Artist trades painting for 90th birthday bash

2008-02-26 00:00

TO celebrate his 90th birthday, painter Arthur Orme captured history in the form of the 106-year-old Calderwood Hall in the rolling foothills of the southern Drakensberg.

And the artwork paid the bill for his sumptuous birthday party for more than 30 friends and family at his home in Prestbury on Saturday.

The painting was a request from CHC caterers and Calderwood Hall owner Wade Coetzer, who has been trading his culinary skills with Orme’s artistic talents for the past 13 years.

“The guy likes my paintings and I like his food, so we trade our talents. We have been doing this for the past 13 years and we are both happy with the arrangement. I wanted to paint the building five years ago, but back then I did not know it was going to be my 90th birthday lunch money,” said Orme, laughing.

He began trading with Coetzer when he got engaged to his wife Carol. “Coetzer catered the engagement party and has taken paintings as a trade for each function that we have held since then.”

The subjects of Orme’s work are mostly historic buildings and ships. He has not only painted Christopher Columbus’s voyages and Jan van Riebeck’s arrival in the Cape, but has researched and studied history. “The history of the early voyages of discovery is incredible … ”

Orme’s wife said their friendship dates back to when she was 16. On her 17th birthday, Orme gave her a painting. “It is the last thing I pack when moving house, and I want it to be the first thing I put on the wall wherever I go,” she said.

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