An Art Experience in De Rust

In the early light of Easter Monday morning, the last of the KKNK traffic began to caravan its way from Oudtshoorn through De Rust and the Meiringspoort Pass and beyond… back to reality. While Oudtshoorn recovers from the hullabaloo of the ‘fees, it’s worth noting that a remnant of the annual festival now lies midway down Schoeman Street in De Rust:

The De Rust Art Gallery is a real thing!

De Rust Tourist and Information Office

In the lead up to the 2017 KKNK, I asked to occupy some space on the front stoep of No. 11 Schoeman Street for a “pop-up expo” – to show that art creation in this little village is still very much alive and well, in spite of a seemingly inactive period of display and exhibition in De Rust itself. Simultaneously, a veritable collection of art by local and national artists was being hung up on the walls of the Tourist and Information Office (see here for a preview), so it seemed like a right-time, right-place synchronicity.

Had you passed through town last Monday, you would have caught a glimpse of this splash of colour, which eventually saw the light of day after months of being trapped in my studio. 😉

Rautenbach Art Expo 2

(The plastic covers are for protection from everything from diesel fumes to bird effluvient and the sticky hands of curious children… and to give buyers the peace of mind that the art is undamaged and ready for their walls.)

Rautenbach Art Expo

Since moving to De Rust almost a year ago, it has been difficult to avoid the intense imposition of nature’s influence on my art, so for this round of creating, I simply let it take hold and carry me through some interesting and colourful garden-oriented paintings.

Rautenbach Art Bee

This spring bee is one of many bees (some complete, some that still need to be painted), but it’s been a centrepiece in my studio display and I hope she can find a home where the beauty and pragmatism of bees can be celebrated.

Rautenbach Art Grasshopper Echeveria

This grasshopper was hiding in amongst some rogue echeverias in a rose pot. The shadecloth overhead gave everything a hue of greenish blue – hence the cool colour influence… which just is not done any justice by a photograph and must be seen in person!

Rautenbach Art Frog Amongst Leaves

Rescued out of a watering can last winter, this little guy was just begging to be painted… so here we are. 🙂

Rautenbach Art Aloe Frog

And, because where there is one frog, you will always find more… here is another one. So many beautiful greens in this painting, which is just yearning for a white frame and to be hung up in an indoor space that needs some outdoor inspiration.

Rautenbach Art Suikerbekkie

My precious suikerbekkie is still available and is another piece that can only truly be appreciated in person. With the cold, clear winter afternoons in De Rust, I’m hoping to find more sunbirds in my succulent garden this year and maybe some more paintings will materialise from that inspiration as a result.

My collection isn’t all birds and bees – there are a couple of pieces that my like-minded petrolheads will appreciate too – but my nature paintings are tangible proof that the magical village of De Rust has already beautifully influenced not only my art, but my whole perception of living and appreciating my immediate surrounds.

Looking for something to do in De Rust? Why not pop in at the Tourist and Information Office at 11 Schoeman Street and experience a wide variety of art while you’re in search of your next Klein Karoo adventure or a place to lay your head. In a few follow-up posts, I’ll be featuring some of the work that’s on display, but don’t let that be a poor substitute for experiencing this De Rust art in real life!

For more of my own art, mosey on over to my art blog or my Facebook page and enjoy your virtual visit!


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