Our Featured South African Artist living in the Kwazulu -Natal Midlands of South Africa
My name is Mandy Howard and I have the pleasure of calling the Kwazulu Natal Midlands in South Africa home. I refer to myself as a "creative creature" rather than an artist! I am lucky that I have a supportive and encouraging Family who all helped to construct my little studio in our Garden.
For many years I neglected my creative side, I studied art in Matric but was not able to pursue this passion to continue with Fine Art at a Tertiary level. Instead I qualified in something completely different being Hotel Management! Enter Roddy, my husband at this point in my life.
Roddy comes from a very creative family, his Mom studied Fashion Design in London and went on to establish a career in Landscape Design. His aunt was an accomplished mixed media abstract landscape artist and his Granny was an artist who studied under Australian born artist Hayward Veal. This great lady was my inspiration and after noting my interest in her work, she took it upon herself to teach me. I learnt the basic principles of Hayward Veal's impressionistic style from her and I now apply these techniques to my own work.
For many years after this initial instruction, I did virtually no painting and only in recent years, have I revisited this creative passion of mine. My beautiful studio looking out onto a hillside of indigenous mist belt forest has certainly helped to spark my interest again.
"Barefoot and Happy." Oil on Canvas, unframed. 70 X 60 cm
I work in oils in a free "impressionist type" style. When I am painting a subject I try not to let preconceived ideas or conditioning of how something 'should' look based on the name we give it, influence my brushstrokes. As an example, if you look at a "nose" as only a "nose" your preconceptions could cloud your ability to recreate it accurately. If, however, you look at a nose as a collection of shapes colours and tones, it becomes far easier to reproduce accurately. In fact it is often helpful to turn a subject upside down to paint it so you can override your brains' habit of telling you it IS a nose!!
The Hayward Veal Teaching style starts with monochrome painting. Using, for instance, only Black and White, teaches you about tone. I absolutely loved this part of my teaching and often revert to monochromatic portraits.
I feel so privileged to have a wonderfully supportive family and I am so excited to take my passion for painting to the next level. I usually paint from a photograph and look forward to taking on more commissions soon. Commissions will be priced based on the complexity of the subject and the size of the canvas. A typical Portrait will take in the region of 10 days to complete.
"Cheeky Gaze." Portrait in Black and White. Oil on Canvas, unframed. 60 X 45 cm
Private Commission - "sold"
HEAD OVER TO OUR SHOP TO PURCHASE ANY OF THESE CREATIVE AND HAPPY PORTRAITS. PLEASE CONTACT the-art-room SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN COMMISSIONING THIS TALENTED LADY WITH A SPECIAL PROJECT OF YOUR OWN.