fading…

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Bonham’s in London are holding a specialist South African auction over two days later this month with a wide and interesting selection of works from the great and the good (and indeed predominantly deceased) of the South African art world.

With around 300 lots in all there is quite a mixture of styles and, if the estimates are anything to go by (though some of them seem to be chosen very oddly!), prices.

The first day concerns itself mainly with earlier works but has some interesting items from George Boys and Errol Boyley On Day 2 there are some very fine Pembas on offer and also some quite appealing works from lesser known artists. There are a number of pieces from Francois Krige including the Rousseau-esque "Krisjan Sleeping" and a selection of his landscapes. The more contemporary items on offer include some distinctive works from Norman Catherine (with fairly modest estimates attached to them) and some acid house Mary-Ann Orrs. There’s an estimate of around $8,000 on a signed Nelson Mandela lithograph depicting Table Mountain from his cell window on Robben Island – it may not be the most accomplished work of art but it clearly has a powerful message. Dylan Lewis has some fine bronzes in the sale which may draw some attention.

It’s encouraging to see this event which appears to be attracting considerable interest and it will be interesting to see quite how the hammer falls on the day. By the way, should we be surprised that there’s not a Petrie to be seen anywhere in the listings!

– Mark Hayhurst


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Follow us on Twitter to hear about new listed artists and other snippets of information. You can also tweet from the artists’ listing pages to tell your friends about the great art you’ve discovered on SouthAfricanArtists.com !

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It isn’t intended to be irreverent but the Bonham’s event does bring to mind the Monty Python song "The Decomposing Composers" – there’s less of them every year. Every one of the following artists is, we are delighted to confirm, still above ground and producing some of their best works to date:


"Galloping zebra"
by Doreen Straarup
As a self-taught artist, Doreen’s work in oils is well accomplished and this and a number of her other works demonstrate a good eye for composition and an ability to adapt to different subjects.
There is a real delight in Gary’s works and it is evident from the titles and meaning he places on these pieces that they really are works that come from his heart.
"Earth meets sky"
by Gary Frier

"Modern Landscape"
by Richard Rennie
Employing an interesting palette of color, especially for works in oils, Richard’s landscapes are calm and beautiful with delicate brushstrokes and a good measure of detail.
Nikodemis’s lively pieces are always popular and this quirky mixed media piece portrays mischief as well as creativity.
"The angel of heaven and earth"
by Nikodemis van Rensburg

"Desert Storm/Cedar Mountains"
by Freda Hayward
Equally capable with portaiture and landscapes, Freda’s most recent works, including this atmospheric country scene, are  attracting a lot of attention.
I’m sure we’re going to see lot more from Rene. She tells a story with skill and sensitivity in this work and in her portfolio has a number of really striking pieces.
"Where is My Children"
by Rene Snyman

" Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. "
- René Magritte

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all. "
- Michelangelo


Musing for September: Things are not always what they seem…

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

We very occasionally have to deal with "customers" offering fake credit cards; we even sometimes find out that works people want to offer for sale are not genuine but it’s a one-off that we get approached to list an artist who may not even exist!

A couple of months ago we received an application from someone to list "Helen Anne Petrie", a South African who appears to have lived in relative obscurity from 1932 until her death in 2006. There began a story which continues to unfold even as I write this. Shortly after we listed the artist we were contacted by The Times who were trying to determine the veracity of certain claims made by the lister in the biography that had been put forward for this artist. A number of articles have appeared in the major press casting significant doubt over the history that has been written for our Miss Petrie.

The artist seems to have burst onto the scene only very recently and what background information there is emanates from a very limited set of sources (perhaps even limited to a single individual). A google of Helen Anne Petrie yields plenty of results yet the pages which are returned either describe the alleged fraudulent sales perpetrated in promoting the artist using a false history or are simply versions on art sites (our very own included) of the questionable biography itself. Our own investigations have determined that while it would appear that Helen Anne Petrie did exist and may have been painted during her life, at least some of the claims which would lend weight to her having a profile worthy of serious collectors are definitely incorrect. Subsequent to the publication of the stories in the press we received scans of a number of documents by email, probably from the original lister (an elusive character to say the least), which show some basic school records and personal correspondence yet nothing to support the bold claims that her work has long been held in public and private collections around the world. The material resembled something that might have turned up in an old trunk purchased at a Sunday car boot sale.

To date we have been unable to find any independent and authoritative validation of the claims made for Miss Petrie as an artist. If anyone has anything to add then we would be fascinated to hear it. It does rather come back to the best advice we can give – buy your art because of its beauty and merit in its own right and not on the back of any collateral claims that cannot be verified.

- Mark Hayhurst


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Follow us on Twitter to hear about new listed artists and other snippets of information. You can also tweet from the artists’ listing pages to tell your friends about the great art you’ve discovered on SouthAfricanArtists.com !

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We’re able to vouch 100% that the artists below exist! Here’s our latest pick of superb talent that you should check out:


"Empress close-up"
by Fiona Almeleh

Fiona’s works are always lively and bright and this embroidered piece is just stunning. The Empress – matriarch of the Tarot – resplendent with wisdom and knowledge.

Perhaps in a similar vein the works of Dulcie Robinson show an inner depth that brings a message with every piece. This wonderful acrylic shows the marriage of the ethnic and the ethereal.


"Circle of Life"
by Dulcie Robinson


"Leave tree"
by Carl Roberts

We’ve not featured too many sculptures recently but among the many talented sculptors on the site, Carl has a range of different pieces of varying sizes and budget. This tree-mendous wood sculpture is one great example.

Dodds can tun his hand to a variety of styles but some of his best and most popular at seascaps such as this one. A rich and colourful work in oil where you can smell the sea and feel the sand beneath your feet.


"Seal Point Beachbreak"
by Dodds Blom


"Northern Cape Mountain Scene"
by Dante Ruben

Dante is having an extended "blue period" and has produced some very appealing landscapes. This atmospheric mountain scene has good composition and depth and really draws you in.

Somewhat reminiscent of 1970s Vietnam-era pop art, this acrylic on board work is an intriguing piece. Theo has a number of different styles in his portfolio and each work has a message if you are prepared to listen.


"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"
by Theo Kleynhans


" Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. "
- Andy Warhol

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" There comes a point where you see it all as completely empty being a popular artist to the extent that people who are not necessarily interested in art know about things or take some little interest. I think that now for me it’s a burden. It’s a bit hard to deal with and it wastes time as well. "
- David Hockney


Tell us how we’re doing!

As ever we would welcome any feedback and comments you might have. Feel free to drop us a line ( customer.service@southafricanartists.com ) with any comments or ideas you might have for promoting these superb artists even more widely. We also welcome art-themed submissions for our regular newsletters of short stories or anecdotes about art, your experiences, what inspired you or anything that you think may be of interest.

Yours in inspiration,

All the team at SouthAfricanArtists.com

SouthAfricanArtists.com
The very best of South African art online

Thoughts for July – Sleuthing a Constable

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Sleuthing a Constable

Last month in the UK a rather grubby and understated painting of a cloudy sky was listed for auction (which takes place today, as it happens – at Sotheby’s in London – so you had better be quick if you want to snap it up!). The work, from a "follower of Constable" had sold for a respectable $40,000 around a year previously at a well-known provincial auctioneers – not bad considering its guide price had been just over $1,000.

Whether it was gut feel or a rather more studied expertise that inspired its purchase, the buyer certainly is looking to make a handsome profit on the deal – Sotheby’s own experts have since confirmed that the work is in fact a genuine Constable and there is speculation that the price could easily breach $750,000 when the hammer falls on it this time around.

Constable, like many other great artists, has been much copied both as tribute and as forgery and cataloguing the works of any prodigious artist who died nearly 200 years ago is never an easy task. Anyone with an interest in the art (!) and science of such detective work may be interested in Philip Mould’s latest book "Sleuth" Mould, resident art expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, has had more than his fair share of discerning "finds" during his career and has some interesting tales to tell. Some may find his slightly flowery prose grating but it tends to go with the territory in certain art circles. It’s worth a read to help understand the traumas some paintings go through over the course of a century or three and some of the attention they need before they can grace the walls of the leading museums and public galleries.

- Mark Hayhurst


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You can now follow us on Twitter

We’ve recently succumbed to the social marketing frenzy and opened a Twitter profile – Just follow us on Twitter to hear about new listed artists and other snippets of information.

http://twitter.com/SAArtists


Thankfully such detective work is rarely needed when selecting works on SouthAfricanArtists.com – this month we’ve picked a crop of really excellent talent that you should check out:


"Faun"
by Pieter Vermaak

This work from Pieter’s portfolio is one of a number that share the same ethereal quality. Wispy in nature and depicting spiritual themes, they are soft and dreamlike, inspiring and imaginative.

Andi has great skill in her use of bold, bright colours and her techniques of applying paint to canvas. She can adapt herself to various styles and her works are upbeat and lively.


"Red Fairies "
by Andi Hirschson


"Strelitzia 1″
by Arlene McDade

These vivid studies of tropical flora are Arlene’s stock in trade. Enormous, yet alive with colour – they have a wonderful depth and she has a superb eye for detail and form.

This is a great example of the sensitive work that Jana brings to you. She is a very capable artist and has clearly applied a great deal of care and thought to the pieces she produces.


"Africa"
by Jana Reinecke


"Moon Spirit"
by Dulcie Robinson

With an extensive repertoire of ethnic scenes and large abstract canvasses, Dulcie’s passion for art is clearly evident in this bold work. An experienced art teacher, she has a detailed understanding of technique which she employs without losing an ounce of sensitivity.

Gavin’s skill and traditional style in his portraiture is simply superb and the structure and composition of pieces such as this are exemplary. His pieces are in high demand and his commission work rightly held in the highest regard.


"The Bride in Nikitain Park Moscow "
by Gavin Calf


" Art is either plagiarism or revolution. "
- Paul Gauguin

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" Abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with ‘reality,’ next to the ‘real’ world. "
- Wassily Kandinsky


Tell us how we are doing?


As ever we would welcome any feedback and comments you might have. Feel free to drop us a line at customer.service@southafricanartists.com with any comments or ideas you might have for promoting these superb artists even more widely. We also welcome art-themed submissions for our regular newsletters of short stories or anecdotes about art, your experiences, what inspired you or anything that you think may be of interest.

Yours in inspiration,

All the team at SouthAfricanArtists.com

SouthAfricanArtists.com
The very best of South African art online

Thoughts for June

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Brett Kebble Auction Results

Two months ago we wrote about the expectations that were being set around the auctioning of the fine art collection left by Brett Kebble. In a climate where estimates were coming under fire for being unrealistic it was quite surprising to see a significant portion of the catalogue selling at world record prices and indeed nearly 95% of the collection sold during the event which was attended by over 600 people (the remainder have been sold privately subsequent to the auction).

Nearly $7m was raised during the sale which, while it may still be only a small portion of the deficit standing on the disgraced magnate’s insolvency, is still an impressive measurement of the esteem and regard in which South African art has come to be regarded by collectors from around the world.

Notable was Alexis Preller’s "Christ Head" which yielded $480,000 and works by Volschenk, Stern and Pemba. Portway’s "Abstract Landscape" reached $53,000 and Pinker’s "Trapeze in the Sky" went for $63,000. The high-profile event may be just one chapter in the Kebble story but has certainly helped to raise the profile of South African art and the demand from investors and collectors has increased significantly.

- Mark Hayhurst


LAST WEEK! Come to see

Painting a Wall
at the Finborough Theatre, London

Painting a Wall

We are delighted to be the main sponsor of a brand new production of David Lan’s acclaimed play Painting a Wall which completes a four-week run at the Finborough Theatre in London on June 6th.

Set in Cape Town in 1970, Painting a Wall follows a day in the life of four Cape Coloured South African painters, living under apartheid. It follows them in their task of painting public walls government-regulation white. They’ve got one hour to do it and they’ve got to hurry up about it, or risk no pay and harsh punishment. The only thing is… they’ve been given the wrong colour paint.

Stephen Daldry called Painting a Wall a "hugely effective, deeply emotional attack on a political system" but avoiding political debate, it focuses simply on the painters – Henry, Peter, Willy and Samson – and their jokes, dreams and vivid storytelling as they work together to triumph over the struggles and frustrations of their lives.

There’s still time to catch it and you can book directly with the theatre:

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652
Times and ticket prices are available online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk


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Here’s a selection of works from our artists with number of pieces that deserve your attention:


"Living Under Brickmaker’s Kloof"
by Lez Dor

From Brickmaker’s Bridge one looks up at a Port Elizabeth landmark, Fort Frederick. Under the bridge, a clammy and cold area, live three homeless men who preferred the peace and privacy they found there to the noise and crime of the squatter camps.

Tree stump silhouettes, figures, in a Free State veld, reminiscent of Stonehenge, yet as African as can be.


"African stonehenge"
by Nico Van Rensburg


"In Europe"
by Lola Di Paolo Dunston

Lola’s training and classical roots shine through in this piece. Her talent is well developed and this work illustrates a typical European greeting. Decoupage is an artform in which a picture is created by gluing pieced of coloured paper, cut to various shapes and sizes to a background.

Tension and texture are in abundance in this oil on canvas work in which Johan has captured the conflict beautifully.

Who do you think will come out on top?


"The fight"
by Johan Strauss


" What I am looking for is an immobile movement, something which would be the equivalent of what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross, I think it was, described with the term "mute music". "
- Joan Miró

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around. "
- Chuck Close


Tell us how we’re doing!

As ever we would welcome any feedback and comments you might have. Feel free to drop us a line ( customer.service@southafricanartists.com ) with any comments or ideas you might have for promoting these superb artists even more widely. We also welcome art-themed submissions for our regular newsletters of short stories or anecdotes about art, your experiences, what inspired you or anything that you think may be of interest.

Yours in inspiration,

All the team at SouthAfricanArtists.com

SouthAfricanArtists.com
The very best of South African art online

Thoughts for May

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Has anyone seen my ear?

Vincent van Gogh There are some great stories in the history of art and the characters are often every bit as colourful as their own works. Now it turns out that, 121 years after the event, we may all have been misled about the loss of Vincent van Gogh’s ear. It’s hard to tell which version of the story is more demeaning – the well-known account that Vincent chopped his own ear off in a bout of deep depression or that his erstwhile friend Paul Gauguin sliced it off with his sword in a fight outside a brothel. Even Rachel, the prostitute to whom Vincent apparently entrusted the severed lobe, must have taken the truth with her to her grave.

Whether the sword was mightier in this instance than the paintbrush may never be known for certain but the long-standing alliance between these two artists, and its demise following the event is fairly well documented. Gauguin decamped to Tahiti, itself becoming the backdrop for some of his most famous works. Van Gogh remained in France and, while his depression deepened and he found himself in and out of care institutions, he too continued to produce works of outstanding quality. His sad departure from the world came in 1890. In a deep blackness, he took himself for a walk in fields and shot himself in the chest with a revolver. The seriousness of this event seems to have been lost on him as he returned to his lodgings only to die of his wounds two days later.

His legacy is a superb range of works that has inspired, and indeed made, millions. His lifelong closeness with his brother Theo was captured in their correspondence and any fans should be sure to read a copy of "The Letters of Vincent van Gogh"

- Mark Hayhurst


COME TO SEE

Painting a Wall
at the Finborough Theatre, London

Painting a Wall

We are delighted to be the main sponsor of a brand new production of David Lan’s acclaimed play Painting a Wall which opens on the 12th May for a four-week run at the Finborough Theatre in London. We have 3 pairs of tickets to give away to lucky visitors – see below.

Set in Cape Town in 1970, Painting a Wall follows a day in the life of four Cape Coloured South African painters, living under apartheid. It follows them in their task of painting public walls government-regulation white. They’ve got one hour to do it and they’ve got to hurry up about it, or risk no pay and harsh punishment. The only thing is… they’ve been given the wrong colour paint.

Stephen Daldry called Painting a Wall a "hugely effective, deeply emotional attack on a political system" but avoiding political debate, it focuses simply on the painters – Henry, Peter, Willy and Samson – and their jokes, dreams and vivid storytelling as they work together to triumph over the struggles and frustrations of their lives.

If you would like the chance of winning a pair of tickets to see this superb play on us then simply send an email to tickets@SouthAfricanArtists.com with the subject line "Painting a Wall Tickets" – we will draw the 3 winning entries from our virtual hat on the 15th of May.

Alternatively you can book directly with the theatre:

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652
Times and ticket prices are available online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk


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Here’s May’s selection of works from our artists with a quartet of pieces from the many that deserve your attention:


"Touch of Love"
by Ezequiel Mabote

From a range of Limited Edition Woodcut Prints, this piece shows great tenderness. Ezequiel exemplifies the ability of storytelling through art, drawing on childhood memories and evoking the emotions of a past time.

Aloneness and Loneliness are portrayed in this work which is a good example of Peter’s studies of the Human Form.It captures the isolation and the anticipation and in its own way challenges us to make up the story that fills in the gaps.


"A Moment in Time"
by Peter Matthews


"Maggie and Albert"
by Lavonne Bosman

Photography is sometimes looked down on as an artform yet the image captured here and the other Township studies that Lavonne has produced demonstrate that the art can be every bit as emotive and evocative. A great example of a moment captured in time – another life which we are able to observe for a moment yet which asks us to consider our own existence and appreciate what we have.

We have followed Nikodemis’ work as an artist for a number of years and he has always been prolific and versatile. As varied a portfolio as you are likely to find, his comprises paintings, prints, sculptures and a number which defy classification. This piece is especially Dali-esque – read his own comments and see what you think…


"Shamanarchy in the desert"
by Nikodemis van Rensburg


" The flat sound of my wooden clogs on the cobblestones, deep, hollow and powerful, is the note I seek in my painting. "
- Paul Gauguin

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" When I’ve painted a woman’s bottom so that I want to touch it, then the painting is finished. "
- Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Tell us how we’re doing!

As ever we would welcome any feedback and comments you might have. Feel free to drop us a line ( customer.service@southafricanartists.com ) with any comments or ideas you might have for promoting these superb artists even more widely. We also welcome art-themed submissions for our regular newsletters of short stories or anecdotes about art, your experiences, what inspired you or anything that you think may be of interest.

Yours in inspiration,

All the team at SouthAfricanArtists.com

SouthAfricanArtists.com
The very best of South African art online

Thoughts for April

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Brett Kebble Auction

Next month sees the auction by Graham’s of the impressive art collection of Brett Kebble, the mining magnate whose death in 2005 caused headlines around the world. His murder, and the high-profile trial of those accused, has gone on to become one of the world’s most intriguing tales of deception and conspiracy, with twists at every turn, making it certain as prime Hollywood material.

The chequered history of the man will only deepen the interest in what is, by any standards, a rich array of the most valuable South African art. His collection features prominently a number of our most popular names including Walter Battis , Vladimir Tretchikoff and Maggie Laubser

Some 142 pieces will be under the hammer and the gallery, even in this time of cautious economy, is placing a lower estimate of around US$10m on the sale, having attracted a huge amount of interest from collectors all over the world.

Certain to draw attention are further works from Eleanor Esmond-White , William Kentridge and Hugo Naude . Kebble was also known to favour George Pemba , Pierneef , Maud Sumner and Irma Stern , all of whom are represented in this substantial collection.

The whole affair is bound to cause a stir in the art world and it is without doubt that those who still nurse large debts from Kebble’s operations – the banks and the tax men in the first instance – will also be very keen to see the estate and the collection liquidated for the maximum possible amount.

- Mark Hayhurst


Easter Sunday is April 12th

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Following last month’s bold assertions about the dates of Mothering Sunday we figured that dating Easter, though it is commonly known to be somewhat arcane, would at least by now be pinned down with 21st Century standards of accuracy. It turns out however that it is not quite as straightforward as many would have you believe as there several methods for determining the moon cycles – we would have no room for art if we tried to explain it here but if you are inclined then Google will happily help you hoover up the hours in research.

For the rest of you – just take our word for it – it’s the Sunday after next!


Here’s April’s selection of works from our artists with a handful of pieces from the many that deserve your attention:


"After Saturday morning Shopping"
by Hannes Meintjes

Meintjes’ works use just the right amount of shadow to bring the scenes to life and this beautiful work is a prime example. You can feel the heat of the day beating down and the light and texture make this a very collectable item.

Already very popular on the site for his makarabas , Michael is an accomplished artist using bold and bright colours to capture his vision. This great acrylic on canvas work shows a swirling pair of rhinos and has a stylish, modern feel while still showing wisdom, power and an earthy solidity.


"Idlozi"
by Michael Souter


"Peace"
by Monique Crookes

Monique’s work here is quite literally radiant. Beautifully painted and full of hope and confidence – the dove of peace.

It isn’t clear at first just what a labour of love and what a physical challenge it is for Mynie to pursue her passion (you can find out why on her home page ). All the more poignant then, this work themed around the freedom of expression and movement in the human form.


"Free"
by Mynie Brits


" There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun. "
- Pablo Picasso

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" What I am looking for is an immobile movement, something which would be the equivalent of what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross, I think it was, described with the term "mute music". "
- Joan Miró


Tell us how we’re doing!

As ever we would welcome any feedback and comments you might have. Feel free to drop us a line ( customer.service@southafricanartists.com ) with any comments or ideas you might have for promoting these superb artists even more widely. We also welcome art-themed submissions for our regular newsletters of short stories or anecdotes about art, your experiences, what inspired you or anything that you think may be of interest.

Yours in inspiration,

All the team at SouthAfricanArtists.com

SouthAfricanArtists.com
The very best of South African art online

Thoughts For March

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

At SouthAfricanArtists.com we don’t tend to promote art as an investment vehicle per se, it should first and foremost be something to be appreciated for its appearance and the inspiration it gives to the viewer and owner.

In recent years, perhaps as it turns out with some justification, a number of people have recommended art, wine and collectibles like vintage cars as vehicles (excuse the pun) for investment. As the early indicators of the downturn began to make themselves known almost a year ago the art world began to see new interest and new money knocking on its doors. This seems to have accelerated with the meltdown of the mainstream financial system and the disappearance of any benefit from the fallback options of plain savings accounts which bear interest, or rather now do not (to any useful degree).

It was interesting therefore to see that a recent Sotheby’s auction saw an Erik Laubscher work take over $100,000 when the hammer fell, not just a world record for one of his works but also the highest price ever paid at auction for a living South African artist. Cecil Skotnes ‘ "Birds" also brought a record price for the artist, selling for a shade under $60,000. With total sales at the auction of around $1m exceeding expectations, it turns out that well over 80% came from the sale of paintings.

Whether this should inspire you to keep your savings on the wall instead of under the mattress is between you and your accountant but what it does say is that South African art is establishing itself ever more on the world stage and in a sector where gaining ground against the traditional bastions is all but impossible we are perhaps seeing yet more barriers beginning to fall and this can only be good for South African artists and for anyone who loves great art.

March’s choice is a small selection of works from artists who express their passion and creativity with great skill:


"Fight"
by Gary Frier

Gary is a long-established artist and is consistently popular with visitors to the site. He has a tremendous talent for combining his creative skills to use colour, light, medium and texture to bring a scene to life. This work is especially appealing, exuding as it does, the power and determination of two beasts in conflict.

  

This elegant work, together with its "Sunbird 2″ counterpart, has a particular grace and beauty. The swirling curves, reminsicent of late 1960s Swinging London (can we say that these days?) pop art, give us a clue as to Joline’s major influences.


"Sunbird 1″
by Joline Taute

  


"Lazy Days"
by Lani

Lani has one of the most varied portfolios of art that we have seen with a quite impressive range of different styles. A number of her studies, including this one, really work well together and bring the warmth of their scene right to you.

  

Hueber’s works are uncomplicated and yet appealing in a way which defies their simplicity. This playful piece is quite delightful, portraying both the Yin and Yang aspects of our lives with the joyful expression of life in dance.


"Two Step"
by Philip Hueber


" What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is in harmony parallel with nature. "
- Paul Cézanne

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

 

" Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. "
- Pablo Picasso

Thoughts For February

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Just as good judgment comes from experience and experience so often comes from bad judgment, so it is that art is often informed by pain and trauma and the challenges faced in life rather than simply being inspired by beauty. This process of catharsis serves the artist and also the witness to the art and has done so for centuries. Read the biography of leading artists in history and the themes of loss and pain, not to mention isolation and sometimes outright madness, keep recurring. As that old cliché would have it "you don’t have to be mad to do this job but it helps".

In Europe and the USA now there is a distinct unease about our long-held values and a questioning of some of the foundations on which we live our lives. The economic meltdown is in the spotlight and its own "artists" now under scrutiny. That which we thought was a process of logic and mechanics turns out to have been far more organic than we realised and driven by human factors – attributed to creativity when the effects were positive but looking more like greed and reckless abandon when viewed with the luxury of hindsight.

Hence we find ourselves in a time of growth for art and expression; for searching and reflection. As artists seek to express that process on canvas or some other medium, so we look to art to find what we overlooked for so long – whether it is that simple beauty which we seek for solace or to find a message that we might not previously have heard above the din of daily life – the gift of art in abundance is that when we seek, we find.

This month we’ve selected a quartet of artists whose passion and work appeals to very different tastes:


"Moon Eclipse"
by Hilda Bischoff

Hilda Bischoff is a grand old lady, now in her 90s. This work, with bold and vibrant colours, is a fine example of her work. She has turned her hand to a wide variety of themes and styles but all her works exhibit a technical quality which has justified her lasting appeal as an artist.

 

Charles only joined the site late last year but his work has rightly attracted quite a bit of attention. His wildlife and street scenes are alive and quite captivating. This fiery eagle gives us a glimpse into his world with its mosaic-like depiction of the bird of prey against a multi-coloured landscape.


"eagle"
by Charles Gibbons

 


"The Wasp"
by Ulrich Riek

Many and varied are the works that Ulrich has brought to us – his mixed media tempting us in three dimensions. This piece tells its own story though the artist loves to tease the viewer with his own provocative, tongue in cheek descriptions.

 

Vivid greens and reds are the signature of a number of Ilse’s works. She has a superb talent for capturing the natural form, in particular the human one. These works have found their way into collections all over the world for good reason.


"The Prince’s daughter"
by Ilse Kleyn

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

A very Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2009

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Pieter van der Westhuizen (1931-2008)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of South Africa’s best loved artists, Pieter van der Westhuizen, who died at the age of 77 on 30th December. Pieter’s pages on SouthAfricanArtists.com have always been among the most popular and he had made over 100 of his paintings available for viewing and purchase on the site.

Born in Pretoria in 1931, Pieter studied art at UNISA under Zakkie Eloff and Robert Hodgins and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Arts in Belgium. He also spent some time in the early 1980s in Japan studying woodblock printing.

A versatile artist, he turned his hand to still life and abstract works as well as landscapes and portraiture. Comfortable in a range of media his primary works are oils, watercolors and pastels but he was also adept in ink, pencil and charcoal.

His work has been featured in exhibitions all over the world and Pieter was particularly well known in the USA, UK, Europe and Japan as well as in his native South Africa. These works have long been collectable and have featured in many private and state collections. Throughout his career he also found time to write and to develop his academic work.

Growing up in the years building up to World War II he has said of the period – "the world I found myself in was not a comfortable one. At around the age of four I decided that this life was not for me. I began creating another world for myself – in pictures."

As an insight into the character behind the work, he often painted chickens – birds that cannot fly. "This represents more than just one thing. Childhood saw me drawn in two directions. The one side of my family was Afrikaans and the other side was English. The Afrikaners were poorer and always had two things in their backyard: a peach tree and chickens. The English had the bacon and eggs". For Pieter, his "Afrikaans" chickens became a symbol of his own frustrations. "A bird with all the necessary equipment to fly but damned if it will happen".

Indeed he was surrounded by animals at home with his dog named Skattebol (Sweetheart), cat Spinnekoppie (little spider) and the geese, ducks and birds on his large property. He had daily visits from the corner café’s tame crow, the neighbour’s sheep and two piglets.

"There is a lemon tree in my garden and Zebeth has planted rosemary at the four corners of the plot. There are birds and cats and chickens and geese and ducks and pigs and guinea fowl that fly around and scratch in the garden. When I die, I will wake up with a start".

He never tired of his work and was producing some of his best work right up until his recent illness. He continued to exercise his skills with great diversity and imagination and his creativity was always to the fore.

"Painting is not an intellectual exercise for me. I do not agonize over it. If I enter a room, I notice the table, chairs and the rest of the furniture, but then I concentrate on the noises and the smell. If there were a woman wearing a perfume with a distinct fragrance, I would definitely remember that. Other people might remember it only subconsciously."

Pieter leaves behind him his wife Zebeth, son Dedrik and daughter Ma’ayan (Hebrew for fresh water fountain) and our thoughts are with them at this time.

To celebrate his life and work we have drawn a small selection from his many works for your appreciation and we will let them speak for themselves:


"In festive mood"
by Pieter van der Westhuizen


"It’s worth it!"
by Pieter van der Westhuizen


"Heart Love"
by Pieter van der Westhuizen


"Ten Commandments"
by Pieter van der Westhuizen


"Begijntjie"
by Pieter van der Westhuizen


"Nude couple on a bench"
by Pieter van der Westhuizen

" What I am looking for is an immobile movement, something which would be the equivalent of what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross, I think it was, described with the term "mute music". "
- Joan Miró

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works: 

 

" On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting. "
- Jackson Pollock

The Celebration of Christmas

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

As echoes of economic and political disturbance continue to reverberate around the globe, touching people’s lives on every continent in one way or another, it brings us back to give consideration to our place in the world and reflect on the time of year which is celebrated in so many different cultures. As we turn our gaze inward we are reminded to offer up our thanks and embrace gratitude for what we have in our lives and ask what we can give of ourselves to improve the lot of those less fortunate. What too can we ask in return that truly fills our hearts – receiving and giving are a cycle which we in turn, neglect or confuse. Reciprocity and Harmony bring us to a way of being that surpasses conflict in whatever form it raises its head in our lives and sows the seeds of a new order of things and sees these seeds germinating in the scorched earth.

There is too, good news for the world, optimism reborn, a return to realism, an objective assessment of how things are and perhaps a willingness to forgo cynicism and imagine how things might yet be.

We wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2009!

Whether art plays a big part in such lofty ideals is left to you the reader but no less than ever it can be the mouthpiece into which truth is spoken and the medium through which that message is carried outward. We have some beautiful pieces selected for review this month and some very inspiring new works on the site with a significant number of new and talented artists coming online.

We are still able to process orders in time for delivery before Christmas!


"People are living there!"
by Raymond Andrews

It’s a joy for us that Raymond has some new works available. "People are living there!" is a rendition of a series of mailboxes, each one divulging something about the nature of its owner. These then combine with Chinese "calligraphic graffiti". It’s a very unusual work, which is why it attracted my attention. I find the whole combination pleasing and intriguing.
Litha’s mixed media work is a beautiful and thought-provoking piece which delivers its message admirably. The striking dimensions, the musical theme and the subtle tones and textures work together to make a very noteworthy item that would be a good talking piece for any collection.


"Silent Sounds"
by Litha Masivakale Ncokazi


"Going home, Mozambique"
by Benjamin Mitchley

This is not a happy work, with people going back to enjoy a holiday after a sojourn in South Africa. Rather this speaks of xenophobic violence that has driven these people back to their home Mozambique, where an unsure work future awaits them. It’s thus a political statement yet painted in a manner that is skillful and technically proficient. The passerby may not realize its significance, but for those not wanting to let this sorry episode in history pass undocumented, this work may be a visual reminder of what goes wrong when we create differences rather than embrace our similarities.
Through the thin fabric of our lives we reveal the balance between responsibility and irresponsible. A hand carries the baggage of this delicate balance, stripped away for all to see. The gauze/net fabric silhouettes this dilemma with dancers cavorting gripped and controlled by the hand above. Does responsibility weigh heavily on you? You may relate to this painting.


"Responsibility"
by Mali Venter

 " I wished to suggest by means of a simple nude, a certain long-lost barbaric luxury. "
- Paul Gauguin

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" I certainly hope to sell in the course of time, but I think I shall be able to influence it most effectively by working steadily on, and that at the present moment making desperate efforts to force the work I am doing now upon the public would be pretty useless. "
- Vincent van Gogh