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1. What influenced you in your past to become an artist?

The immense desire to create, cropped up emotions I had no way of expressing, combined with a superb art teacher and a little encouragement when I needed it most.

2. Where does your inspiration come from?
Always a difficult question since it could be one of so many things. I mainly paint what I feel or experience at the time, but often something inspired me to put those feelings on canvas. Sometimes it is art itself, often when observing the creations of others it is like I see there story and I get incredibly inspired to go and create my own. I think in short I'll say anything good, pure, honest, vulnerable or beautiful.

3. Who do you regard as your favorite artist and why?

At school, I started admiring Renaissance artists like Michael Angelo or Andrea Sansovino, later also Auguste Rodin… When I was about 18 I studied Pollock and abstract expressionism suddenly made a whole lot of sense. So while going through my teenage stages, being mad at the world, I started splatting my canvasses. Later I went through a surreal phase and thought Max Ernst was the best thing since sliced bread. Today I cannot say that there is any one specific artist that I admire above all, though there is many that inspire me Judith Mason, Tina Mammoser, Henry Asencio, Gaston Carrio …

4. What medium do you use for your paintings?

Mainly oil paint (Windsor & Newton has always been my favorite) When I studied, I experimented with several mediums like watercolor and acrylics. But today oil paints, linseed oil, texture gels, molding paste, pencil & charcoals are what you will find next to my easel.

5. Approximately how long does it take you, from start to finish a painting / artwork?

Anything between an hour and three weeks. Honestly. I sell drawings that I've done in 40 minutes and the most time I've ever spent on one piece was 3 weeks solid (a commission from a gallery). But in general I'll say my paintings takes 3 to 10 days.

6. Do you have any rituals before starting a painting?
I do meditate but not nearly as much as I would like to. One needs to get in the mood of a piece before approaching it. I think music is by far the easiest way to set a mood -I often also name my paintings after the music it was created on. Sometimes just doing relaxing exercises helps a great deal to get peaceful and centered before approaching the canvas.

7. How do you choose your themes?
My themes choose me

8. Is there any particular subject matter that interests you in particular and any recurring themes or 'trademark subject choices'?
I don't think I have ever consciously decided on a specific theme to follow in my work. When I started out I changed themes and styles rapidly. From super realistic portraits to expressionistic abstracts… I think perhaps my changes are sort of slower now but will remain. I'm mostly known as a figurative artist and have the highest respect for the human form. To me there is nothing more honest, sensitive and powerful.

9. What draws you to the human figure?
It is the most beautiful creation and a subject matter with unlimited possibilities for expression.

10. As a woman do you think that you are able to bring more into the vulnerability of a female figure in comparison to a male artist?
Probably. I come out of a very conservative background and was surprised when nude themes kept dragging on my attention. At one of my first exhibits some of the viewers decided I must be gay do to my large number of nude female works LOL! And then a reporter brought it all together for me "utilizes mainly the emotionality of the female" Then it started making sense to me -I'm attracted to explore the emotionality and yes, vulnerability of the nude female figure. In comparison to male artists? Obviously there would be exceptions to the rule, but yes, I feel the female may rather portray the vulnerability of the nude female figure. And are more able to do so than a male since she experience that side every day.

12. Do you consider drawing/painting certain subject matter more difficult than others?
Listening when people talk about certain subject matter being more 'difficult' sounds completely strange to me.

13. What, in your opinion, makes an art work good?
Good question. There is so much criteria and lists of things to look at, but for me a good artwork is something that touches me deep within.

14. What would you have chosen to be if you hadn't chosen to be an artist?
A psychologist.

15. What is your favorite art gallery/museum?
Tate Modern in London

16. Where did you study to become an artist?
I'm studying every day as I go along. (I had some graphic training at Potchefstroom University but consider myself mostly a self trained artist)

17. Is art as a career hard to do?
It is hard, but nothing really worth it comes easy.

18. Is your work sold internationally and if yes where?
Yes, here in the U.S.A. where I live, I have galleries & collectors in Leeds, Wales and London (UK) as well as in South Africa, Australia, Japan and Poland.

19. What do you have planned for your future and what do you see as the future of art?
I think although the role of art is changing in the modern world, it will always play a crucial role in our society and will continue to lift and inspire all who open them selves to it. As for my future? I plan to continue living happily ever after doing what I'm most passionate about.

20. What advice would you give to someone hoping to take up a career in a similar field to yourself?

Being full time artist is possibly one of the most difficult careers one could choose -but also most rewarding. You should want it enough and not be able to ever imagine being content doing anything else. You should be able to hold on through the toughest times and you'll come out on the other side.

An interview by Artist-Perspectives

Questions from Art Business News