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Print on Canvas
W: 405mm x H: 615mm
W: 16" x H: 24"
This work is
I just love this work; I am so passionate about it. The original photograph was taken by Dave Salmond in the surrounds of Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal whilst observing a group of locals collecting thatching grass for a community housing project.
This woman was known as 'the preacher’s wife' and had been married to the local preacher for many years. There are so many things that capture my attention in this work, when I was presented with the original image I could not wait to put it onto canvas.
The typical miss-matched items of clothing (and the colour and texture of each) bring such originality and character to the work. The holes in her shoes which reveal the big toe on each foot always get a mention when people view this work- I had such fun attempting to capture the detail of the fraying fabric. The bundle of giant thatching grass hoisted so proudly over her shoulder is so typical to the Ladysmith area and wash such a joy to recreate in oils with its rich, warm colours and texture.
My favourite thing about this scene is the expression reflected in her face, the scene is one of simplicity and carefreeness. Each time I look at this painting I just feel happy.
I have subsequently entitled the work 'Nonjabulo' which in Zulu simply means 'happiness'.
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View all 2 works by Robyn Ansell
I have loved doing creative things from early childhood; growing up with artistic parents I have always been encouraged to indulge my creative side. At the same time I have spent as much time as possible doing any activity that has had relation to wildlife and/or conservation. I discovered oils as a medium in my late teens and have never looked back. Being inspired by anything that has an African feel to it I get great satisfaction from painting portraits, landscape and wildlife.
Thus far I have been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time living and working in the bush which has enhanced my understanding and appreciation for the detail, colour and natural perfection which exists quietly and effortlessly in any part of land which is truly wild and without the influence of interference of humanity.
After matriculating I had the incredible opportunity to live and work in Botswana’s Tuli Block which fuelled my ever flourishing passion for the wilderness at full force.
I have since then completed my FGASA (field guide training course)and aside from visiting Tuli as often as opportunity allowed (My brushes, paints and canvases have made many trips back and forth across the Limpopo river),I have spent the past year living and working in Nambiti private game reserve as a field guide and hostess.
Working in the bush has been mutually beneficial to all aspects of my character, I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to live a lifestyle that is complimentary to the many different interests i have, a lifestyle where my passion for music and painting fit right in. Most importantly the industry afforded me the opportunity to meet a great variety of people who have guided and encouraged me to pursue my artistic ventures. I have since decided to pursue painting full time and although based in KZN I make as many trips to the bush as possible to feed my enthusiasm and creativity.There are so many things that i find captivating and rewarding about painting, the fact that i find myself to be continually learning, evolving and developing my technique affirms my belief that you can never get tired of doing something you love, something that you were born to do.
As previously mentioned I find simple effortless perfection in the true spirit of untouched Africa and the plants, animals, colours and textures of which it consists of. To sit quietly and attempt to recreate this on canvas is for me truly exciting and fulfilling- I’m not sure that any artist can truly capture the magnificence and perfection that is wild Africa but I definitely get a great deal of pleasure out of trying.
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