Mariëte van Velden
Mariëtte is an artist working from her garden studio in the lovely town of Wellington in the Western Cape, South Africa. She is a very versatile, self-taught painter and works in oils and acrylics, water colours and mixed media.
Mariëtte works mainly on commissions and teaching painting, which includes technical demonstration lessons and outdoor-painting excursions. She also takes part in group exhibitions and has had number of solo exhibitions during the last couple of decades.
“Art is the vocation of my life. It’s my therapy, my God-given task. Art to me, is also a communication process that I use to depict that which is beautiful in the form of messages or emotions. My paintings sometimes tell a story derived from my story-filled youth.”
“Commissions can be very challenging. At times, instructions are given merely via email and I have to create an imaginary picture from the story told. I then correspond with preparatory sketches before I start painting.”
An example of such a commission came from a retired officer in the Scottish Regiment who asked for a depiction of “A peaceful moment in the Bush War” (2009). He wanted himself in the centre of the scene and so sent me a photograph of his face. Another such example was a souvenir painting for an American general who returned home after a hunting expedition in Africa (2011) The center point was formed around himself and the hunter and the background was a fictive scene in the Luangwa game reserve.
Mariette has recently taken on more political themes in two separate commissions, each done from documentary journalist photographs:
A disasterous scene of invasion in Palestine. (2009)
South Africa’s victorious moment of political democracy in 1994. (2011)
COFFEE TABLE BOOK
In 1996 Mariette van Velden’s Malawi was published, joined by the establishment of the (still growing and active) Titandizane Trust, as a fund-raising initiative for suffering aids orphans and widows in Malawi. The book contains scenes of (the now diminishing) rural Malawi and it’s people, accompanied by a poetic text in English, Afrikaans and Chichewa.
Mariette’s spiritual paintings have a more personal and symbolic approach:
“To portray on canvas a spiritual experience or an interpretation from God’s Word, is to me an opportunity to communicate what I find meaningful in life. Being a Christian believer brings forth a richness, almost another dimension of life – I have to share these blessings.”
Painting portraits remains a challenge, yet Mariette has often received requests to paint loved ones who have passed.
“I’m very fond of Rembrandt van Rijn’s portraits; he is my painter- role model.”
HOTEL & OFFICE PAINTINGS
Mariëtte has various hotel-and office commissions to her name. These are usually bound by a cohering theme. Such projects include a large series of wildlife scenes for two hotels in Lilongwe, Malawi (1988 -1989) and various spiritual works for a company in the Western Cape (current).
“As a professional hunter and wildlife enthusiast I was very fortunate to cross paths with Mariette van Velden several years ago. Her vast knowledge and personal exposure to Africa and its enchanting ambiance had a direct influence on her portrayal of the continent’s richness and beauty. Since 2002 Mariette has created African Wildlife masterpieces for my clients, mostly from the United States of America. One of my clients has more than 16 of Mariette’s paintings which covers most of his office wall space in the Pentagon. He has been hunting with me for more than a decade and will not leave Africa without one of Mariette’s visions of Africa.”
“We are honored and proud to have Mariette van Velden listed on SouthAfricanArtists.com. She handled many commissions for us very professionally and gave clients exactly wat they wanted. No request was too difficult and were completed and shipped on time to delighted customers.”