I am from Pretoria and studied graphic design at Tuks and Open Window. While studying I worked at a florist shop and realized that was what I wanted to do. I went to London where I met my husband, the lanscape painter Willem Pretorius. Here I did an apprenticeship at a very traditional florist and then went on to work at Jane Packer in Selfridges where we did more contemporary arrangements for all the well known fashion brands.
After two years we returned to SA and decided we wanted to raise our family in the Platteland. We moved to Rosendal, a tiny town in the Eastern Free State. Unfortunately there isn’t any demand for florists. I spent the next couple of years raising and schooling our 8 kids. I continued making birthday bouquets from my garden and Christmas wreaths from veldblomme, but I missed working with the flowers. When I fell pregnant with our youngest, I decided to try my hand at painting the bouquets from my garden using my husband’s brushes and oil paints.
I do all of my paintings in the afternoons, in one sitting. I never return to a work the next day even to correct something. I try to portray that specific moment and mood on canvas. I paint with a certain immediacy to capture the energy and feeling of the flowers. As with floristry I realized if you overwork the arrangement it either becomes too messy or too sterile (almost too perfect).