Art is something that can be enjoyed and practiced at any stage during life, and the Art2Arts community is certainly pleased that Hester Coetzee found herself picking up the palette after retirement, producing glorious paintings for sale that are full of personality and highly popular amongst our loyal customers!

Hester is a big believer in the mood boosting benefits of art, not only for those that appreciate her creations, but also to help her through life’s challenges. This is not surprising, and with the joyous pieces that she creates it is certainly hard not to smile when looking at them! Here we spoke to the self-confessed ‘life junkie’ to learn more about what inspires her cheerful work.

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Q: Please could you tell us a little bit more about yourself? How would you describe your work?

After retiring from 40 wonderful years of teaching, I experienced the urge to paint. I’ve never painted before because, as a career-woman with always too much on the plate, there wasn’t time for anything else. I loved photography and scenes like extreme sunsets and lush landscapes. I’m an impressionist with an expressionistic style.

Q: You’re a self-taught artist; how did you go about learning the techniques that have made you successful?

I’ve watched lots of art videos, observed, tried, practised for a couple of years and only then, I’ve experienced success every now and then. The key to success is perseverance, listen to positive criticism and never give up.

Q: What advice would you give to others looking to take steps into art for the first time?

Be patient, passionate, inventive, and take it serious.

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Q: Before you retired, you were a full time teacher – how did you balance your career with your passion for art?

As I said; a teaching career, raising three wonderful children with my art-teacher husband, and a hectic life, I couldn’t think about art BUT through all the years, I assembled all my ideas and stored them safely in my head and , as you can see : an art explosion! I nearly paint every day of my life. It is my sixth year, selling on web sites and since then, I’ve painted 1122 paintings and sold 1023 of them!

Q: Who are your favourite artists past and present? What are your biggest inspirations?

I cherish and adore the Old Masters. John Constable definitely inspired me with his lovely landscapes. Oh, and then there’s Monet, Renoir, Turner and Van Gogh. I enjoy all artists; I like diversity. I respect and appreciate other artists’ work.

Q: Much of your art is created using oil, what has drawn you to this medium?

I still use a wide variety of media for a different purpose but, as you said; oil paint has won me over. I just love it, whether it’s with a brush or palette knife.

Q: Your art ranges from pure bold abstract pieces to a more true-to-life style – which is your favourite to create?

I prefer true-to-life but I always keep my eyes on the market. Because it is a business, you need to paint what’s in demand. I love bringing joy to other people’s lives. I like heart-warming art and to see the fascination in clients’ eyes. That is rewarding.

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Q: What is your creative process? Has it changed over the years?

Because I’m a self-taught artist, I had to rely on photographs, pictures and demo’s, but as I’ve gradually discovered myself and developed, I started to incorporate my experiences and emotions into my paintings. I’m a life-junky and love every moment of it. And, of course, I’m mad about colour!

Q: You’re a big believer in art therapy – can you explain what art therapy means to you?

Yes. It worked for me and still does. Art taught me to take one-step-at-a-time and to count my blessings. By making other people happy, you experience a feel of self-worth and hope.

Q: What benefits for health and wellbeing have you found through art in your own life?

The Fountain Centre’s booklet for cancer patients says: “Art is a powerful non-verbal medium enabling us to explore difficult, painful or confusing feelings in a safe environment, but also to express positive emotions and enjoy colours and shapes. Art explores the creative process and its relationship to health, balance and well-being.” Cancer treatment can leave you feeling fatigued and depressed and instead of sulking all the time, I preferred to press on, doing something that would take my mind off the negative and produce something worth-while.

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Q: Do you have any upcoming exhibitions that the Art2Arts community should know about?

No, not at the moment. I still have a few minor heath issues to work through. I used to exhibit at the Malvern Theatres in Worcester and the Knapp Gallery in London.

Thank you Art2arts for the privilege to sell on your web site.

We would also like to thank Hester for supplying our online art gallery with fabulous pieces of original artwork!

Keep up to date with every new painting from Hester, as soon as it is uploaded, by visiting her dedicated artist page.

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