Derric van Rensburg
I always was aware of my artistic tendency but unfortunately it was not a subject my parents knew much about except the old rumours of starving artists etc. Ultimately, I gave up efforts of being in the “real world” and entered the “mysterious world” of the visual arts in 1986. I had no assurance that what I was about to do would be sufficient to support a family, but I was that desperate to find out, so I put to rest all the prejudices I had grown up with about the artistic life and starving artists and went for it.In 1970 I studied Graphic Art in Capetown and worked closely with the commercial side of the arts but lacked the conviction to this particular form of art and decided to just paint. My early work sold quite easily as I worked mainly in watercolour. I should add that I also taught art during this time and that is how I earned a living.In 1990 I moved to a small town called Greyton in the Overberg and it was during the following six and half years that everything changed for me. I changed the medium I painted in from watercolour to acrylic and started painting local landscapes of wheat fields and vineyards and it was this change that opened my market to a much larger audience. My style is impressionism and the influence of the Overberg and its patchwork of colours inspired me then, as it still does now. My brand of impressionism is influenced by the graphic art training I received and so I am more interested in shape and colour than any specific subject matter. The brand as I call it turned out to be easily noticed by an even greater audience than I had ever imagined.My art impacts my life daily as I wrote in the cover of my coffee table book “Derric Van Rensburg”: To have 40 years of one’s life represented in a beautiful book is probably something that most people would consider an incredible achievement and please don’t misunderstand me I certainly believe that it is an amazing achievement! Yet I find myself wondering and thinking back on how it all came about. Like every other person I have not lived my life in isolation. The various experiences that are written about in the book have formed me, the way I see life and fundamentally how I paint.For many of us what we do and who we are is two separate concepts but I have found that, being an artist these two concepts have become inexorably linked. Let me explain – when I am sitting in a restaurant drinking numerous cups of espresso (which I love) my mind searches for ways to remember this scene. I allow, where ever I find myself whether driving, talking to friends or listening to music to become part of my mind in order to put it onto canvas so that ultimately you may also come and live in my world. I do not paint because it is my work I paint because I “can do no other” to quote those famous words used by Martin Luther. My art is not only representative of who I am but of all who been in and out of my life – my parents, siblings, wife, friends, children, grandchildren and even those who challenged me and my art form. Over the years I have helped many aspiring artists to find their own way, some who have left school and some still in school. I believe my gift for art is to be used to help others as well as to enrich my own life.