Abundance: Watsonia and Scabiosa

Hermien van der MerweCape TownSouth Africa

South Africa2021Oil on stretched canvas

110 x 108 cm

For this artwork, I chose the salmon-orange Watsonia Tabularus and the small purple-white Scabiosa Columbara as focal points. Watsonias are close to my heart. When I was born, we lived in Watsonia Street in George and the obstetrician who was present at my birth, called me the little Watsonia of Watsonia Street. This must have started my love for fynbos for the years to come! This is my first oil painting signed in 2021. This series of oil paintings, (started in the 2020 Lockdown) stand in stark contrast to the tense times that we find ourselves in – with many challenges and restrictions. In these paintings, I celebrate Spring and Summer in Cape Town and included some of my favourite fynbos plants: Watsonias; Helichrysums; Gnidias; Pincushions; Leucadendrons and Brunias. I chose themes for my artworks such as ‘Overflow’ and ‘Abundance’ to bring pleasure, colour, hope and freedom into our lives. I used fynbos plants as my inspiration but deviated from the original colours and shapes early in my creative process, as I wanted to portray freedom in my mark making with vibrant colours and strong contrasts. My aim was to show the abundance of nature after such good rains in 2020 – with a thankful heart. I want the ‘Abundance’ of the subject matter to ‘Overflow’ off the canvas – just as provision and blessings overflow in my life. May this work bring hope and light wherever it is seen.

WOOCS 2.1.9

$ 2,260

1 in stock

Artist Hermien van der Merwe is fascinated by Cape fynbos plants.

Living at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, Hermien is embraced by inspiration for her work. She regularly walks along the nearby mountain paths in the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, absorbing her surroundings with all her senses.

“I see buds appear, flowers open and seeds form as the seasons change. I smell the foliage and feel the mountain air against my skin. I pause at interesting leaves and cones – feeling their textures,” says Hermien.

It’s in this walking, seeing, touching, breathing in… that Hermien observes the interaction between fire, drought, and rain on Cape fynbos. And it’s in her brush strokes, paint drips, and lino markings that she narrates this story. Working in a wide range of art mediums, Hermien hopes to raise awareness for fynbos and preserve it for future generations – preferably as a living, adaptable biome but also immortalized in art.

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