I was born in Salisbury, the Capital town in Rhodesia now known as Zimbabwe. My parents are Dutch and they moved to Rhodesia in their early 20s. Already as a little child in school I loved and practiced art. When I was in primary school I entered my first art contest and won first prize with a large A3 pencil sketch of a Kudu. At the age of 12 years I sold my first 3 paintings whichwere Delft-blue Dutch children pictures done with watercolor on hardboard.
Art has always run in my family my mother (Dieuwie Holthuysen) did a lot of pencil drawings and my father (Pieter Holthuysen) painted amazing cartoon characters in watercolor in their youth. My father took early retirement to pursue his art fulltime and teach my mom more about art. My parents eventually got their own little studio and gallery at home and became very successful artist in Zimbabwe. During this time I watchedmy parents practice their art to pick up tips and advice wherever I could. My parents exhibited their art all over the country and when I was 18 we decided to do our first family art exhibition, which was held at the Standard Bank Arena in Harare, Zimbabwe which was a great success.
After school I got married and moved to South Africa and worked as a secretary for a few years and had 3 childrenand thus never really pursued my art seriously for many years. My husband was a pilot so we moved to different places over the years including Mauritius and Dubai.
I moved back to South Africa after my marriage didn’t work out and relied on my art which was my main means of income to support and provide for my children on my own.
I started painting birds and wildlife, both in oils and watercolor/acrylic along with fabric art in the form of hand-painted placemats, table runners and wall hangings which I started to sell at a Friday night market in a little place called wilderness, Western Cape on the Garden Route. I was very inspired by another artist Peter Swart who helped me to build up confidence in my work. I then started selling my artworks at other markets in including the Scarab in Sedgefield, Western Cape and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival where I met my husband. After exhibiting at the Grahamstown National Art Festival for 8 years I now just work from our lovely home in Chintsa East, Eastern Cape in my little studio where I am kept very busy painting for both local and overseas markets.
My husband and I love to travel around our country and we are both photographers and I use our photographs for my art material.
I am very passionate about animals and I love to donate my paintings to charity projects to help children and animals in need. End of August 2016, I won the Best of the Show on behalf of the National Anti-Vivisection Society in the USA for their Art for Animals competition with my painting called “Special Moments”.