“Art For Nature” is an avenue for us to raise awareness around, and bring exposure to some pretty amazing artists residing in the Garden Route area. Jan Cilliers de Wet, donated artwork to PTP to help us raise funds and plant millions of indigenous trees!! We`ve asked Jan to tell us a bit more about him, continue reading for his biography and artist`s statement.
The image below is of his painting, “EarthSkyMind“.
Jan Cilliers de Wet Biography and Artist’s Statement
Art has been in my family for 3 generations, and in fact, I still use the easel I inherited from my grandfather. As a child of around 5, my father bought my sister and I sketch pads and set up little still life arrangements for us to draw, so art is pretty much coded in.
I was very fortunate to be sent as a rather low income child to King Edward VII in Johannesburg, a rather excellent government school with the equally excellent Ulrich Louw as the art master.
Post-school afternoons in the sun-beamed art room painting watercolours and posters is still the best memory I have of school. Uria Heep and Deep Purple blasting away on my battered tape deck…
As an adult I was in the right time and place when CGI first came to SA in its most primitive early form (does anyone out there actually remember a 286 computer?!), and I rode that wave as it broke over the local broadcast and video scene, notching up some notable firsts and winning a pile of now forgotten awards. Eventually the forces of my life conspired to steer me to art proper, which is where I am now, in my 11th year as a painter of pictures.
If there’s anything like a theory to my work, it is to allow the paint to speak. The fresh immediacy of a stroke laid down outside of the strictures of thought is what allows magic to enter from the space beyond reason, and via the moment, take up permanent residence on the canvas.
My technique is pretty unorthodox. My primary tool is a small plastic bottle with a nozzle, more commonly used by ceramicists for applying decoration. Filled it with premixed oil paint thinned down so that it approaches the consistency of ink, it is effectively an oil pen. It allows fine lines impossible with a brush, and if applied with more density can be manipulated with a scrap of canvas folded up to produce a sort of pliable palette knife.
Personal quote: Don’t move unless moved.
This means I follow an internal mysterious something that arises of its own accord. It means that I never really know what will happen next, and it means that what appears on the canvas is constantly changing and often surprising.