Artist tells stories through her work

Renowned fine artist, Frederike Stokhuyzen, at her studio in Camps Bay.

Camps Bay fine artist Frederike Stokhuyzen is hosting a retrospective exhibition next month with more than 150 paintings from her decades-long illustrious career.

While most precious moments and nature are captured by digital cameras nowadays, Ms Stokhuyzen’s stories are told through her art.

From the tranquil trees to craggy mountains, rich colourful flowers and rolling hills, she is able to tell you her travel stories and take you to the places you’ve never been.

Andre Balazs once said: “One of the few luxuries left is travel. And the aspect of travel that is luxurious is not the movement, but the being there,” and this has been the case with Ms Stokhuyzen.

She has a keen eye for detail when travelling and takes inspiration from nature.

“Once I see a design, I ask my husband to stop the car and do a quick sketch right there and then,” she said.

She and husband John White, 81, travel often to gather material for her paintings.

The Namaqualand orange flowers, Scotland’s landscapes, life at Kruger National Park and other natural wonders in countries, including England and Australia, feature in her work.

The 80-year-old said she’s been painting since she was 2 years old.

With the support and blessings of her parents, Bé and Wiet Stokhuyzen, who saw her talent at a very young age, Ms Stokhuyzen studied and obtained a fine arts degree at Rhodes University.

“One of my earliest paintings is when I drew and painted my parent’s house from a bird’s-eye view and my parents knew then how talented I was.”

She then travelled to London and spent a year at the Central School of Arts and Crafts before she returned to Cape Town and taught fine arts at Herzlia High School in Vredehoek for a year.

She is a mother to three daughters, Genevieve Spalding, Lucette Torbet and Theresa Le Blanc, who are artists themselves and said she was blessed with a supportive husband who allowed her to develop her art in the comfort of her own home. The couple have been married for 55 years.

She said she only paints from life and that’s what’s she always taught her children. For animal paintings, Ms Stokhuyzen said sometimes her husband would assist and take reference photographs of everything she wanted to draw and paint – because they move.

“For landscapes, trees and other things, it’s important for me to be there and feel the place and get the feeling of what I’m painting, I can’t just paint something from a photograph,” she said.

Ms Stokhuyzen’s retrospective exhibition will take place on Saturday December 8 and Sunday December 9, at Camps Bay High School, from 9am to 5pm.

Some of her paintings date back to 60 years ago. This will give the members of the public an opportunity to view and purchase the original pen and wash sketches all done in situ from which many of her oils on canvas were created. For more information, call 021 438 2333 or 082 771 9163.