Posts Tagged ‘art’

Antiques and Art Elude Economic Downturn

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

With everyone scampering about turning their valuable metals into other forms of equity, it is with much amazement to find that the majority of antiques and art actually rose in 2009. While jewelry and silver are the leaders, you can now add contemporary art in that category as well. (more…)

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

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.

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 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

Inspirational Art from

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

As we reach the mid-year point and a long holiday period let’s take our minds off work for moment, away from our daily humdrum and take a look around our beautiful planet. Even though Mother Earth can be a hard taskmaster sometimes and we can never take her for granted, there is so much around to inspire us – even in the heart of the city you will find a small dandelion shoot pushing its way up through the cracks in the pavement.

With an increasing awareness of ecological issues we should never neglect to remember that it is we humans who are truly vulnerable. If we do not respect nature and look after our environment, it is very likely we who will pay the ultimate price; history, long and true, can teach us many lessons about the power of nature to correct "problems"!

This month’s trio of interesting South African art works might provoke some thought, stir the memory and the imagination.

"Fig Tree, Klein Tierfontein"
by Amanda Jephson

There’s something wonderful about the fig tree, ficus carica , and this respresentation by Amanda Jephson, one of our recently listed artists captures it beautifully.

The twisting members of tree in the foreground, itself a witness to the scene, tell us of its life in the wild – in the elements, bearing fruit, drinking in the rainwater when it comes and soaking up the sun.

There are nearly 100 different strands to the ficus family, its ancestry stretching back an estimated 80 million years, one of the most truly ancient to be found in the countryside. As a symbol, the fig tree and its fruit crops up in a number of religions and mythologies but don’t get hung up on those meanings – what does it say to you?

"Not Coming Back III"
by Ilko Alexandrov

Following this theme of desertion, the artist creates a scene of profound mood and emotion. The figure of a child stares into the empty room where a curtain blows in the breeze from an open window. Has the loved one jumped? It’s a haunting work that stays with you long after, as it resonates with feelings we all have of being left and alone. The enhancement of the light on the curtain contrasted with the subdued tones of the room all create a work of huge atmosphere and drama.

"Theatre Of The Mind"
by Hester Correia

Another work that has only recently completed, Hester Correia’s Theatre of the Mind was inspired by one of the soccer stadiums under construction for the 2010 World Cup. That theatre is where dreams will be played out as they are in our minds, here’s the stage, what is the play today? Does it run the same every day or does the curtain rise for you on a new production?

" My hands were too soft.. I had to find some special occupation, some kind of work that would not force me to turn away from the sky and the stars, that would allow me to discover the meaning of life. "
- Marc Chagall

New ArtistsWe 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:

" The problem with the youth of today’ is that one is no longer part of it. "
- Salvador Dali

Creative Spirit from!

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

We’ve sailed past a couple of major milestones in the last few weeks. First we saw the 25,000th work uploaded to the site (though this seems to have only upped the pace and we’re now half way on towards hitting 30,000). Then just last week we were really pleased to list our 2,000th artist, please extend a warm welcome to Jill Kelly !

We appreciate that with this choice comes something of a challenge to customers to find exactly what you’re after and we’re working hard on enhancing the search and selection tools on the site as well as assisting the artists to make sure that all works are categorised and keyworded effectively. If you do need further help then you can call or email us and we would be very happy to assist you in your selection.
We’ve picked a triad of inspiring works below to get you started and as you delve deeper you’ll find all manner of superb art and imagery within our online art galleries.

by Alix Carmichele

The theme of a lighthouse is not new, but handled superbly by the photographer, this work takes on a unique look. Black and white, with only the lighthouse retaining red, it is a powerful work, both symbolically and compositionally. Through the wild furious storm, the lighthouse becomes a symbol of resurrection helping us find the way back to the calm, enhanced by the dove balancing on its top. Does the theme of being the strength against the storm inspire you? Then this work will surely do so to.

"Rain falls on a leopards skin…"
by Gary Frier

Looking for something quirky and uniquely African in feel? This wonderfully colourful print of a leopard clutching onto its kill is sure to delight. The work is part of a series illustrating African folk tales and of the artists’s varied styles, is the one that I personally find the most pleasing. It would look great in an ethnic African type room or if you’re feeling generously inclined towards your offspring, it would be fun in a child’s bedroom.

"At Play in the Riverbed"
by Jenny Regan

A mother hyena lies with her cubs in the coolness of a dry riverbed. She gazes attentively and protectively at her offspring. It’s unusual to see hyenas, so often despised as the rats of the mammal world, given such a place of importance in a work. Yet there is clearly admiration for her role from the artist and lovers of wildlife will be drawn to the work, which is skillfully depicted in traditional oils.

" Every good painter paints what he is. "
– Jackson Pollock

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:

  • Maggie Strachan
  • Johan Opperman
  • Charl le Roux
  • Miq Miles
  • Maristha Schellink
  • Brigitte Berg
  • Murray Jacklin
  • Gerart
  • Cheryl Venter
  • Melanie Venter
  • Annick Laita
  • Stephanie Bester
  • Uys de Jager
  • Valencia van Zyl
  • Anthony Evans
  • Heather de Wit
  • Alta Schrenk
  • Joshua Khala
  • Nini Potgieter
  • Sonnet Flynn
  • Maretha Kritzinger
  • Kotie Kritzinger
  • Jill Kelly
  • Tanya Niermans
  • Lizelle Botha
  • " Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. "
    - Andy Warhol

    Into the Magic of Yule – Art from!

    Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

    As the hectic Christmas period pops up on our calendars once more, we turn our attention to family and friends, our life and our world, beginning to reflect upon a year about to pass and what the new one might hold in store for us.

    Art and imagery is such a strong anchor for the memories and events in our life and strongly evocative of the people and places that pass before us. You will rarely tire of quality art – more you will find new depths and new detail that comes into fresh focus over time – it is a truly magical medium…

    We’re here to help and if you need any assistance or guidance in making your selection, our team is only an email or phone call away to help you pick out just the right piece.

    This selection of artists featured here would be a great start for finding a unique Christmas present for someone in your life – you might even want to spoil yourtself!

    by Boniface Matthews Chandiyamba

    This Malawian born artist is most known for paintings of elongated figures in bright colours. In "Harvest", a line of six workers carry their pickings in baskets. The unique figures owe their heritage to ants and play an integral part in the themes of workers and their tasks which feature so prominently in Bon’s work. Set against a fiery background of textured reds, yellows and brown’s there is no attempt at realism, rather the artist has opted for stylistic representation of her subjects. Some may argue that the works lack the authentic sweat and grime of the actual work experience, however seen as ants against a vast background of fiery. Africa the figures have their own message to tell.

    "The Magus"
    by Raymond Andrews

    Raymond Andrews’ Work is simply magnificent – bold, bright, deep and demanding. His works relate the alchemical nature of life and being. Transformation and passage with rich symbolism that captivates and challenges; at a turn a new detail or feature to draw you in further. Yet stand back and gaze upon these huge works and soak in their splendour and you too may be taken on a journey. Big wall stuff.

    "Vanitas: Huguenot Matrix"
    by Titia Ballot

    Refreshingly different, Ballot’s work can’t help but appeal. Sensitively drawn colour etchings, screen prints, drawings and pastel paintings delve into past culture and present globalisation. Her series of etchings of the elements are fresh and show a quirky approach to composition and would be great bought as a series. "Homage to Role model" is a surreal look at the ties that bind us, while flying jellies hover over shells in "Huguenot Matrix" – make of that what you will!

    "Fibonacci Sequence"
    by Lesley Bergere

    Looking for something more metaphysical, mystical and feminine for the walls of a special meditative space? Lesley’s works are "moments of definition," in her personal journey, which may well touch inner emotions within yourself – we are after all, all on a similar journey. The feminine, watery aspect is very apparent in her work, together with surreal symbols of bones, birth, re-birth, organic shapes and soft, whimsical colours. Clearly this artist is using her own journey to assist us to understand our own in an uplifting and serenely beautiful manner.

    " It grieves me greatly that I cannot recapture my past. I can only offer you my future, which is short, for I am too old. "
    – Michelangelo

    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:

    Jerome Pattison
    Sonja Janke
    Ione de Beer
    Andre van der Westhuizen
    Cherie Dirksen
    Bob van Wyk
    Annette Dunbar
    Chris Wait
    Gian-Piero Garizio
    Tienie Roets
    Debbie Vorster
    Patricia Strydom
    Kirsten Pretorius
    Theresa Acker
    Tanith Jansen van Rensburg
    Brett Robertson
    E Kenyon
    Rob Kearney

    " The desire to survive and the fear of death are artistic sentiments. "
    – Salvador Dali

    Light and Dark – Art from!

    Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

    This weekend marked the equinox – the transition between the light and dark halves of the year. Looking back and giving thanks for what we have had, that which has nourished us and filled our hearts, fuelled our passions and stirred our spirits and looking forward too with hope and anticipation of what is yet to come our way.

    So our theme for this time is shadows and light and some wonderful South African art from the site that takes us on a journey between these realms…

    We’re here to help and if you need any assistance or guidance in making your selection, our team is only an email or phone call away to help you pick out just the right piece.

    This small selection of artists featured here might whet your appetite for a new addition to your home or office space:

    by Pieter Vermaak

    Human forms emerge from eerie blue backgrounds like prisoners straining to find form and purpose. There is a haunting beauty in the figures surrounded in a halo of mystical light. In some works such as "Victory", the human form is barely recognisable yet an air of achievement pervades the painting. Occasionally the figures appear without all their limbs – reminiscent of ancient Greek statues, they entice the viewer into their drama. "Entering at Night" has a Surreal melancholy about it which draws the viewer inwards to see his own psyche mirrored in the figure and in its reflection one finds great beauty.

    by Ria van den Heever

    Ria van den Heever’s "Hope", rich in symbolism and comprising aspects of the dark and the light, really calls out to the viewer. Offering questions and answers it is not a lightweight piece to be hang looking pretty on your wall, rather a work that demands you think, provoking study and close inspection. It’s unlikely you would ever tire of scraping back its layers and the personal meanings it holds for you.

    "The lone gemsbok"
    by Terrence Kruger

    Kruger states "The ability of the Gemsbok to survive in desert conditions has always fascinated me. I find the high dunes of Sossus vlei an interesting backdrop to one of nature’s best examples of adaptation." This beautiful piece so clearly shows light and shadow and also portrays the journey of a solitary soul in a vast desert – a metaphor for our own lives, evocative and stirring of the imagination.

    by Beau Van Zyl

    "Movement" by Beau van Zyl is another fine piece that plays with themes of light combined with movement and contrast of textures. The brilliance of the oil illuminates areas of the painting expertly and the equine curves that abound give softness yet agility to the overall work. What does it say to you?

    " Inspiration is highly overrated. If you sit around and wait for the clouds to part, it’s not liable to ever happen. More often than not work is salvation. "
    – Chuck Close

    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:

    Karen Velissariou
    Susan Tabor
    Inge Zelewitz
    Hester Correia
    Jennefer Mumford
    Jo Marais
    Mike Jonker
    Tamaryn Futter
    Terrence Kruger
    Annalene Kinghorn
    Talya Goldberg

    " Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master. "
    – Leonardo da Vinci

    Art in Abundance from!

    Monday, June 18th, 2007

    Inspiration on tap from !

    We warmly welcome you to another superb showcase of African art this month.

    We are delighted to say that the winners of our summer prize draw are G. Howard of Auckland, New Zealand who wins a Frans Claerhout silkscreen print and A. Chelouche of Connecticut, USA who wins a signed copy of Belinda Kruiper’s book "Kalahari Rainsong".

    We’re here to help and if you need any assistance or guidance in making your selection, our team is only an email or phone call away to help you pick out just the right piece.

    Were you aware that you can send a colorful eCard, free of charge and without the need to register, to anyone, anywhere in the world who has an email address?

    We have seen some superb works being added to the site in recent weeks and here are just a few from our galleries that we have picked to tempt you with this month:

    "The arm of the world"
    by Thembinkosi Kohli

    A figure of a stylized woman is shown with her left arm transformed into a tree. The figure is stylized and is not the smiling maternal figure we have come to know but rather one who looks disturbed (presumably by the newspaper reports that form part form the work.) Her one open eye, further shows that she is all seeing and wise. The tree however shows the new hope and growth that is arising which is why I see this work as one of hope rather than destruction.

    Looking for something quirky? Tired of the old traditional view of Table Mountain? Here’s a painting to add a talking point to the braai. Imagine Table Mountain cloaked in leapard skin and you’ll get the picture. In portraying the mountain in its skin, the spots quickly start to resemble clumps of bushes, making those who abhor change at least sigh a slight sigh of relief that is not completely in turmoil. It’s a witty, fresh look at a subject that’s been painted (in the traditional manner) a million times over.

    "Leopard Mountain"
    by Andi Hirschson

    A narrow path winds through squatter shacks that take on an organic feel in the depths of their browns and ochres and the shapes that to the slightly unfocussed eye resemble bark. Usually poverty does not make for subject matter that one would necessarily want to live with, but this work carries none of the guilt that it could possibly have done. Intrinsic to the work is that although we are looking at a busy township, no people are to be seen which enhances the viewpoint hat you are looking at something grown from the earth rather than something constructed by man. It’s an unusual and pleasing take on the subject.

    "Squatter Road"
    by Craig Paton-Ash

    " Everything I have earned has gone into these gardens. "
    – Claude Monet

    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:

    Gerhard Scheepers
    Barry Celliers
    Fred Page
    Li Nepgen
    Michele Di Blasi
    Jac Kritzinger
    Gerry van der Walt
    Lizelle Joubert
    Tinus de Jongh
    Elzette Welgemoed
    Alida Kasselman
    Nicole Bell
    Kerry-Leigh De Bruyn

    " He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss. "
    – Leonardo da Vinci