To paint, you need 3 things: the eye, the hand and the heart

Updated: Feb 29



This is what making art teaches me: Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. The journey is constant, between listening to the inner voice and making the choice to take an action. The minute you make a decision, if you feel it is disharmonious with some other plane of existence, you must go back inside again. Art for me echoes life, it is a metaphor for all of life. To create and to give brings purpose and reason for living. At some point in our evolutionary process, each of us begins to realise that it's not the having that fulfils our soul, but rather it's the act of creating that brings us satisfaction.

In my work I migrate between realism, and taking it apart into abstraction where emotion lives. Between what the world would like to see and what I want to let happen through me. Art is becoming more of an emotional expression where we move towards emotion in the unknown shapes and colours on the canvas. Although my mind always wants to pull back to what it knows, constantly searching for the known, the safe, the recognisable shapes in the abstraction processes. It takes courage to come to the edge, and just jump, let go and let the artwork happen. A blank paper canvas or plexiglas can be the most intimidating surface to face. Because not knowing is the key to creating new things and experiences. In this case, not knowing what the painting will look like in the end.


In some of my latest work I have expressed the animal and human aspects of life in recognisable forms. Humans, like animals, fight for a number of different reasons. Most will defend themselves against physical harm, but many also do battle with members of the same species. Some of these fights may take place to keep rivals out of a good feeding area or a parking spot at the mall. Fights at the start of the breeding season are not concerned with feeding, however. Males often fight to see which is the strongest. The victor will then dominate and earn the right to mate. And then there is righteousness, a very delicate thing to work with, because it has anger. Righteousness is judging: it makes other people wrong. It’s all about power and who is more powerful than somebody else. So from a pragmatic point of view, you may win the battle but you may lose the war.


Some of my figure studies focuses on the water human relationship, how we live and reflect in it.

I hope to spend another year in the Western Cape working from my studio in McGregor, where life is full. Also a place where everything becomes very clear and amplified energetically. A place where one comes to face yourself. Country life makes for a much more social and integrated life with community, these are all aspects that influences our creativity and expressions. I see our creations as a retranslation of experiences, through our senses and soul awareness, through our own unique expression. People try to like the same things but truth is that each of us see things a little bit different than the other, and that is where we grow - to value our differences more that similarities.

So to conclude, I'm truly starting to value the f-up's more as they teach us so much of how to carry on, in tune, more on point with where and who we really are. Be courageous enough to make those mistakes as they teaches us a lot.

My work and portfolio can be viewed on my web site and selected galleries at www.florisvanzyl.com

Floris van Zyl

Some of the latest Floris van Zyl artwork is now on display at La Galleria in McGregor till May 2018

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