These beautifully textured skies in an array of glorious moods matched with thoughtfully quiet landscapes perfectly capture those moments of soulful solitude that make a road trip so rewarding. These paintings are filled with so many stories. And not just the artist’s stories, but our own stories… because we know these places, it’s like we have been here before and can recall treasured memories of our own. We have felt these places before…. Read more about Johannesburg-based artist Haydee Breganski’s work, in her own words…
“Everything I paint, I’ve experienced. It’s all about feeling in my paintings. I work from photos I take at specific moments when I find myself in an unexpected place – on the highway before a storm, or whilst on a road trip arrested by copse of trees on the horizon. I want to record what I felt at that moment – and hopefully, someone will feel something similar when they view my oil landscapes. If each painting evokes some sort of emotion, I’m satisfied. Since we are all here to pass on a message – to communicate something to each other about our experience of life.
I’ve painted my whole life and professionally for fifteen years. I’m largely self-taught but had a teacher in Cape Town when I was younger. For the past two years Douw van Heerden – a contemporary figurative artist has taught me academic techniques – and helped me take my work where it is now. I found him at just the right time. I knew there was something more inside I needed to get out – I was searching and searching and then the bubble burst.
I’m compelled to paint. Part of it is addiction, sometimes it’s the struggle. As an artist, you fight with yourself (and even with your teacher) as you become so obsessed with your work. It’s the only thing that matters and it’s all part of the process. I know I was born to do this and I’m doing what I was meant to do.
My influences include Odd Nerdrum, the Norwegian artist and Rembrandt for figurative work. I also admire John Constable for his dramatic skies and landscapes. To describe my art, I’d say I paint landscapes combining a contemporary and classical style. They capture a certain amount of realism but I like to include expressive marks. I choose a harmony of colours and use neutrals because they’re often the most pleasing to the eye. I like to leave certain elements incomplete – creating a ghost-like image of a car for example – is where you begin to tell a story that allows the viewer to finish it. In this way, the painting itself sometimes dictates what it’s going to be.”