Daan Vermeulen - Sabie River
Artist: Daan Vermeulen
Title: Sabie River
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 40cm x 55cm
BEHIND THE ARTIST
Daniel Paul Vermeulen was born on the 10 October 1934 in a small town called De Aar, set on the foothills of the Karoo mountains. There were dusty roads studded with homes, cypress trees and an invasion of windmills that dominated the skyline.
Later he moved to Kimberly, a town where the last dust of an era of fortune seekers still hung in the air. Noisy trams rambled along it's crooked streets and it was here where he began his art adventures. On Saturday mornings in Queens Park, below the statue of Cecil John Rodes on horseback; art students sat drawing and painting. The blistering hot years in the Diamond city passed swiftly. He then attended Witwatersrand School of Arts in Johannesburg where he met Professor Gardener, whom was one of Daan's greatest supporters: ”I remember the day we said goodbye & shook hands, my handshake disappeared into his. He said 'when you paint, look with your heart and soul! Don't let your gaze just pass through.' The power of seeing is an essential ingredient to the art of painting, in fact it's an art on it's own. All the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch play an integral part in observing a subject."
During his study years he had developed a love for typography and design. A career in advertising seemed a natural choice. This was a rewarding choice in many respects and moulded him into a balanced, creative person. However in 1992 he said farewell to the advertising world and started painting on a full time basis. "In the cool crisp air of the Highveld, a sea of tall ochre grass stood waving across the African prairie to the foothills of the blue mountains to the north. It was all present in the most obscure to human observation, the striking, brutal boldness of this land. Only the artists canvas itself could convey this message. To accentuate this mood to my work, I apply strong straight lines wherever possible. I also simplify subjects in the scene....less branches to a tree, fewer rocky outcrops on a mountainside. My passion for design and method of simplification contribute largely to a clean, bold result."
Each year him and his wife travel the country; "I draw and take photographs, but mostly I observe how the landscape reveals itself in a masterly exhibition of show-off beauty. I remember the last time I stood on a rocky hill of the Great Karoo. I saw the dusty devil whirlwinds dancing across the plains below...heard the distant call of the Karoo, inhaled the fragrance from bouquets of Karoo-bush, and felt the intense heat on my face. As if painted on canvas, the Earth stood still in all it's splendour."
His artwork has been spread from Johannesburg and Cape Town to the United Kingdom, U.S.A, Germany, Singapore, Australia and France.