Murals of magical sea creatures coming to life on the walls of Kalk Bay are just some of the artworks created by Fish Hoek local Christine Andrews.
The mother of three says she was simply born to be an artist.
“I think I was born an artist; I believe everyone is born with different talents and gifts.
“To me painting is a flow of energy and some flows are magic, they just come so easy, each brush stroke just goes on the right place and I can do a whole big wall in just one day . . . other times I can sit hours on a small piece. It depends on the day and so many things that contribute to it, like getting a good nights rest.”
Andrews, who grew up with artist parents, was introduced to art at a very early age.
“I was very blessed to have parents, who were both artists, and so I was exposed to art from a very early age.
“I have been earning a living with my art for at least 18 years.”
The multi-talented artist can do everything from portraits to mosaic, painting as well as making handcrafted silver jewellery.
“I started out as a portrait artist and worked for almost five years at the V&A Waterfront as an entertainer, sketching people from live sittings as well as photos while the public watched.
“I love working in public and interacting with people.
My dad Lourens Oosthuizen was a portrait artist all his life as well as a master oil painter. He showed me I can earn a living anywhere with my art and I have never looked back.”
Having lived in many different places and recently moved to Fish Hoek from Amanzimtoti in KZN, Andrews has painted many murals including a Disneyland mural at a preschool.
“My murals actually started when my children started preschool and I was asked if I could do a fun Disneyland mural. I enjoyed it so much I went on to painting many preschools all over and that also led to sign writing.”
After the tragic loss of her partner Andrews supplemented her income with art.
“I have three girls aged 8, 10 and 12. They sadly lost their father at a young age and God has been so good that I have been able to raise them on my art alone.
“To supplement my income I started giving part-time art classes and later became a full-time art teacher at Rundle College in George. I taught the whole school, from Grade R to AS levels.
“There I received online Cambridge training and fine-tuned my teaching experience.”
Since arriving in Fish Hoek at the beginning of this year, Andrews has been commissioned to paint various murals in Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay.
“On my first commission I painted some lovely pink flamingos with a beach scene in the background.
“Then my first wall in Kalk Bay I painted beautiful mandals and a tribal lady holding prayer beads.
“My next wall was the Kalk Bay Books and then I also did some beautiful humming birds for the Health Corner in Fish Hoek.”
Andrews started her current project at the Brass Bell just over three weeks ago.
“I am painting the entire subway, I’m not going to give the surprise away, just saying look out for the penguins, they are still on their way.”
She added painting the sharks and whales took her over four days to complete.
“To an artist, inspiration is everything. The excitement and inspiration for this project has been unreal. I think it’s everyone else’s positive energy charging me up and thus adding to the creative flow allowing me to work even faster.
“I choose a lot of my own themes depending on the commission.”
Andrews says her work is often inspired by nature. “We are surrounded by such beauty, from oceans to mountains, flowers to birds, sunrise to sunset. My murals are to show off the beauty that surrounds us on a larger scale.”
The artist says she believed in the healing power of art.
“We live in a time of great depression, I have not only lost a brother to suicide, but also my children’s father as well as a few close friends. I believe art is healing and murals bring joy to people. My aim is to spread light, love and hope and inspire others to do the same.
“I am so excited and thankful for all the support and being received with open arms. I am hoping to paint the entire Kalk Bay and surrounds one wall at a time.”
For more information on her work Christine Andrews can be found on Facebook and Instagram or be contacted on WhatsApp at 078 313 3174.