Riding on the crest of an artistic wave

2017-05-24 06:01
Photo: tania sandbergArtist Zelda Coetzer with some of her latest work exhibited at the ‘Art on Kingway’ pop-up gallery.

Photo: tania sandbergArtist Zelda Coetzer with some of her latest work exhibited at the ‘Art on Kingway’ pop-up gallery.

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ARTIST and business owner, Zelda Coetzer was one of the founder members of art at her school in Standard 6. This is proof of this artist’s drive and philosophy.

“Do not waste time with anything you feel you want to do. Don’t procrastinate, just do it. If you have a seed in your heart , you need to grow it. Talents given from God must not go wasted.”

Coetzer, born and bred in East London, completed her schooling at George­ Randell Primary and high.

Her life story reads like a fairytale. She met her husband, Alan at 18 and they married when she turned 20.

Coetzer’s daughter Cacey was born a year later and her son Wade when she was 23. After five years of marriage, the couple moved to Durban and finally settled in Amanzimtoti.The couple have been married for 33 years.

“When I look at nature and people, I see beauty in all their shapes and colours, shades and hues. Something tiny or something bold can inspire me to feel the need to disturb a blank canvas and turn it into a new creation. I love bold colours and colours are not just red, yellow and blue in an artist’s eyes, however, yellow is my favourite go-to colour.”

Her interest in art began when she was young.

“My sister-in-law actually planted the first seed in my heart. I was constantly sketching family members in pencil. They used to get highly irritated with me, because they always had to sit still, especially my poor Oupa and my Labrador, Snoopy, with his droopy eyes,” she said.

According to Coetzer her high school did not offer art as a subject.

“I gathered two other girls and approached the principal, Mr Muller and asked that it be added.

He humoured them on condition that an outside lecturer offers art as an extra subject.

Soon a lecturer from the Ann Bryant Art School in East London offered the classes at their school, while for their practical exams they travelled to the art school. This changed and today however, the school offers art as one of its subjects.

Having completed her schooling, art took a backseat, as Coetzer raised her two children. The artist then worked for the Railways as a data-capturer for six years, and Swan Publishers, selling art calendars and diaries for two years. When relocating to Durban, she transferred to the local branch, but did not enjoy it and resigned.

“One day I saw the most beautiful painting of sunflowers.It was not a Van Gogh, but was painted by Ria van Rooyen­, a well-known local artist. I discovered she was an art teacher and went to her for lessons. She inspired me to reintroduce colour into my life.

“Until then, I had always been a sketch artist and had not done much painting. I started with water colours and transitioned to acrylics and now paint predominantly in acrylics.

“After a year, she emigrated and asked me if I wanted to take over the business. I took in my own students and taught informal art for five years,” Coetzer said.

Always innovative and original, she initiates art exhibitions for her students once a year and many of her students became recognised and accomplished artists within their own right.

Following another dream, Coetzer then started Bayview Beach Guest House, which she has been running for the past 16 years. The artist sells paintings from the guest house and prior to that in several galleries in Durban.

Her favourite subjects to paint is the sea and flowers in her bold impressionist style, however, she loves to create abstract work also.

The artist aspires to the impressionists such as the works of Renoir. She has done an array of commissioned work for companies and private collections. One of the most interesting was paintings done for Southgate Industrial Park for “The Castle” offices, depicting 16th century period style and incorporating the family crest.

However, the owner has since died and the paintings which hung for the past 10 years have been removed.

She joined the Upper South Coast Art Association (USCAA) two years ago.

“It was after they asked me to do a demonstration that I was inspired to be part of other artists again. I am now also exhibiting at USCAA’s new pop-up gallery, “Art on Kingsway,” she said.

A group of artists have also now started Oasis Art, where beginners are introduced to art and painting.

Lessons are held once a month at the gallery and Coetzer is the illustrator. Beginners receive a full art kit to complete one painting and a light dinner, for R300. The next opportunity is in two weeks’ time.

Anyone interested can contact Brenda Pratt on 082 041 4914.



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