Breathing through Art
Marilyn O once said, “Art is the silent expression of thoughts, feelings and experiences.” These words truly resonated with us this past weekend during Duma Manzi’s Art & Soul Retreat as we witnessed art expression like never before.
Our 5 artists, Mimi Van Der Merwe, Elsabe Eberson, Heidi Mckay, Surita Goosen and Tienette Koen arrived on Friday morning, bursting with excitement as they made their way down the valley, spotting all kinds of plant and wild life to put on canvas.
We had the perfect venue and the finest artists, now all we needed were the best art supplies. Who better to collaborate with than Archneer and Artplus? They generously supplied our artists with the very best variety of art materials which set our weekend into full motion.
For their first painting exercise, our artists were asked to paint using an assigned medium. Elsabe, using oil paint, created an incredible piece, showcasing one of the many gorgeous views one can expect to see here at Duma Manzi.
Mimi also chose to use oil paint as she painted a live portrait of one of our guests. The attention to detail was phenomenal as she captured their very essence on canvas.
Heidi, using acrylic, chose to paint a beautiful flower arrangement which came to life with each stroke of her brush.
Tienette and Surita both captured the beautiful flowers that grow here at Duma Manzi using water paint. This gave a whole new meaning to Frida Khalo’s quote, “I paint flowers so they will not die.”
After a full day of painting and letting their creative minds expand, our artists enjoyed a delicious dinner while sitting in the boma, watching the fire light up the dancing starry sky above.
The next morning the ladies went on an exhilarating 45min guided walk with our experienced game ranger Qiniso. They arrived back to the lodge excited and eager to start painting all of the wonderful things they had witnessed. They even came across a beautiful Flower Mantis, a species that uses a special form of camouflage referred to as aggressive mimicry, which they not only use to attract prey, but avoid predators as well.
For their second painting, our artists showed off their virtuoso by selecting two mediums to paint with. Mimi spotted another guest whom she did a live portrait of using acrylic and charcoal. Her attention to detail is astonishing as the painting seemed to come to life in front of our very eyes.
Elsabe, Tienette, Surita & Heidi, using acrylic paint, created abstract pieces which had each one of us seeing a different image. It’s amazing how art sparks creative thinking differently in everyone.
When creating art, it’s always a good idea to step away and refresh your mind. This helps one to see your work in a different light and maybe add or change things you wouldn’t necessarily have before. The ladies did just that by taking a break and taking in all of the fresh air and beautiful landscapes that Duma Manzi has to offer. That evening they enjoyed a lovely candle lit dinner and some light banter to end the day on a high note.
On their last day, the artists treated the staff to an art workshop where they showed us how to create art by using water paint and our surrounds. We enjoyed every moment and have a new found respect for the craft. It’s definitely not as easy as the ladies made it seem.
After an early morning game drive, where they spotted some of our furry friends, our artists were eager to pick up their brushes one last time and create a final piece. They used different mediums to paint all the wonder that they had seen, and left us in disbelief with their amazing talent.
What a successful weekend this was! We cannot wait to welcome these talented ladies back to our little piece of paradise and a big thank you to Archneer and Artplus for making this weekend possible. A special thanks to our 5 artists who flew in from all parts of the country to show us what can be accomplished when peace and tranquility meets art in the wilderness.