Renée Calitz (née Bestbier) was born in Malmesbury, where the mountains, undulating hills and wheat fields created a rural ‘framework’ to her creatively enquiring mind.
Her life and art show a special affinity towards elements from nature – especially landscapes, animals and the ever-changing atmospheric aspects of the weather. Keen observation, sensitive drawing and the use of subtle colour nuances are ideally suited to these themes.
At her home in Prince Albert, Renée established an internationally registered Quiet Garden, (called The Story Garden) featuring a piece of land-art in its uniquely created dry river bed. People are welcome to visit the garden and to ‘walk into a painting’ – because many of her art works are inspired by this garden. She also created videos illustrating the story of The Story Garden, which can be viewed. (See https://www.quietgarden.org The Story Garden, Prince Albert)
During recent years, her paintings show an evolving conceptual and abstract symbolism, which needs time to resonate with attentive viewers.
Another of her interests is depicting literary texts, which can be found hidden in many works, mostly conveying messages from personal experience. The opposites between ‘Gravity and Grace’ is part of her special field of interest.
Renée has an admirable ability to interpret people’s commissioned requests.
After matriculating from Bellville High School (where Francois Tiran was her matric Art teacher) Renée obtained a degree in Fine Art and Languages, as well as a Higher Education Diploma from the University of Stellenbosch, under the disciplined guidance of lecturers such as Otto Schröder, Günther Schultz, Larry Scully, Paddy Bouma, Victor Honey and Louis Janse van Vuuren. After a short art teaching career, her family became the focus of her attention.
Her previous ‘second’ career in the field of communication, copywriting, graphic design etc. has now been set aside in favour of creating full time.
Extensive art travels in Italy and France, as well as doing an artist’s residency in Spain during 2012, provided new impetus to her art career.
Her enthusiasm, ability and willingness to experiment have led her to explore many different media, novel techniques and employing a wide variety of ‘visual voices’. Her artistic versatility is accentuated by using pencil, pen, charcoal, water colours, acrylics, silk paints, oils, oil bars, a range of pastels – and more. She currently works in mixed media and is constantly researching, exploring and pushing boundaries.
Her work received recognition from early on and she has participated in several group shows.
Renée deliberately leads a very private and contemplative life in order to focus intently on her art. Starting a solo life in Prince Albert in 2016, brought a variety of unique challenges – and sparked new energy into her diverse artistic ‘repertoire’.
Her motto is: “It’s a gift to be simple and free…”
083 273 9921
Studio – 6 Jan Louw Street