A large part of my formative years was having a lot of fun with craft, drawing and painting pictures. So the decision to go to art school was an automatic choice. I attended lessons at the Johannesburg technical college in 1954, doing what was called commercial art. Today we would define it more as art and graphic design and life drawing. For paintings, the main medium I generally worked in was oils.
I then started working in the commercial art field as a display artist. Today display art would be a combination of graphic design, exhibition signage, signs, posters and window dressing. We painted large murals for general shop-fronts and trade-fair displays like the Rand Easter Show.
After getting married and raising a family, I continued doing consignments but more on a freelance basis. In 1975 we moved to the Transkei and I started painting with a local art group in Umtata, doing watercolour landscapes. I have always loved painting people and I was inspired by the grace of the traditional Xhosa women and grew to love the relaxed feel of watercolour as a medium.
They were beautifully dressed, with their decorative traditional skirts and turbans and were always doing something. Working, in the fields, carrying pots, baskets, bags of grain, thatching grass, or even chickens and they always showed by their body language that they were dignified in the way they carried themselves and always looked happy. As an added bonus they were always surrounded by the beautiful Transkei scenery.
As an artist, I got to be known mainly for my watercolour paintings of Xhosa women in rural settings. I continued with watercolour as my main medium until about 2009. Over the years, i've had solo exhibitions, exhibited at "Art in the Park, Pietermaritzburg and "The Artist Market", Zoo Lake, Johannesburg. My paintings have also been displayed in art galleries in various parts of our South Africa and abroard.
I switched over to acrylics in 2011 as my primary medium and have enjoyed the change. There is nothing like painting in a rural setting, out of doors, with watercolour, but not always safe and practical anymore.