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Andre du Plessis
I was born in Salisbury (Harare) in the beautiful country of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). From an early age I enjoyed drawing and painting, and I still have some sketches of mine that I did when I was very very young.
In the mid seventies, at the height of the Rhodesian war, I was called up to do my National Service with the Rhodesian Air Force and from 1975 till 1979 I was more in uniform than not. In 1979 I emigrated to the Republic of South Africa with my new bride.
While still in Rhodesia I attended an Art School but could never complete the course due to my military commitments. I also attempted a commercial art course, which similarly suffered the attention of the war.
Then came the rigors of setting up a home. The kids came, my career as a Draughtsman and Mechanical Designer took a huge share of my time, and as a result I did not pick up a pencil or brush, seriously, for many a year.
Then one day, not many years ago, I suddenly realised that a day would come when my God will ask me what I did with the talent he entrusted me with. It was a sobering thought that changed my life as far as my art was concerned.
I immediately sharpened my pencils and dusted off the old box of oils. I decided to make time for my talent. I started mainly with aviation, military and automotive art and many commissions came my way. I was fortunate enough to be commissioned to do two 'First day covers' for the SAAF Museum. Later I was asked to provide nine paintings and drawings for the book 'Echoes of an African War'. After that the book 'A Pride of Eagles' included my painting 'Paradak'.
But I still could not spend as much time behind an easel as what I wanted to. And then it happened, in December 2011 my employers put me on early retirement, they no longer needed me. Now I actually have to do what I love the most - ART!
Why do I paint and draw? It is quite simple really. Firstly, art is my God given talent, a much appreciated gift, and every artwork I produce is a testimony to this gift. Therefore all the glory and praise goes first and foremost to my God and Saviour Who enables me to create.
Secondly, I am a creative person, I love to create, I am at my happiest when I create. Art is my passion and not many things give me greater pleasure than to stand back from the easel to survey my latest work.
I pursue realism; I do not feel particularly comfortable doing anything other than lifelike portrayals of real things and places. With my military, aviation and automotive work I thoroughly research the subject to present it historically and technically correct.
I work with oils, acrylic, aquarelle pencils, graphite pencils, and a bit of watercolour. Nowadays I do more Digital Art than any other form of art.
I hope you enjoy my art as much as I enjoyed producing it.
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