Posts Tagged ‘online art gallery’

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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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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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

Know the Different Materials Used for Tribal Masks

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

The fascinating tribal masks are an indication of rich and diverse African tribal art. The masks of each tribal group have some unique characteristics which helpd in establishing its own identity. Each tribal community uses different type of material to make their masks.

Usually wood is the primary material used to make tribal masks. The people of Nkambe tribe always use a wooden mask called “Mabu”. Dogon people of west Africa too use simple wooden masks.

Apart from wood other materials are also used such as bark, resin and varnished antelope skin. The Chokwe tribe in Zaire always used resin, fibres and branches to craft their “Cikunza” masks for ceremonies. Certain tribes in South Africa, create masks of grass and then those masks are decorated with beads.

Some masks are also made of bamboo and raffia. These bamboo masks are mainly found in the Songye tribe.

The Fang tribe which originated in Gabon have very unusual masks. They used to carry "passport masks" made of metal wherever they travelled.

The Ashante tribal community of Ghana build masks of gold and bronze in remembrance of the kings who were killed during wars.

Tribal masks are quite often bought as souvenirs to be given to friends and family. If you are interested in decorating your home with fascinating tribal masks, you don’t need to travel all across to the African continent. All you have to do is check out our online tribal art gallery. We have a huge collection of tribal masks, original tribal art forms and other forms of African art.

Frame the original paintings to retain their beauty

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

The very next step after buying original oil paintings from an online art gallery or traditional shop is to get it framed. An original painting needs to be framed properly before you can hang it on the wall of your home or office. Moreover a beautiful frame will make the original painting look even more appealing.

Without a frame, a painting looks like a book without cover. Until you frame the original painting in a good and strong frame, it will be really tough to maintain its beauty. Moreover dust and other foreign particles will get pasted on the surface where paint has been applied.

If you are not willing to spend too much money on hiring a conservator to take care of your original paintings on a regular basis, at least have them properly framed.

Ideally, the frame to hold the priceless original oil paintings must have mending plates that are attached to the frame with screws. Preferably, use brass mending plates as they can be adjusted and make sure there is light pressure on the back of the stretcher or strainer.

Avoid using frames with nails since nails can rust, fall out, or protrude through the canvas. It is better to ask the framer to pad the part of the frame that touches the face of the painting to provide adequate protection to the painted surface.

Last but not the least, always choose a frame that fits the dimensions of the painting perfectly.

5 Essential Tips to Hang Original Oil Paintings

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Original paintings are priceless for the simple fact that you can’t have two of the same thing. Hence, they need utmost care and adept handling to ensure that they don’t get damaged and are able to manifest their beauty to the optimum. Sometimes little mistakes while hanging original paintings can curb their impact or worse can damage them completely.

It is important to take certain precautions while hanging an original painting, especially oil painting, in your home. Here are some easy to follow tips which you should consider while hanging your precious original oil painting:

  1. Avoid hanging the oil painting close to the shelves as anybody can knock it down while taking something out from the shelves.

  1. Hanging an oil painting over direct heat can cause severe damage to the painting. Hence never hang a painting over fire place, heater, or radiator. Similarly during winter months, don’t hang the oil painting in a well heated room.

  1. Never make the mistake of hanging an oil painting on a damp wall as the dampness would lead to the formation of mildew.

  1. It is almost fatal to hang the painting behind the door or in busy corridors. Also avoid hanging it in a place close to the kitchen, bathroom or anywhere near a swimming pool.

  1. Make use of high quality picture wire and don’t attach alarms to the back of the canvas or the panel. Instead always attach them to the back of the frames.

At, we handle each order individually and our sales team makes sure that the original painting you have chosen from our site is packaged securely and delivered to you on time and in perfect condition. All you have to do is browse our online art gallery at your convenience and watch the amazing collection of beautiful original oil paintings, landscape paintings and other forms of African art. Choose the original painting which you like and leave the rest to us.

The Beauty and Uniqueness of Abstract paintings

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

While looking at an abstract art, have you ever wondered what the painting is all about and what the artist was thinking when he created this piece of work?

Abstract paintings are different from other kinds of paintings. An abstract painting steers clear of depicting reality. No object in the natural world is portrayed. An abstract art has got nothing to do with anything materialistic or any physical in the world. Instead an abstract painting has biometric shapes in bold and bright colours. The painting can be of anything, anyone or nothing.

The history of abstract art dates back to several hundred years. The contributions of world renowned artists like Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso has taken the abstract art form to new heights in the modern world.

Abstract cubism, the style of painting which is popularised by Pablo Picasso, uses geometric figures to either simplify or complicate complex structures such as the human form.

Artist Piet Mondrian established the Abstract Neoplasticism form. In this art form, the artist is not supposed to reproduce real forms but depict the absolute entity of life through either vertical or horizontal lines.

Then there is abstract expressionism in which objects or images were not depicted but the paintings are all about brush strokes and colours.

Modern abstract paintings have attracted the art lovers from all over the world. They can be of varied styles ranging from abstract still life paintings, abstract expressionist paintings, abstract landscape paintings etc.

Abstract art form is the most creative style of the painting. You can find a wide variety of abstract paintings from contemporary artists. Our abstract art gallery contains the works of the notable artists who have chosen our site to showcase their creative works. Browse our online art gallery at your leisure and find the vast and beautiful collection of abstract paintings right here. We believe you will surely find one that you would want for your home or office and all you need to do is click to order.

We offer a range of payment options when you purchase art from us. We accept all major credit cards – Visa, MasterCard and American Express plus the most popular debit cards. Every order is individually handled by our Sales Team to ensure that your new art arrives with you promptly and safely.

We also showcase paintings from a wide variety of subjects including Still Life, Animals & Wildlife Art, Landscape Art, Portrait Art, Nudes, Traditional Art, Surrealist Art, Seascapes, Tribal Art, Spiritual Art, Skyscapes, Contemporary Art, Naïve Art, Genre Art and also Other Art.

African Paintings Highlight the Essence of African Culture

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Amongst all the African tribal art forms, painting is an integral part of the diverse African tribal art. In fact the paintings done by the tribal artists represent the most colourful forms of artwork which are hard to find anywhere else in the world.

Basically the themes chosen by the artists centre around the day to day happenings in the tribal villages, the tragic events, the calamities, the local festivals and particularly the wildlife.

Examples of African paintings in the pre-historic time period can be noticed on rocks that formed the ancient caves. Here the rock paintings are mostly of human and animal figures that used to act like a source to link the realistic world with that of the spirits.

From these ancient rock paintings, one can get an idea of the primitive life style of the ancient prehistoric African people. However, during the pre-colonial period, a drastic change was noticed in the style of African paintings as the focus changed to abstract themes.

Apart from being a medium for expressing the artistic and creative side of the tribal artists, paintings were also used as a form of tribal communication of secret codes. For example, the Ndebele people of the eighteenth century used to paint symbols of different patterns on the walls of their homes which could be understood by the people of their group only.

Since then a lot of changes can be noticed in the style of the African paintings. Different tribes residing in different parts of Africa have come up with their own unique style of painting.

Today, as a result of many foreign influences contemporary African paintings have taken on a form and genre of their own. Now the painters use this creative medium to vividly portray their viewpoints regarding the society as a whole. African art paintings now have a much deeper meaning than what common people can understand with just one glance.

The African artists in due course of time have come up with some of the most stirring masterpieces of the world. These masterpieces can be seen at our site We deal with the contemporary artists of Africa who are taking this tradition of art to new heights. In our online art gallery, you can look for wildlife paintings, original oil paintings, masks and a lot more.

How to Preserve an Original Oil Painting

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Buying an original oil painting is easier than preserving it intact for years to come. If you have bought an original painting either from an art gallery or an online art gallery, you need to take some essential tips in learning how to preserve it well so that it remains like its original self for a long time.

If you know how to preserve an original oil painting, it is not all that difficult a thing to do. Here are some easy steps you can take to preserve your original painting:

  • Fluctuating room temperature can ruin the oil painting completely. Hence hang it in a room where the temperature is normal – neither too hot nor too humid.
  • Pay attention to the back of the painting too. Regularly clean its back by using vacuum cleaner or soft brushes.
  • Any type of smoke be it from a cigarette, small little candle or fire, can destroy the painting. Hence, the room where you choose to display the painting shouldn’t have a fireplace. And don’t ever let the smokers puff cigarettes near the painting.

The simplest thing you can do to preserve your original oil painting is to clean it regularly and keep it away from dust. Never use any rough piece of cloth for cleaning it. Always clean the painting with soft brushes, moist cotton wool or soft micro fibre cloth.

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.