My first memory of wanting to draw was how I admired a watercolor seascape my parents had hanging above the fireplace. All I wanted to do was copy it. After many attempts, my Dad, Sonny Geerdts, took note of this desire and subsequently bought me a Paint-by-Numbers set. As soon as I was finished with it though, I asked my Dad if it would be possible for me to get my own set of paints and do my own thing. My Dad then took me to Herbert Evans Art and bought me my first oil painting set! This led me wanting to paint everything I laid my eyes on [0x1] people, wild life, flowers, still life, landscapes, sport [0x1] everything!
Every now and then, my Dad would call me over and ask me to show him my hands, always saying the same thing: [0x1]You must look after your hands Baas. You've got gold in them[0x1]. Whenever he had the opportunity to promote my talent for art, he did. He would make sure that, no matter what the expense, I would use only the best paints, best brushes, best canvases, best paper, and best everything. He's the one who went to the Johannesburg College of Art to find out about commercial art. So I wrote the entrance exam, was duly accepted and thus started my career as an illustrator and later as a graphic designer.
In the 70[0x1]s I joined JWT and DeV&S, both advertising agencies, in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively, and spent the next 35 eventful years learning, primarily as a graphic designer, how to market the image, product and/or services of a plethora of well known clients. During all these years I had the opportunity to utilise my talent for fine art only as illustration for projects I created for the different clients. Then came the need to practice art, not for anything else but the sake of art itself.
One of my great passions in painting involves people and the everyday situations they find themselves in. Also, I love doing portraits. I have such a desire to capture the uniqueness of each individual the way we smile, the way we frown, the way we express our emotions all those little things that make us who we are.
Another passion that developed for me, being an illustrator, was the discovery of other media and exploring the effects and characteristics of each (pencil, charcoal, pastel, oil pastel, coloured crayon, pen & ink, air brush, watercolour, acrylics, oils or anything else that grabbed the art director[0x1]s fancy) and starting to combine them. Thus, over the years, I have mentally stored up an enormous range of subjects and images that I would love to capture and express on canvas (or any other surface for that matter). So, I have no idea where my art is going to take me, but I do know, that wherever that may be, the journey itself will be an incredible adventure!
Gallery on 6th – 2010
Norscot Manor Gallery – 2011
One & Only Alice Art Gallery – 2012
Three years Graphic Design – Johannesburg College of Art
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