“The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.” This African proverb is one that captures the essence of my work and passion.
You see, I was born and raised in South Africa and my roots go back to the 1800 settlers. It was not until I was 17 years old that I immigrated to the United States with my mother and sister to explore new opportunities. Having been here in the US for 16 years now, I have almost spent equal parts of my life in both countries. With relocating across the globe in my late teens, I entered the US with curiosity and wonder. I had much to uncover about my new home and was eager to do so. My arrival was met with the adventure of going off to college, choosing a career, and starting my own family after meeting my husband and having my own children. The memories of my life and heritage in South Africa, however, are still vivid. They are well remembered and a part of who I am.
My creativity was inspired by my parents at a young age, both were intimately involved with computer repairs and desktop publishing. I was merely 2 years old when I started playing computer games. Before I knew it my mother and I were designing school projects in Adobe Photoshop. I had my occasional art class that was a part of the school curriculum, however, we were not able to afford extracurricular classes in this regard. Much of my life became academically focused. I pursued a medical degree in the US that I was able to complete after 10 years of intensive studies. During these years of studying, I had the rare opportunity in college to pick one class of my own choosing. A class that would not be required for my degree. I seized the chance to sign up for an art class and this is when I first discovered and fell in love with oil painting!
10 years later, two kids in tow and now working a full-time job, life left little time to paint. Then my passion was rekindled! I encountered finger painting with oils in 2020. It has been through oil finger painting that I have rediscovered myself, the memories of the beauty in South Africa that I had experienced, and the splendor of the vast world around me. I have not picked up a paint brush since! Through use of color, temperature, depth and texture, finger painting literally leaves impressions of myself in each piece. What is more surprising is that as I touch the painting it is almost as if the piece itself reaches back out to me. The subject lifts off the canvas! The paintings are colorful and bright and invite you to reach out and trace each impression with your own fingers. This is art that you can physically feel, creating for a more immersive experience.
Finger painting with oil paints is unique and unusual, but the technique lends itself to the blending of my two worlds and has helped to harmonize the beauty I have seen in each. I will continue to paint the wonders that my heart has seen and hope that my pieces will reach out and capture the curiosity in others. I invite you to reach out and start to feel the beauty that is around you.