"People have often asked me when or how I knew I wanted to be an artist, or when I first started painting. I don\'t know. I can\'t remember the first time I held a paint brush, and well, I never really decided to be an artist. I just can\'t imagine myself doing anything else."
Having always had a passion for making art, it was natural for Mariétte Pretorius to study art after school. Whilst studying, she worked as a freelance artist painting murals and children\'s rooms, doing decorative painting techniques, as well as commissioned paintings. On completion of her B.Tech degree in Fine Art at the Free State Technicon (now CUT) in 2001, she continued with this line of work on a full time basis. However, a few years ago she gradually moved away from these forms of art, shifting her focus onto her own individual art. Having worked as a freelance artist using many different mediums, painting styles, techniques, and themes, combined with her conceptual fine art background, Mariétte developed into a very versatile artist.
Although she paints the odd landscape now and then, her great passion always lies in painting still lifes and female portraits in oil. The female figure as subject has always captivated and intrigued Mariétte. To her, there is a quiet secret hiding in every woman’s eyes, whether it is joy, sadness, hope, fear, hurt or even a bit of satire. Capturing this subtle emotion is the challenge that keeps her searching in an attempt to find that what lies beneath and capture it forever in an artwork.
With her still lifes, a decorative element comes into play with the use of richer and more vibrant colours. There is an emphasis on shape and form and the sometimes odd, almost zoomed in composition where the viewer is forced to look at the still life up close. The subject matter in itself, suggests a strong reference to women, clearly visible in the feminine shapes of the fruit, as well as in the symbolic meanings attached to it.
Apart from now working as a full time artist from her home studio in Bloemfontein, Mariétte enjoys sharing her passion by teaching part time art classes held at Oliewenhuis Art museum. These classes provide a great social platform and opportunity for everyone to interact with and be inspired by likeminded creative people.
Even though Mariétte has been painting for most of her life, her career as a fine artist has taken off fairly recently. The first exhibition she took part was in 1999, where one of her student works was chosen for the Absa Atelier. Some of the more recent exhibitions include the 2012 Faces for Africa exhibition at the Liebrecht Gallery in Somerset West, as well as Alice Art\'s New Signatures in 2012 and 2013.