Garden Route, South Africa
Style: Depending on the day/subject. Mostly my painting is to create a feeling.
Favorite Quote: I have many favorites, but to choose one: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Maya Angelou
Favorite Book: Anything by Pat Conroy, Joanne Harris, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Keyes, and on the list goes.
Favorite Movie: I have many favorites, but to choose one: Lord of the Rings 1,2,3, It's Complicated, Lost in Translation .. and on the list goes.
I love the process of painting and the subject of my art works are incidental.
Early memory creating art
I was given an outside wall to paint, thanks to my Art School in Windhoek, Namibia - age 5. While I can't remember my teacher's face, I do remember incredible encouragement and the germination of that little seed called obsessive picture making.
If you have a job besides being an artist, can you tell us about it?
Voluntary cleaner and gardener, cook and caretaker, bookkeeper and cheerleader (for my household of husband, children and cats).
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
Enough space and allowance for my viewer to see his/her own story in my pictures.
Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.
First of all, I search for the light in every picture - and how I will try to show that when I paint. Will the light stay white, or will the reflection on a white cup be colored - and so on. I work from the light backwards to the depths of color, mentally - before I start painting. Once I have that process mapped out, I start painting.
What things inspire you to create art?
Stories, feelings and moods in pictures.
What exhibitions have you had?
Before I moved solely to Internet exposure, I exhibited in the Free State (South Africa) gallery "The Floating Gallery" during the time that I managed the gallery. After that, Cape Town gallery VEO (DeWaterkant) and smaller galleries in the Western Cape's coastal route.
Have you sold any of your artworks?
Yes. I make use of internet art platforms.
How do you promote your art on the internet?
Tell us about influences.
I love looking at art and photography on the internet. They mostly always move me or influence what I do next.
Please recommend another artist you admire, and tell us a little about them.
Janet Botes with her stunning Nuances photography. She is based in Cape Town and merges photographs into dreamlike collective land/ waterscapes of areas around South Africa.
Please tell us something interesting in your life.
I am a mother, wife, sister, friend and human. I studied horticulture and was obsessed about gardening for a while after high school. I met my husband 20 years ago and because of him, I turned back to art and he now helps with the selling of my art.
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?
Too many to mention.
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
Yes. I wouldn't start some of the habits I had to break. I would travel more. I would also listen more to my grandmother.
What plans do you have for the future of your art?
To keep growing my painting, marketing and selling skills.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
Be realistic about your art and the market out there. If you paint for your monthly income, it is important to know who your market is and how to reach that market. The bigger your financial requirements, the larger your buying market needs to be etc. Art is a passion, but realistic business skills help ensure you to be a full-time artist. Therefore it's a holistic process.
Helga McLeod Artist - Water and Color
Garden Route, South Africa