Posts Tagged ‘african paintings’

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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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 ( ) 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
The very best of South African art online

4 Points to Know Before Buying Original Paintings

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Paintings are expressive and meaningful. And for every art lover, possessing a good collection of original paintings is a dream. Buying art is an investment. A painting by a young painter which you may have bought purely on instinct may turn out to be a prized possession in later years if the painter becomes famous and a collector’s favorite. Therefore, choose original paintings on the basis of what appeals to you and what looks good in your home. Here are some useful tips to help you select good, original paintings:

While buying a painting, keep in mind the décor of the room in which you are going to put up the painting. Choose a style which matches well with your living room or bedroom. If your room is stuffed with a lot of furniture items then it is best to go for a simple design, without too much clutter or complexity. And if the room is modest then pick up a painting which has got some action to it. Whether you wish to put it up in the living room or your bedroom, in the end it should complement the entire décor of the room and not look out of place.

The size of the painting should complement the entire room. If you like a large painting, make sure it does not look disproportionate in your living room. On the other hand, if you have a spacious living room, then putting up a small painting will be pointless because the painting would be lost among the other furniture items. Choose the painting keeping in mind the size of the room you plan to put it in.

Reflect your personality
A painting should be a reflection of your inner personality and the person you are from the core. You can browse online art galleries which contain some of the most amazing artworks. Check them out and you will surely find something which suits your taste be it African, European or American painting.

Painting to gel with the wall
The painting should blend perfectly with the wall on which it is put up also and not just with the room. If the wall is dark-colored, then a painting with light shades would look great. And if the color of the wall is of a lighter shade, then go for a deep-colored painting. In case you adore a light shade painting and your wall is light too, then get the wall painted in a dark color. Or an easier option would be to frame it in a dark wood frame. But never, ever let go of an original painting you like. You might not find it again.