I started painting again 19 years ago. Oil painting is tough, technical, and hard work. Special moments are brief, yet are enough to energise and invigorate the creative mind. After years of concerted hard work, and four exhibitions in 4 years, I feel as if I am only just beginning the journey, the adventure of painting. I search for content and subject in my personal work and savour the means to express it, willing to open that expression to scrutiny. Having studied at the University of Natal (PMB) under Professor Heath, I moved to Cape Town where I was inspired by Kevin Atkinson’s teaching and worked with Erik Laubscher at the art school in Green Point. My paintings are a diary reflecting my progress, my evolution as an artist, and are sometimes vivid reminders of my weaknesses. I attempt to remain free, with my own vision and own handwriting, working very hard at staying out of the cul-de-sac created by too many learned voices. Self-belief is hard won! Deep and lasting impressions of my early life seem to surface when I paint. Our family were traders deeply rooted in the culture, language and traditions of those tribes amongst which we lived. I grew up isolated, but truly aware of the beauty around me – people who lived with easy grace, their style and elegance born out by the tribal dress worn day to day, the beautiful countryside of the Eastern Cape, colourful beadwork and beautiful functional pottery, made so by understanding the synergy between functionality and decoration. This gave me an early, deeply ingrained love for art. I am too aware of the realities of life, and the issues facing our beautiful country – yet I choose to bring a moment of contemplation, of hope, and ultimately of enjoyment, to my canvas.