I’ve always loved drawing and painting, I have an uncle who was an artist in Zimbabwe where I grew up.
He used to encourage his eldest daughter and I to try to “out draw/paint” each other, from as far back as I can remember, and then our parents would give us a score that evening. I’m pretty sure it was a way of keeping us busy and quiet, but the side effect was we both learnt a lot about colour and interpretation from an early age and also learnt to love art! (I won’t bring up the mock boxing ring they used to set up for us when we were fighting.. but Michelle is still one of my favourite people!)
I was lucky enough to attend a high school in Harare with an incredible art department, and was
fortunate to have a teacher who gave everything she had to give to her class, and as a result most of us received A’s for our O levels. The days spent in her art department were the days I lived for.
Fast forward to adulthood and it’s a blur of interior-design, graphic design, a little ceramic painting and having children, and then back to 3 years of private tutoring, again with an incredible lady who improved my techniques and ironed out strange and bad habits. This is the period where I built up the courage to tackle “faces” because it’s the one aspect of art where you’re either “right or wrong!” ( well that’s my opinion, anyway) I absolutely love portraiture, especially painting eyes. I love abstracts too, and that’s how some of my portraits evolved into abstract faces, but I am hell bent on making sure the person is still recognisable even if they are a swirl of unusual colours and shapes. My happiest days are spent painting, with my favourite music floating around me, I lose track of time completely.
Early in my career I received commissions to paint high profile South African politicians, including Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Jacob Zuma and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I wasn’t sure my zoomed in/close up, huge face studies would be well received; however my fears were allayed when the Oliver Tambo portrait, which is massive and entirely Mr Tambo’s face, was chosen to hang in The
Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library. The other large portraits also hang in prominent parliamentary buildings. So my love of faces has paid off!
My goal is to get back to painting full time, my happy place is in front of an easel. Portraiture is still my first love, followed closely by abstracts and flowers.