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Lion House Art Studio

20 Voortrekker Street


Kurt, Ilse, Cher, and Rose

Little Cat

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This dorpshuis, built at the turn of the previous century, is the home of Jo Nowicki and Mike Kamstra. Apart from the three stone lions that account for its name, there are lions in the colourful stained glass of the front door.
At the back of the property is a magnificent succulent garden, and an airy art studio where Jo teaches drawing according to her own unique method which, she guarantees, will bring out the artist in anyone. She has been sketching for 35 years and her impressive collection of drawings is housed here - in drawers, display files and sketching journals.

Jo is perhaps best known for her fabric collages. Her technique is a form of painting wherein scraps of fabric become a palette, and the scissors become a brush. This unusual approach achieves highly evocative results and the wall-sized hangings in particular never fail to arouse the curiosity and admiration of visitors.

Hanging in the stately interior of the main house are the Karoo paintings of the gifted vagrant known as Dudley van Zyl.

A little about the art work displayed on this page

Insouciance is one of a series of water-colour paintings I did in 2003. “Where does all this come from?” is what people ask and I wonder about it myself. It could be that my childhood memories (from being a boarder for 8 years of in three Dominican Convents) have mapped onto my adult awareness (of the ironic underbelly of human existence). Wow!

Kurt, Ilse, Cher, and Rose are “doing a Pollack” under the Brazilian pepper tree.
It’s a follow-up to my Drawing Foundation Course and a hilariously joyous introduction to painting. We circle around the board - throwing paint, sprinkling coloured dye granules, squirting black ink or water. An overall picture emerges. It evolves into something different and it keeps evolving and changing as new interpretations are made and new compositional problems solved.

Little Cat is one of 4 such portraits in pastel: a medium I don’t normally use. And yes, that is her name. It differentiates her from her sister, Fat Cat. When Little Cat she was a kitten her tail was run over by a car and, due to embarrassment at having lost it, she stopped growing. She would like to re-locate to the Isle of Man.

023 625 1688
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