Inspired by Life
by
JOHN DE KLERK
28 May 2021
In each work I share with the viewer my pleasure in the dance with brush, pigment and water on paper, a tango.
I start with a subject, or content in mind, but soon it is a backwards and forward flow in terms of what the paint is doing, and having to stand back to look at the object I am creating, the art piece, the image to be viewed, and then deciding what is the next move in response to my dancing partner, what is happening with the relationship between the paper/water/paint. The materials are important to me because their inherent nature is integral to the work, they are the energy that gives life to this dance. For me the excitement is the intense concentration required in the process, and then the spontaneous, visceral reactions to the art piece, the feeling, the emotion while it is made and then viewed. While a dance may or may not tell a story, the pleasure for the two dancers and the viewers remains personal, very direct, and in-the-moment.
Experimentation, driven by curiosity, leads to new moves, new dances.
It is my hope that when you look at these paintings you will not only see them, but experience and sense the energy, the marvellous visual poetry that is in this wonderful world, and be inspired.
I work in the city where I was born, Johannesburg.
My parents encouraged me to "try everything", which was fortunate as I had an insatiable need to be creative. My life was always filled with Art making and Music.
Following matriculation, I studied Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand. The faculty of architecture was fortuitously headed by Professor Pancho Guedes, who like a contemporary Renaissance-man believed in the integration of all the arts, and was also a painter and sculptor, and he encouraged me to continue the painting and drawing practice I developed while at school.
I have been excited by design all my life. I practiced architecture for 40 years until my recent retirement, and now devote my time to painting and drawing, my first love.
My work is regularly exhibited and auctioned, and is in corporate and private collections in South Africa and abroad.
Inspired by the Natural World
"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."
Alan Watts
John de Klerk - Rain on Leaves
John de Klerk
"Rain on Leaves"
Watercolour on paper
55cm x 37cm
Unframed
SOLD
John de Klerk - Dryad
John de Klerk
"Dryad"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
55cm x 37cm
Unframed
R 980
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Inspired by Colour
"Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."
Wassily Kandinsky
John de Klerk - Black Gold
John de Klerk
"Black Gold"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Green Earth
John de Klerk
"Green Earth"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Emerald Rainbow
John de Klerk
"Emerald Rainbow"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Granny_s Hair
John de Klerk
"Granny's Hair"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Under the Sea
John de Klerk
"Under the Sea"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Beyond the Sea
John de Klerk
"Beyond the Sea"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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Inspired by the Earth
"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living."
Sir David Attenborough
John de Klerk - Earth
John de Klerk
"Earth"
Watercolour & Gouache on paper
37cm x 27cm
Unframed
R 720
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John de Klerk - Earth 4
John de Klerk
"Earth 4"
Watercolour on paper
42cm x 30cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Earth 5
John de Klerk
"Earth 5"
Watercolour on paper
41cm x 31cm
Unframed
R 850
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Inspired by the Brush
Throughout my art practice I have been inspired by the traditional brush painting of Chinese and Japanese masters. There is an energy and spirit in the brush stoke that touches me very deeply.
"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
Henry Ward Beecher
John de Klerk - Rikyu
John de Klerk
"Rikyu"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
55cm x 37cm
Unframed
SOLD
John de Klerk - Interstice 1
John de Klerk
"Interstice 1"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
27cm x 37cm
Unframed
R 720
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John de Klerk - Interstice 2
John de Klerk
"Interstice 2"
Watercolour & Ink on paper
27cm x 37cm
Unframed
R 720
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Inspired by the Light
"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."
Aaron Rose
John de Klerk - Illuminance
John de Klerk
"Illuminance"
Watercolour on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
SOLD
John de Klerk - A New Day
John de Klerk
"A New Day"
Watercolour on paper
27cm x 37cm
Unframed
R 720
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John de Klerk - After the storm
John de Klerk
"After the storm"
Watercolour on paper
41cm x 29cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Mulberry Mist
John de Klerk
"Mulberry Mist"
Watercolour on paper
29cm x 41cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - Silvery Moon
John de Klerk
"Silvery Moon"
Watercolour on paper
31cm x 31cm
Unframed
R 720
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John de Klerk - Fireflies 1
John de Klerk
"Fireflies 1"
Watercolour on paper
10cm x 10cm
Unframed
R 150
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John de Klerk - Fireflies 2
John de Klerk
"Fireflies 2"
Watercolour on paper
10cm x 10cm
Unframed
R 150
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Inspired by 2021
One of the many challenges in 2021 is pandemic fatigue:
"... the exhaustion you may be feeling after months of spending extra time and energy dealing with our new pandemic lifestyle and all the struggles it's brought on."
Nestadt, MD
Many of us are feeling more on edge, anxious, and exhausted due to chronic stress. Viewing Art, and the making of art, play a role in alleviating and relieving this stress.
I feel inspired to play my part in 2021 as an artist by sharing my work.
Researchers have found that browsing through an art gallery, or on-line, can help lower the body's concentration of the stress hormone cortisol and increase that of the pleasure hormone dopamine.
John de Klerk - Optimism
John de Klerk
"Optimism"
Each year the Pantone Institute announce "the colour of the year" and for 2021, they chose two colours:
".the union of Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit."
(Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Institute)

While I am not a fan of a committee of "experts" deciding for us what colour is trendy, the combination this year resonates with what I think is needed in these challenging times.

Mixed Media on paper
113cm x 113cm
Unframed
R 3 900
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John de Klerk - Rejuvenate
John de Klerk
"Rejuvenate"
This work is about freshness, energy and rejuvenation, an antidote for the fatigue and sadness brought on by the challenges of living in the current pandemic.

Mixed Media on paper
113cm x 113cm
Unframed
R 3 900
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John de Klerk - A Dance to the Music of Time
John de Klerk
"A Dance to the Music of Time"
With the advent of the Covid19 pandemic, I have been reminded of the fragility of life, the importance of living deeply in 2021, and in the present moment in particular.
This scary world-wide event has also made me very aware of the passage of time, and the meaning of the human condition itself.
Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) painted a wonderful picture, which later was titled "Dance to the Music of Time". It is a typically Arcadian scene, the exact meaning of which is not known. An interpretation, which I find interesting, is that of the perpetual cycle of life. This is the inspiration for this painting.
The colours are inspired by haute couture and top interior design palettes for 2021, which is just a moment in time.
In the centre there are four figures in a perpetual circular dance:
Poverty is in the background, in dirty clothes with an old dried wreath speaking of past glories.
The "solution" for poverty is having work, and the next figure is Labour.
Labour hopefully leads to Riches, but Riches haughtily only lightly touches Labour's hand.
Riches enable Pleasure, which, if indulged to excess, reverts to Poverty.
To the left side is a Putti blowing bubbles, representing the fragility and transience of life, and the two-headed Janus, indicating the change from youth to maturity, youth is past, maturity is inevitable.
To the right side is Saturn, god of Time, sitting on an hourglass, playing the music for the dance.
In the Poussin painting he is playing Orpheus' Lyre, but I have included the music staff and a series of left-hand thumb prints representing the music rising.
The reason for this, is that modern restoration research into the Poussin painting revealed that the primer layer to the entire painting has left-hand thumb prints (perhaps Poussin's?).
Overhead is Apollo, the god of sun and music, riding the morning sky preceded by Aurora, dawn, and followed by Hours.

Watercolour on paper
45cm x 113cm
Unframed
R 1 800
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Inspired by the City
While nature is often my focus, the urban environment also inspires me.
The city has unexpected beauty, particularly the city lights, well, when we don't have load-shedding.
John de Klerk - Lights go on and off
John de Klerk
"Lights go on and off and off and on"
Watercolour on paper
41cm x 31cm
Unframed
R 850
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John de Klerk - City Lights 1
John de Klerk
"City Lights 1"
Watercolour on paper
19cm x 25cm
Unframed
R 380
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John de Klerk - City Lights 2
John de Klerk
"City Lights 2"
Watercolour on paper
19cm x 25cm
Unframed
R 380
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John de Klerk - City Lights 3
John de Klerk
"City Lights 3"
Watercolour on paper
19cm x 25cm
Unframed
SOLD
All the artworks are for sale.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the works, please email us at artlovers1932@gmail.com
The prices exclude shipping
and arrangements can be made for paying off any purchases, interest free, over a reasonable period of time.
ABOUT ..... EXHIBITIONS ..... ARTISTS
Art Lovers 1932
198 Long St. Waterkloof
Pretoria
South Africa
0181
Gallery Hours
Mon - Fri: 09h00 - 17h00, Sat: 09h00 - 13h00
First Sunday of every month: 10h00 - 14h00
artlovers1932@gmail.com