One Thing She Doesn't Have To Worry About

The long-awaited new issue of Acrylic Artist is here! Our team of editors has pulled together a wide variety of paintings, complete with instructions so that you can learn how these artists have accomplished the artworks throughout this 124-page special issue. Here's a sneak peek from the feature article, "Pieces of Parts" by Lauren B. Kirchner, focusing on the art of South African artist Marike Kleynscheldt. When I saw Green Depth of Field (below), I couldn't stop staring at it. Perhaps you'll feel the same way.

Warm regards,

Green Depth of Field (acrylic, 23.5×35.5) by Marike Kleynscheldt

Pieces of Parts by Lauren B. Kirchner

Although the subjects of Marike Kleynscheldt's paintings vary widelyfrom beads and buttons to lush fruit and delicate flowers, to solitary skullsher style is both constant and inimitable. Some of her still lifes are playful and bright, and others are more somber and thought-provoking. What all of her subjects have in common, though, is that they are small and precisely rendered.

It's hard to believe that Kleynscheldt, an artist from Cape Town, South Africa, who paints exclusively in acrylic, has focused seriously on painting only since 2007. It's perhaps even more difficult to believe that she's entirely self-taught. She says she dabbled in art as a child but was encouraged by her teachers to pursue something more practical after school. She studied graphic design for two years and began working in the advertising field, but quickly realized that wasn't enough to fulfill her creative drive. About six years ago, she dedicated herself to painting full time.

Kleynscheldt says she doesn't regret the background in design theory that she gained from her previous work, nor does she wish that she had studied painting in a more serious way. "I feel that my lack of formal training has been an advantage in developing my own style and my own opinions," she says. "Figuring everything out for myself has given me more of a unique perspective." (Relate to this? Tweet it!)

Composition With Buttons (acrylic, 30.5×40.5) by Marike Kleynscheldt, featured in Acrylic Artist (Summer 2014)

Acrylic Roots

Acrylic paint is a natural choice for Kleynscheldt, as it was her first and favorite medium when she began playing around with paints in high school. She also has dabbled with watercolors and gouache in the past, but she prefers acrylics for their predictability. She adds that she feels that she owes a lot of the development of her signature style to the medium, and that she probably won't deviate from acrylics anytime soon. "I feel that I know its qualities inside out, and I can rely on them," she says. "When I work on a painting, it's about capturing the light and texture—about form and color. There's a lot to wrap my head around, but the one thing I don't have to worry about is whether the paint will do what I expect it to."

Kleynscheldt's favorite aspect of acrylic paint is its quick drying time, since she typically paints wet-on-dry. "That and the staying power: It doesn't fade, it doesn't crack, and not having to work with thinners is just the cherry on top," she says. ~L.B.K.

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