Art club takes a new direction

2018-01-17 06:01
The new president of the Upper South Coast Art Association, Jean Taylor, with some of her oil paintings inspired by nature.Photo: tania sandberg

The new president of the Upper South Coast Art Association, Jean Taylor, with some of her oil paintings inspired by nature.Photo: tania sandberg

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A DIGITAL art exhibition where the public can buy art online is in the offing for this year. This follows the appointment of Jean Taylor as the new president of the Upper South Coast Art Association (USCAA).

Planning on taking things to a new level, her hopes for the club is to get up to date with the digital age, Jean said. Originally from England, she arrived in South Africa, Johannesburg in 1981 and now stays in Widenham on the South Coast.

“I took art as one of the subjects in high school in England as part of my Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE). I have always had an interest in art, but I would not say I have a natural talent, I have to work at it,” she said smiling.

“The thing about art is that you need to have good observation,” she added.

She studied watercolours under the well-known artist, Hermien Spies Coleman, while living in Johannesburg.

Taylor belonged to the Watercolour Society and Brush and Chisel Club and sold her work at Zoo Lake and the Rosebank Art and Craft Market.

Taylor originally did only watercolours, but decided to try her hand at oils as framing for watercolours has become really expensive.

“At first I was a bit reluctant, thinking I would go back to being a beginner, but I soon realised all the basics are already there, even though it is two very different mediums. Composition, tone and colour-sense is the same, whatever medium one works in,” she said.

“With watercolours one paints from light to dark, while with oils one can do dark to light. With my first oil painting, which was of white flowers, I found myself painting like a watercolourist, saving the white canvas! I have got used to the different technique now ,” Taylor explained.

She now mostly does oils on stretch canvas and is inspired by nature. Many of her paintings are landscapes of places she has visited like the Franschoek area and Kirstenbosch in Cape Town.

Taylor also loves the impressionists. “As a young person, I worked in France as a nanny, where I saw the works of impressionists like Renoir and Monet. Last year, I created this painting for the French evening hosted by the ATKV, it is Renoir dancers in a Monet garden, I call it Ode to Monet and Renoir,” she said.

Lately the artist has also tried her hand at mixed media, using a combination of wrapping paper, drawing and photographs to create an amazing 3D image of butterflies.

“I am a Gemini, I will try anything,” she says with sparkle in her eyes.

The artist has taught children and beginners from her home and also taught at the House of Safety for children in Widenham.

Besides being an artist, Taylor is also a keen photographer and mostly works from her own photographs, as she feels it is more authentic. “I take the photos and edit them digitally,” she explained.

She said USCAA was established by the late Henriett Wolmarans sometime in the eighties.

Henriett Wolmarans was president from 1986 to 2002. She passed away in 2012. Jean joined in the late 1990’s and left for a while because of the travelling at night, but when the club moved classes to a Saturday, she re-joined.

“Joining the club, is a great way to get inspired, to meet other artists and we learn from each other.

The club also invites established guest artists for demos and workshops for members to learn from.

“We have theme competitions every month and hold exhibitions. We meet at the community hall every third Saturday in the afternoon.

There is also a drawing class in the morning for those who want to improve in that discipline,” she said.

To join USCAA, or for further information, contact Taylor on 072 193 9001.


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