A new art exhibition has opened (November 28th) at Benguela Cove featuring the expressionist work of contemporary South African artists, Marittie de Villiers and Floris van Zyl. This follows the successful residency of sculptor Anton Smit earlier in the year, who will now create a sculpture park at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens in England, which is also owned by Penny Streeter.
Marittie was recently interviewed in Michelangelo magazine and told how she moved to Cape Town in 1992, and met her first husband who was building a steel Gaff Ketch.
She sailed around the world with him for four years: “Only after having two daughters on board, and returning from sailing the Atlantic, Caribbean and Bahamian Seas (and staying in the USA) did I find my passion – painting. We’d returned to South Africa and bought a farm outside Mossel Bay in the Outeniqua Mountains. My kids were small, and we all spent a lot of time in our little farm ‘studio’. I used to visit an artist friend in Groot Brak River who had a gallery, and I felt a great urge to paint. I sold many early paintings through her gallery.”
Marittie’s chosen medium, she told Michelangelo magazine, is acrylics because of the speed of the response. It’s quick drying: “I think fast, and like to act on that. I use a variety of flat brushes up to 150mm wide, or sometimes palette knives and credit cards. I prefer large canvases as it allows lots of expression. I am full of emotion and like to use wide movements and big industrial brushes. I’m not scared of space and the freedom it gives to explore more.”
Marittie’s focus is portraiture and the human body she said: “Clients usually describe my work as expressive and emotional. I prefer not to think logically when I paint, as it dampens inspiration.”