I have always loved photography, drawing and painting, and I combine the three, deciding on a subject for the next body of work, then planning a trip to go and get the photographs I need. This usually means travelling around South Africa on a motorcycle or my Suzuki Jimny. I am always looking to create a certain atmosphere in my paintings, so I pick the time of day carefully depending on what and how I will be painting.
I am fascinated by the diversity of oil paint and what one can do with it, so I decide on a subject matter which allows me to explore my medium in a certain way. Previously I worked very realistically, painting each and every part as I saw it, spending many many hours on a painting. Now I work in a more impressionistic way, using brushwork and palette knife, working in layers, which allows me to explore the more abstract aspects of painting and yet still creating something that looks realistic from afar. But of course I still do realistic work on demand.
I work with a limited palette and I prefer larger canvases as this gives me freedom of movement to explore my subject matter fully, but occasionally I like to do a quick small painting just for fun!
My most recent body of work is influenced by my fascination with the Law of Entropy, that nature should inexorably degenerate toward a state of greater disorder, disintegration and chaos and how it affects us as humans. For me old houses tell this story really well, as they all started off as a home and then slowly get eroded with time, just as we do. This is why I work with layers, building a timeline with my paint. I only pick old buildings as each building shows its story through its disintegration.
I want a person to stand in front of the painting and wonder…what happened here?
I have been drawing and painting for most of my life, starting at a young age, and was encouraged my mom who bought me my first easel and set of watercolour paints. I loved horses and that was my main subject for many years, and after getting married I took up drawing with soft pastels concentrating on wildlife and faces as that was my passion at that point in my life. That was my medium for 28 years. I have been Oil Painting for 17 years and this is my medium of choice at the moment, and love working in Pen & Ink using a dipping pen and nib & watercolours as well as occasionally working in charcoal.
I took up photography at a young age using my dads old Canon SLR and eventually bought myself a digital camera at the age of 24. I have been taking photos ever since buying more equipment as I go along, an expensive but worthwhile hobby as it gives me the opportunity to take the photos I want which enables me to create paintings with the feeling that I felt at the moment of taking the photograph.
I exhibited for many years as a young woman in her early 20’s at the Arts in the Park Magnolia Dell in Pretoria, and then at Artists under the Sun at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg where I received many of my commissions. I have had exhibitions overseas, in private homes & local galleries.
2012 Group exhibition with Wakaba Muteki, Given Leshaba, Quentin Oosthuizen and Heinz Thomas Weitz at the Ga Rouge Restaurant.
2014 Group exhibition – International Art Fair in Rotterdam– Studio Ekaterina
2014 Group Exhibition – Treasure for the Future – Studio Ekaterina
2014 Solo Exhibition at the Grahamstown Festival
2015 Solo Exhibition at Innibos Festival
2015 Sounds of South Africa Group Exhibition – Heeswijk Castle Germany – Studio Ekaterina
2019 – Group exhibition – Tina Skukan Gallery
2020 – Group exhibitions – Midstream Art
My work has been sold to both local and international collectors including Carlos Alberto Parreira, the Bafana Bafana coach during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
I studied art at school, and worked in pastels and pencil for over 25 years. I studied oil painting with Elbie de Muillon from 2005-2007. I have done various art courses throughout the years at Openwindow School of Visual Communication, Traditional Illustration with Daniel Du Plessis, Watercolours with Trevor Lloyd Evans, and Advanced oil painting under Danie de Wet. I studied painting and other aspects of art at Studio Collectives Art Studio, with Lucas de Wit & Douw Van Heerden and etching with Meikie Lourens to explore and improve on my skills.
I have taken numerous trips all over South Africa on my motorcycle or car where I take my camera, taking photos of landscapes, old houses, animals and anything I think would make a great painting! I love atmosphere, light and texture and that is what I look for when I am looking for reference material.
In 2019 I took a trip to Europe, The Netherlands and France, to go and explore as many art museums as I could so I could learn from the master themselves which you cannot do by looking at photographs. The experience influenced me and the way I see art, and my teaching.
I teach drawing, watercolours and oil painting to adult students, and also offer 5 day workshops, and Art Retreats in the Karoo.
The collectors Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa 2014
“Sharon is not only an excellent artist, she is also an exceptional art teacher. I have learnt a lot of new skills from attending her classes. I would recommend her classes and workshops to anyone who want to improve their art skills.” Zandi Basson
“After working for 55 years, I always wanted to learn the basics of drawing & painting on my retirement. My eldest son stepped up to the plate & sponsored a 6 month course for me with Sharon Kuisis. I am now about halfway through & believe me, it was the best gift I’ve ever been given & so far, its been worth every cent. Sharon knows her craft & researches anything she’s not sure of. Her classes are so much fun but also very informative as we receive notes, with illustrations, with every class. I was very nervous at first but she is so patient & let’s us work at our own pace. My family is amazed at my progress & I am surprising myself at what I am able to do in such a short time.” Memory
“I am a 63 year old who went to Sharon for drawing classes in 2016. I had never had any form of art classes before. She taught me how to draw and work with pastel pencils which I did for 2 years. She then taught me how to paint with oils. I have even been able to sell some of my works. I never new that I had this hidden talent and am eternally grateful to her for that. If Sharon could teach me she can teach anyone. Thank you again Sharon for your patience and excellent teaching skills.” Ingrid Bussio
“As my hubby became totally preoccupied with his new interest in photography and the creation of digital art, I found myself at a loose end until my dear friend Ingrid Bussion dragged me along with her to one of Sharons Art Classes about three years ago. Up until then, the closest that I had got to experimenting with paint was the odd “creative session” as I was roped in to join my grandchildren in their finger painting sessions. But there was something in Sharon’s unique teaching style that had me going back for more, and before I knew it, I was creating some interesting artworks each week, as I started becoming proficient in the application of watercolour painting, through to charcoal renditions and my favorite medium, namely painting in oils.Who knew I had it in me to express myself through the medium of creating artwork, as my children and hubby started to take notice of my new found artistic skills. All of this new found love for painting at my young age of 63, and I owe all credit to Sharon’s guidance and patience and ability to get the best out of her art students.Thank you for brightening up my life Sharon. ” Shirley Phillips
” I attended Sharon’s series of drawing workshops in 2018 as a form of therapy and hobby, and have learnt so much. Having done a workshops in Namibia, Welkom , Mulders drift and then with Sharon I realized how much preparation went into her lessons and how in-depth they were. Even when Sharon dealt with the “basics” of drawing of techniques I thought I had a grasp of, I soon realized that there was so much more to it than what thought. In her lessons the combination of theory and practice increased the scope of my knowledge and improved my skill considerably.
Her style of teaching is executed with a passion for the subject matter and although I consider myself a beginner, I never felt inadequate or better than anyone else, comparing and appreciating each other’s work encouraged me and every participant to develop their own style based on sound skills and individual preferences. It was inspiring to see the variety of interpretations by fellow participants using the same basic skills and subject matter. I felt nurtured even when guided as I made some mistakes into understanding exactly what I could do to achieve the outcome I was working towards.
From the workshop I learnt to enjoy and experiment while learning basic to more advanced techniques and could see a huge improvement in my drawing skills. These skills further helped me when I took other lessons such as charcoal, pen and ink, and oil painting workshops. I could apply my knowledge and skills from the drawing classes in other media and realized how important it was to have done the drawing workshops first. I still sometimes just draw and practice some techniques before I paint. Sharon is able to inspire encourage and guide me expertly. I want to do Art full time as she invoked the joy and need for disciplined hard work in making Art in me.”
“Sharon’s online art classes have been a wonderful way for me, living in Perth, Western Australia to revisit my love of painting and sketching. Sharon is very happy to share her incredible talent and art knowledge; I am constantly learning and I believe, I am a better artist because of her. “Lynette
“I have been doing lessons with Sharon for nearly 12 months online and love her approach to her classes. She is so relaxed in her teaching and so generous in sharing her knowledge. I love the fact that pieces of art that feel so overwhelming to approach Sharon breaks it down so simply with amazing results. “
Vanessa , Perth WA
“Sharon has an uncanny ability to see more colour and beauty than you could ever imagine in everyday things. She sees every student as the individual they are and draws out the artist in each one, careful not to impose her style but to bring out the style of each person she guides. It is a pleasure to study under her careful eye, as I explore painting in oils. She is inspirational and I am honoured to know her. I wish she could always be resting on my shoulder as I paint.”
“My name is Jenny Claase and I have known Sharon Kuisis for approximately forty years. My daughter was a rider and owned her own horses. So when she turned 21 which was 25 years ago. I took photos of the horses and contacted Sharon to ask her to draw them so I could frame them for a birthday present. They were absolutely stunning and I was over the moon.
Not so long ago I found out that Sharon is giving art classes. I contacted her and now I join her class on a Wednesday morning. I was a little nervous to start doing art at my age. With Sharon’s patience and her art techniques so well explained I wish now that I should of started much earlier in life.”
J D Claase