2017 SCAVA Visual Expressions Competition

Painting on commission is fun and rewarding, and editing magazine and educational content is left-brain stimulating (and it pays the bills), but what has been suffering a bit for the last couple of years is answering the call to my own artistic desires. So earlier this year, I became the client and vowed to paint new paintings for myself… on deadline!

SCAVA ‘Visual Expressions’ Competition

My self-imposed deadline was also the competition entry period for the South Cape Association of Visual Arts (SCAVA) ‘Visual Expressions’ Competition, and by the time that date rolled around, I had painted three new large paintings and one small one, and got a former piece framed – all in slightly different styles because it’s a competition and… you never know.

Painting alone is one thing (…I prefer it…), but competitions and exhibitions should involve fraternising with other artists, so I took another local, Thomas Vermeulen, along with me for the ride. Thomas does the most beautiful nature paintings as well as photography, ceramic art and photo-manipulated fabric prints – a sample of each of which he entered into the competition.

My entries

20170731 Yellow Wall (600)
Yellow Wall (16 x 16″ acrylic on canvas)
2017 06 25 Mila
For the Love of Chocolate (30 x 40″ acrylic on canvas)


20170718 Thandi and Paulie 800
Thandi & Paulie (A1 acrylic on canvas)
Rautenbach Art Kitten
Creative Mews (A1 acrylic on canvas)
(A2 acrylic on board, framed (second from right))

9 August 2017 – Gala Evening

By the time the gala evening of the competition arrived, I had already achieved my goal of having new paintings ready and getting my work out from behind Facebook and into the public arena, and I didn’t experience any pressure of needing to win. The proverbial ‘participation trophy’ was enough and any good results would simply be a bonus.

It was rather exciting to wander around while all the guests was looking at the more than 200 artworks (by more than 60 artists) and eavesdrop on the comments of both mine and my friends’ art – with the collective consensus that we’d made some pretty good pieces and they elicited the right kinds of emotions from viewers.

A few ‘wins’

Not only was my little artistic town of De Rust given special mention during the chairwoman’s address, but so was my little chair painting 🙂 My favourite-favourite painting, Creative Mews, did receive special merit, so I’m very happy about that! My first art competition and group exhibition as an adult artist and my work cracked the nod – of course I’m smiling!! 🙂


While the main prizes for my two big categories – Animal/Wildlife and Portrait/Figurative – went to some very expressive art, I was SO proud of Thomas for winning the abstract category! Find the winners and merit listing on the SCAVA Facebook page here.

Reflections on Lake Benghazi by Thomas Vermeulen (Abstract winner!)

Lastly, all 60-something of the participating artists’ names were thrown into a box for a lucky draw. Some names were drawn (no pun intended… haha) of artists who weren’t present, but fortunately I was there when my name came up 🙂 and now I have a special memento of the evening to keep in my studio (it’s a very beautiful crystal vase that I will definitely be using for a still life study!).

I’m donating the proceeds of the sale of this piece (after commission) to the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary. The painting is currently for sale at the George Museum.

It was fun and fulfilling – and you’ll be able to visit the exhibition at the George Museum until 31 August 2017 to see (and buy!) some really beautiful and unique artwork.


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