“When you grow up with the smell of paint, with stories and with the appreciation of beauty, becoming an artist is inevitable.
I grew up in Aliwal-North. Artist dad Kobus Kotze, opening my eyes for art, my mom, (Joe) now a full time artist as well, brought the magic into our lives with stories, hours spending with us on a blanket under the trees looking at pictures forming in the clouds and teaching us how to make little informal arrangements of flowers. These things gave birth to the artist hidden inside me, brought it to the light to be harnessed into bringing forth things of beauty.
Juggling between being full-time mom and full-time artist keeps life interesting and is an ongoing challenge.
By being alert, I try to be a good audience for whatever ideas reveals itself to me. This alertness guides me into my art, paradoxically, my absence, by being a lot of my waking time in my head or with my head high in the clouds, also leads to ideas for my paintings.
I get inspiration out of songs, between the pages of books, out of the esoteric and out of situations playing off in life. I am a visual person, a sentence in a conversation often triggering an artwork. Out of my love for books, grows my still lives. These paintings are my “atmosphere creating” paintings, something people can relate to, a book they read, an old jug or kettle a granny had in her home, something sentimental, something beautiful.
My woman paintings and more symbolic paintings are grown organically out of me, I give birth to them. This theme is my “first love”, the ladies tell me what to do, they call out to me, they don’t necessarily tell a story, mostly it’s more about a feeling I want to convey.
I try to live by “the Art of Kaizen” – The constant and never-ending improvement and enrichment of the mind, body and soul. I read a lot of esoteric books. Because of the positive role these books played in my life, I try to give something of that back to people buying at my art, sometimes just by a feeling in my work, sometimes, with words, letters in my paintings, little splashes of positivity.
The spirit of your home is very important, it should simply reflect who you are, it should be filled with items that bring some joy to your life.
Through my art, I want to bring beauty and a feeling of lightness into homes.
There is an ongoing evolution process in my art, forever I will keep on growing into new dimensions, forever I will keep on exploring new themes, but I work around my signature, true to Mariaan, building on what is already there, feeling around that.
I get bored easily and will therefore never be able to get a recipe for my art, to have just one theme to work on, I have to work on different themes.
That is who I am. I am still growing, for growing in art is never ending. If one thinks you have reached the pinnacle, you realize you are only standing at the foot of the mountain with the summit in the clouds, hidden from sight, the shape of things to come, creations to be born yet, to be brought into peoples lives and their homes. But this is the road I follow, ever striving for that which is elusive yet waiting to be made real.