'I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.' [Flannery O' Connor]
Why this blog?
The simple answer...
Because I have things to say and my voice sounds better when it is written down.
The variety of chair styles in the above image represents the various walks and stages of life, cultures,
backgrounds and places we all come from but signifying that we can all sit around one table and
respectfully engage with one another; sharing conversations, burdens, joys and perspectives.
This is a personal blog...
The perspectives, thoughts and opinions are my own and informed from personal context, crises, conversations, concerns, characters (real or fictional) and Christian convictions.
I am not writing on behalf of any specific group, or organisation (secular or Christian).
My intention is to pen my thinking with heart and integrity and for visitors to my site to
pause | read | engage - to think biblically and critically and to have conversations where truth and grace have the final say. .
Any guest articles and interviews are published with the permission of the authors and interviewees.
'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.' [Pablo Picasso]
'Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.' [Pablo Picasso]
'Art is what you can get away with.' [Andy Warhol]
'If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.'
'Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.'
Frank Ross is one of the most collectible South African Township artists of the genre and his bright, colourful landscapes in mixed media can be found in collections all over the world. His work is mixed media on wood, using upcycled rubber, plastic and tin. Frank’s use of colour in producing Township Art is bold, direct and deliberate. The colour red is deeply symbolic to him.
‘I always paint the land in red. The red symbolises the unhappiness from our land.'
September 10, 2018
Danielle Hewlett is a South African contemporary artist. She uses vibrant and fragmented colour for her larger than life portraits. Danielle considers herself a storyteller, delving beneath the surface of her subjects to their hidden emotions. This provides the viewer with an intimate view of the subject.
'People inspire me most and everyday life experiences that shape us. Lately my 2 and a half year old daughter totally inspires me, watching her paint, she's not confined by form. I have a lot to learn from her.'
July 17, 2018
Esther Mahlangu's art is abstract geometric contemporary art, using strong, bold colours and striking geometric patterns to evoke a mood and a feeling, while keeping true to the traditional art of Ndebele women for decades.
She travels the world adorned in her beautiful traditional Ndebele dress, touching the hearts of all who meet her while carrying high the flag of South Africa.
'Ndebele art exposed me to the world. Through my art, I have seen the world. In turn, the world learned about my Ndebele heritage.’ [Esther Mahlangu]
May 25, 2020
Kim Schuessler is a mixed media and figurative artist living between Hong Kong and Atlanta. She sources paper from destinations on her travels and uses colour, texture and pattern to create collages and paintings that connect the viewer to everyday experiences. Her detailed and whimsical collages are full of joy and love.
‘I am inspired by colors, textures, patterns, fashion, people, and relationships. Everyday, I have my eyes wide open and I am amazed at all the venues that help foster creativity.'
April 23, 2018
Durant Sihlali was a South African 'Township artist.'
He had an obsession to record unusual things happening around him, what was happening to his people, and he had the technical skill to do it. He could watch a bulldozer knock down a house and paint it in real time.
The soft quality of his watercolour technique often seems at odds with his harsh subject matter. Although rendered beautifully in watercolour, his painting are, nevertheless, an accurate and factual rendition of a slice of township life.
‘Sihlali worked liked a photographer, only in watercolours.'
February 18, 2018
Ugandan born Ronex Ahimbisibwe, is a semi-abstract multi media contemporary artist. He does not shy away from addressing controversial issues in society via his creative experimentation with various mediums.
He believes creativity has no boundaries except those delimited by time and matter.
'Art is not just a profession to me, but my refuge and comfort...without it I am lost.' [Ronex Ahimbisibwe]
January 09, 2018
South African artist, Adriaan Boshoff, was a self taught painter and one of the great impressionists of our time. He was a reclusive man, an artist who was only really happy in his studio, surrounded by paint and canvas. He was an expert on colour, being able to create two hundred different colours from three basic colours and he developed a perceptive eye to observe colours which most others fail to see.
‘I love my country, its people - especially its children, and its natural beauty. In my work I endeavour to portray things in a way which people are able to understand.' [Adriaan Boshoff]
November 12, 2017
Glen Josselsohn is a South African Contemporary abstract artist whose signature drip technique is vibrant, colourful and dramatic.
His paintings are full of life and express movement and joy.
'I am definitely an abstract artist. My work is very colourful, filled with energy, and is comprised of many shapes, patterns and colours.' [Glen Josselsohn]
Watch his video clip here: http://glenjosselsohn.com/
October 15, 2017
Amos Langdown was a South African artist in the Western Cape and his paintings show a deep understanding of and sympathy for the people and events in the world that surrounded him.
His own social commentary on the life of the communities on the Cape Flats was infused with a sympathetic insight and sentiment.
‘As I dip my brush into paint, I dip it into my soul and he who cannot appreciate this, does not have a soul.’ [Amos Langdown]
September 17, 2017
Paul du Toit was a South African artist. His paintings are bold and dynamic and his use of primary colours have a distinctive childlike and naïve characteristic. His sculptures are made out of found objects retrieved from scrapyards which are sandblasted, coated with automotive paint and painstakingly refashioned into intricate, colourful constructions. He died in 2014 at the age of 48 from cancer.
September 03, 2017
South African artist, Lionel Smit’s art is defined by a deeply rooted symbiotic relationship between sculpture and painting. He is best known for his contemporary portraiture executed through monumental canvasses and sculptures, Smit’s avant-garde approach has allowed him to consistently push the envelope.
'Painting to me is like an energy release…with the finished painting being only the physical manifestation, a kind of residue, of the actual work of art, which is the act… of the painting's creation itself.' [Lionel Smit]
July 24, 2017
Aviva Maree is a South African artist who works in oils on stretched Belgian linen. She lends a timeless quality to her depiction of ordinary people and their everyday activities. She prefers to paint women as she not only has a natural flair for painting the fabric of their clothes, but also admires the way women proudly work in contented ways. Aviva invites the viewer to engage with her pictures using their own imagination to complete the stories with their personal experiences of life.
June 27, 2017
Emily Jeffords is an abstract impressionistic painter working in oil on canvas featuring lively colours and slightly abstract skies. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Much of Emily’s work is centred on the theme of finding peace and beauty, regardless of life's challenges. There is always grace and peace to be found, and hope shines brightest when life is most tumultuous.
'I create art to satisfy a need deep in my soul to create, to use my hands to say, with color and form, something that my words cannot.' [Emily Jeffords]
June 11, 2017
Mbongeni Buthulezi is a South African artist who has created a new form of paint, so called ‘plastic painting.’
His paintings consist in their entirety of plastic sheets. No other material is used. He replaces the canvas with layers of thicker sheets, the oil paint he replaces through colourful sheets, wrappings and bags.
When looking at the mountains of plastic, bags and wrappings, he didn’t see rubbish, which had to be thrown away, but saw colours and shapes, which one had to keep or even re-create. He saw something positive, colourful, which one could use in a new and different way.
'I find it interesting that something of no value, with the right care and attention can be used to create artworks of such beauty that they have considerable value to art collectors.’ [Mbongeni Buthulezi]
May 28, 2017
Willie Bester is regarded as one of South Africa's most important resistance artists. He incorporates recycled material into his paintings, assemblages and sculpture, usually commenting on political injustices and human rights issues of the day.
It is the collaged, layered way in which he works that contributes to the richness and intrigue of his art. Bester’s works are collages assembled from scraps and junk from flea markets, townships and scrap yards like shoes, bones, tins, newspaper clippings, metal pieces combined with the use of oil paints and photographs.
'An artist needs an inspiration and a purpose for what you want to say with your art.’ [WIllie Bester]
May 14, 2017
The artist, Isabel Le Roux, is a South African Expressionist. Her contemporary colourful and vibrant paintings depict the South African landscape and life-style. She paints life and creates her paintings in the journey of her own life. She is well known for her typical South African scenes, especially those from the Cape, but her travels abroad bring a new dimension to her work.
'I perceive my work as a means of communication with all and everything around me.’ [Isabel Le Roux]
May 07, 2017
Patrick is a Zimbabwean artist now living and working in Johannesburg. His textured and colourful style has proven to be very popular.
His subject matter is derived from the African landscape and her dwellings and he is stimulated by her rustic colour profile.
‘I believe that the art world is like a big jigsaw puzzle – it's all about fitting the pieces together of those who have something with those who want something.’ [Patrick Rapai]
April 30, 2017
Russian artist, Andre Kohn, is a figure painter whose style is described as figurative impressionist. His work is not only incredibly beautiful, but he is able to capture more than just that moment in time. He remains a preeminent leader of Figurative Impressionism and seeks to capture the complexity as well as the simplicity and directness of the human form.
'I’m seeking my own unique, poetic interpretation of the moment. I’m striving to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.’ [Andre Kohn]
April 23, 2017
Erin Gregory is a contemporary artist currently living in Georgia in the US. The vibrant colours in her whimsical floral paintings explode off the canvas. Her focus has always been on emphasizing contrast and variety within the composition while vividly capturing the light and colour of her subject.
'I remember reading a book in the library of my elementary school. There was a beautiful garden illustration on the inside of the cover. I was fascinated with the idea that someone was able to create this beautiful little world with just paper and paint. I wanted to be able to do that.' [Erin Gregory]
April 16, 2017
Carlos Ramirez is a Cuban born artist and fashion designer now based in Miami, Florida. His large ink and acrylic abstract paintings are loosely based on nature. His fashion background helps in manipulating colour in new and exciting ways. Line, colour and shape are at the core of his designs and paintings.
‘I paint large paintings because I want to make you feel like you fell into the painting and are surrounded by nature.’ [Carlos Ramirez]
Check out a video clip of Carlos Ramirez at: http://www.theniceniche.com/this-week/carlos-ramirez-artist
April 09, 2017
Irma Stern was one of the most important artists to be produced by South Africa. Her work can be seen in major South African embassies throughout Europe and her house in Rosebank (Cape Town) has been turned into the Irma Stern Museum. She was both a pioneer and rebel in South African art circles. Her strong interest in portraying black people was a point of public controversy, especially in the 1930s. She used expressive brushstrokes, thick paint and bright colours to show her idealised view of the world, rather than the suffering of Africa.
'The pictures fell into my lap' [Irma Stern]
April 02, 2017
John Vusi Mfupi (‘The paper boy’) is a local collage artist from Soweto, who works within the recycling process to reinterpret discarded objects in order to give them new life and meaning.
Mfupi’s work portrays celebration of youth and mobility; dealing with human life matters that affect people globally. Mfupi’s style has developed into his well known up cycled collage technique. Not only is this technique an efficient means of production as an artist living in a small space, the materials also play vital a role in portraying his concepts.
'It is my duty as an artist to get people involved in art, especially the young ones.‘ [John Vusi Mfupi]
March 26, 2017
Alexis Bester's work portrays naive surrealism in a colourful and simplistic way, with the use of shadows and bright colours and landscape scenes.
Alexis’ art focus is on the positive representation of how life can be rather than the negative.
He prefers to look at life through the eyes of the child within.
‘My aim is to enrich the lives of people and inspire them to higher thoughts and pure enjoyment.'
March 19, 2017
South African Artist, Porcthie’s artworks are always full of bright, happy colours such as warm yellows, vivid blues, bright reds and intense greens. Portchie sees the world as bright and cheerful.
‘I work with a concept of joy and joy can be best described with colour – therefore, my art is very colourful.' [Portchie]
March 12, 2017
Benon Lutaaya is a Ugandan collage and mixed media artist, based in Johannesburg. He draws inspiration from his own life experiences and explores issues related to homelessness, isolation, fear and identity. He works with paper collage, acrylics and mixed media to construct visually rich collages.
'My hard experience growing up made me strong to face life in Johannesburg when I didn’t have food to eat or a house to call my home and when I went out to pick waste paper on the streets to use as collage.’
March 05, 2017
South African artist, Wilko Roon, draws his inspiration from his immediate surroundings, the people and especially the children in Paternoster, reflected in colours that are unique to his own style.
After being partially paralysed at the age of 15, due to a cycling accident, he overcame many obstacles and started painting at the age of 23. The children in Paternoster he paints, represent his love for life.
February 26, 2017
Makiwa Mutomba is a Zimbabwean artist who currently lives in Pretoria, South Africa.
'Whether they are conscious of it or not, artists are answering to a special call to be of service to humanity.
Through their gift, they create for future generations, a rear-view mirror reflecting our present times. If they don’t create, what excuse will they have when all is said and done? Will they not have regrets, knowing they didn’t do the one thing that only they could have done?
It’s an immense responsibility for anyone to be the “eyes of a generation.”' [Makiwa Mutomba]
February 15, 2017
Audrey Anderson is a South African mixed media artist whose personal manifesto is that art be accessible to everyone regardless of their art knowledge.
‘Although I can’t control a viewer’s perception, my artworks are visual puzzle pieces which they will weave together with their own imagination and based on their own experiences.’ [Audrey Anderson]