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Herman Potgieter - Art is his life.
Vibrant color, striking abstracts and finely executed pen or charcoal sketches in the finest detail, all are part and parcel of the world of Herman Potgieter. Art is his life and he is the very epitome of an artist, and a very prolific one at that.
Herman completed a four-year study at the Foundation School of Arts in Cape Town, majoring in painting, supported by drawing and sculpture. He proudly possesses a Diploma in Fine Arts with the signatures of the Senior lecturers of Historical Art (UCT), Fine Arts and the S.A National Gallery.
With this solid foundation it is no wonder that he is a great believer in drawing, even when doing abstract paintings. He feels that drawing is necessary to exercise the right coordination of mind and hand, and that lots of practice is essential in order to develop perfect control. For the past two years, Herman has been teaching a group of artists in the traditional manner: drawing, color theory, landscapes, still life and life drawing. The fact that the group has kept going so long is testament to his ability to teach and encourage.
With life drawing, he lets his students get halfway, then suggests improvements. One of his students commented: "Herman is not destructive, but always constructive in his comments. He also lets us develop our own style and does not try to insist on his style."
Herman paints a lot for commissions, mainly in oils, but his own works develop as a result of his creative urge. He is sensitive to his environment and that often dictates his subject matter. When he moved from Cape Town with his wife Daphne, to a farm near Jeffreys Bay sixteen years ago, many of his paintings portrayed rural farming scenes. When he sold the farm some years later and relocated to St Francis Bay, seascapes and items associated with the sea began to predominate. Sold in St Francis Bay, now living with wife Daphne and pets on a smallholding near Wilderness in the Garden Route.
His creations go from one extreme to the other, both in size and style: surreal; realistic; abstract (big bold), and delicate drawings. He likes drawing in all mediums and varies his work, he feels that doing them only one way is boring. "I have received this talent to do everything, so I use it," he said. "People seem to like my paintings and they are hanging in England; Europe; all over South Africa. I would like to thank the local community for supporting me as well as they do."
This article was in the local newspaper, Our Times.
Living on this beautiful smallholding in Wilderness area, has inspired me to do landscapes, portraits of the local people and big abstracts, while still doing commissions for people.
Diploma in Fine Arts
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