Amelda van Tonder is a South African artist and her work can be seen in gallery`s all over South Africa. She has been interested and studying art from a very young age. She studied photography and being a professional photographer has a big influence on her work. She comes from a artistic family and art was part of her upbringing.
I absolutely love to paint, everyone has that happy place where they can just feel free and connect with themselves and The Creator, mine, is in front of my canvas. The world disappears around me and I am surrounded in a bubble of serenity. This is part my life journey and I am blessed to have such a special gift that I may share and bless the world with.
“Studying art is a life-long adventure to me. I have been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I first learned about art in books, paging through a collection of art books, studying the old masters before I could read. Going to art galleries and exhibitions in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa with my parents were regular weekend outings. Our home was filled with local artists works and both my parents are very artistic and they enjoyed their talents as hobbies. I used to give paintings away as birthday gifts and only started painting more seriously after I stopped working full-time as a photographer.
I started painting Nguni Cattle when I lived on a farm outside Pretoria.
The day a small stud of 14 Nguni cows arrived on the farm I could not believe my eyes, I love wildlife but never gave cattle a thought as a subject to paint. The Nguni cattle are magnificently beautiful. I started spending a lot of time with the herd photographing them and learning each ones personality and how they interact with one another and their surroundings.
After I finished painting the first Nguni, I hanged it on the wall and thought to myself, that is something I love engaging with. I painted another painting and took it to a gallery in Pretoria, they told me that what I painted was great but the canvas I used was not to standard and I started looking at the back of canvasses of professional artists to see if I could get a name or a number of the suppliers that made the canvases. I did that secretly, being too embarrassed not to have such vital information, I finally got the name of a company in Midrand and ordered a few canvasses. I painted again two paintings, gathered my courage and took it to one of my favourite Galleries in Pretoria, the Chris Tugwell Gallery. They immediately took both of them and a week later they asked if I can bring more.
I haven’t stopped painting since then. It is such a pleasure to see the improvement in my work and how it keeps progressing, it has been a wonderful journey and adventure.
Artwork of Amelda van Tonder exhibited at Crouse Art Gallery. Original art of more than 60 top South African Artists – Since 1999.