“There are 3 things that make me tick: Africa, the smell of oil paint and beautiful music (Frédéric Chopin in particular). Together they create perfection in my world.”
This “perfection” was as a result of growing up with the African bush as her playground and having 2 grandmothers (one an artist and one a musician) who influenced her profoundly. Wikkie’s fortunate childhood was spent in the bush and around campfires on her family game farm in the heart of the thorn-veld of KwaZulu-Natal, where roaming through herds of Springbok, Impala and Zebra, sneaking up on White Rhino and trying to outwit curious Black Wildebeest was an ordinary everyday activity. These experiences, and listening to her father imparting his astonishing knowledge and passion for the history, wildlife and bush-veld of South Africa, forever etched in Wikkie a profound infatuation and love of the fauna, flora, and people of her beloved country.
All this, combined with spending hours in her Grandmother’s art studio with her, ensured an aspiration to depict everything she loved on paper and canvas from a very early age.
After graduating from high school in 1986, Wikkie pursued her passion at the University of Natal (UKZN), obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Fine Art (Painting and Art History), English and Philosophy. The Advertising Industry was then home for the next 7 years where she worked as a Graphic Designer with some astonishingly creative people! Armed with this experience, she then joined the family safari business in the late 1990’s – handling all international marketing and promotions during which time she travelled extensively. Life was busy and didn’t afford her too much time in her art studio.
Marriage and a family meant a change in direction. Wikkie made a decision at the end of 2017 to start using her qualification as a Fine Artist officially and was blessed with a warm welcome and positive response from fellow artists, art shows and collectors both locally and abroad. She now spends her days devoting as much time as possible to her “arting” (a neologism her then 4 year daughter introduced her to). Admin for her husband’s business, design work and marketing for a handful of select clients and being a PA to her now teenage daughter also fills her days.
Wikkie calls the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal Midlands home - a haven she shares with husband Mark, daughter Rebecca, 2 Jack Russell terriers, a herd of fat sheep and a feisty goat called Blossom Cream-Cheese.
Versatility. Variety. That’s me. So much inspires me. Give me people, landscapes, flora, fauna, objects – anything that brings me joy I will celebrate on canvas or paper. I paint and draw what makes me happy and happiness is what I want my audience to take from my pieces. I never want to be labeled or categorized as only a landscape artist or a wildlife artist etc. I paint what life shares with me and life is effervescent and about so many things – not just a single experience. I believe too that I am still learning – and will continue to do so for as long as I am creating because there is always something new to explore, something new to try, something new to capture – and that excites me. As Matisse so pertinently put it: “An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success”.
My work is clean, simple and uncomplicated and I use a modest palate to enable my audience, when viewing a painting or drawing, to take a moment and enjoy a respite from life’s freneticism. My work is realistic, but not perfect. It’s colourful, but not loud. I don’t over-analyze my subject matter or find hidden meanings. I simply enjoy creating. I love experimenting and having fun with the unexpected and unplanned brush stroke, the mistake that turns out to be perfect. I’m an Impressionist at heart, I draw inspiration from Claude Monet and Edgar Degas and am captivated by the play of light and dark and vibrant contrasts.
My joyful place is my studio and my versatile style allows for great variety in my work. This has enabled me to tackle diverse subject matter from portraits and figures to wildlife and botanicals and doing so using a variety of mediums.
Facebook: Winterton Studios - Wikkie Winterton