Antoinette van der Merwe is a professional artist now working and living in Stillbay, Western Cape in South Africa. Antoinette was born on 7 October 1969 and grew up in Rustenburg, North West. She matriculated at Bergsig High School with Art as a main subject. Her love to paint was encouraged when she moved from Rustenburg to Hartbeespoort Dam in 2001. There she enrolled at the Pieter Millard School of Art where she studied impressionism for almost 3 years. Antoinette also attended intensive workshops at Rene Snyman, an internationally awarded local artist who is a great inspiration to Antoinette, as well as Ina van Schalkwyk, recognized as one of South Africa’s masters.
Antoinette’s work has been inspired by John Singer Sargent, Sorolla, Monet and Antonio Mancini as well as South African Impressionists such as Hugo Naude, Gregoire Boonzaier, Frans Oerder, Alexander Rose-Innes and Adriaan Boshoff.
“Painting has been my dearest friend for a very long time now. My skills and the priceless freedom to use them are the most sacred and faithful gifts I have. They have opened up a world of gratitude with a continual passion for what I am doing!”
With mainly oil paint as a medium her paintings have a South African theme – land and seascapes, figure studies, still life, etc. Her ability to apply short brush strokes with the balance between light and colour has caught the eye. In her paintings the interplay of light and shade are portrayed in happy lively colours, which create a peaceful atmosphere. This is intensified by the alternative use of palette knife and paintbrush in a well-planned impasto technique.
“Painting is a language and I must always remember that my precious poetic visions and spiritual insights will remain forever locked within me until I can boil it down to a complex arrangement of a few hundred brushstrokes!”
Antoinette has a passion for impressionism and lives her calling everyday by the grace of GOD. Antoinette’s passion and love for Alla Prima inspired her to perfection.
The University of Pretoria recently bought one of her paintings and her work can be seen in galleries in Cape Town, Hermanus, Somerset-West, Swellendam, Knysna, George, Brooklyn and Fourways. She has also done a few commissions that went to the UK, Canada and Switzerland. Antoinette was also approached by the curator of the Women’s Monument and War Museum in Bloemfontein to contribute a painting to their private collection and with specific reference to the suffering of women and children experienced in the concentration camps during 1901. This was a very special painting and a huge highlight of her career thus far.
“The purpose of my work is to bless others and for them to see His grace in my life.”