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Drawing ink and oil paint on Hahnemuhle cotton paper
W: 841mm x H: 1189mm
W: 33" x H: 47"
Approx. Weight: 0.5kg
This work is
About "Aloe I"
I recently started to paint aloe plants. These plants are strong and hardy and is typical in South Africa. The plants have healing properties. To me, they symbolize strength and healing. I enjoy working with drawing ink on this beautiful cotton paper. The background is painted in monochrome oil paint.
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View all 168 works by Hermien van der Merwe
Since 2008, I have found my inspiration in the indigenous fynbos flora of the Cape biosphere and fynbos flowers form a golden thread through my work.
Fynbos flowers are such understated, beautiful and strong flowers. They are proudly South African as I am also proud to be South African. After all, we humans too have to flower where we are sown and I am deeply rooted in Durbanville.
Fynbos seeds need to be scorched by natural fires from time to time to produce a better flower in the next year. We, as humans, also need to be purified by God's fire, the Holy Spirit to become the person that He intended us to be to flower for Him. To me to flower means to grow to one's full potential, to become beautiful, to be fruitful.
I was again inspired by these beautiful plants at a market in October 2008. One of the stalls had lovely products made from Fynbos flowers, like bath oils, soaps, wall hangings and the most beautiful little angels made almost entirely from dried flowers.
I then decided that it was time for me to paint a series of these amazing flowers.
Fynbos, from time to time, need to die (scorched by fire), to bring forth new life. Us as humans also need to die in ourselves, to bring forth new life.
I often keep my colours subdued to reflect the stillness of my theme. The pale greens in the background of my paintings accentuate the subtle, fragile subject. Lately I have also been using warm reds as background colour. The contrast symbolizes the hardiness versus the fragility of these plants.
I hope you can see, feel and smell with me...
BPrimEd Stellenbosch University
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