I was raised in Jhb. Went to Linden High School and varsity at UJ. I have a B.Sc degree with Chemistry and Biochemistry as my majors. We moved to Lichtenburg to farm in 1996. My gran has a farm there and after she passed away my husband, Jacques took over from her. I started painting in 1988 when I studied under Louise Goudemondt. I was with her till 1996. Even though I worked as a chemist, I never really stopped painting.
2. Now tell us about that beautiful art studio you have back home.
My studio originated because I spent most of my time in town, when my daughter started school. The farm is about 30 km from Lichtenburg. I couldn’t get any work done, so I decided to make my studio in Lichtenburg. I love working in a pretty environment, full of light. So I made it the way I like it. I give art classes twice a week and paint the rest of the time (if life doesn’t happen)
3. When you are about to embark on a project what would have inspired you, for example why would you paint a volkwagen kombi instead of a woman bathing?
I work on commissions most of the time. Therefore I usually work on things I have to work on and that pays the bills. So it’s not always as romantic as it seems. Most of the time my soul really wants to let loose and paint what bubbles up inside. So from time to time I really feel like a birdie in a cage. The cars thing just happened one day when I saw a photo of a kombi we used to drive when I was in primary school. We used to go on holiday with the kombi and even slept in it. Memories! I wanted to incorporate it in my interior paintings, a line Alice (owner of Alice Art Gallery) pushed me into. The commercial galleries work with lines. I am an interior painter, so they market you that way. It’s only the past year that I have painted different subject matter and Alice bought some of them. The figures are usually my soul work. I rebel and grab a canvas and paint something that really touched my soul, or a feeling. I think it also depends on the stage your live is in. Mothers with children is something I understand and the feelings behind it can be a muse. Loving and lovers is something else that we all battle with. For me the painting thing as a therapeutic release of feelings, and things that scratches against your being. I try to incorporate these things in my commercial work as well.
4. In the writing world we talk about plotters (those who know the story from beginning to end, or at least the exactly how they will write it) and pantsters (those who kinda wing it, just dive in and right with no real plan). In your painting, which one would you say you are?
Most of the time I see the painting before I paint it, but then things don’t always work the way you want it to and then you change and improvise. Those are usually the most precious paintings, because it gets a personality – you struggled with it to make it work.
5. Do you ever need to do research for your painting projects?
This usually happens when I need to paint a specific car. I had to do Aston Martins for ‘Supercar Day” in Jhb. I had to get pics for those. These people love their cars so everything has to be exactly right. Other commissions like painting “Onder-Kaap” – then you have to get pictures of how it looks and build your painting around that. I still want to do a painting on breast cancer. I already have a title: ‘Track Lines’. I have the painting in my head, but I will need to go on the internet and search pics of women who has breast cancer. How do their eyes look? How do they carry themselves?
6. Do you have any painting you created that you would never sell, why?
A painting I did of my daughter when she was 2 years old. It is a watercolour, something I don’t usually do. It’s precious and obviously holds so much emotion that nobody else would be able to understand.
7. If you could own any painting in the world, whose would it be and why?
A Burt Silvermann painting. He is an NY based artist. Very old school and he has honed his craft to perfection. To me an artist must be a craftsman as well. His work is like a muse to me. When I studied with Louise Goudemondt, she had books of his work. I painted his stuff. For an artist that is one of the best ways to learn to paint.
8. Do you have a dream project?
I would like to do residencies all over the world. Would love to experience their cultures and art. Maybe while there I would like to work with artists from the specific country in collaboration exhibitions.
9. You have people who love art but know absolutely nothing about interpreting it cleverly. The you get those who will look at a painting and connect it to some intrinsic human experience. What do you think goes into the appreciation of an art piece?
Art is truly in the eye of the beholder. Nobody can tell you what you see in the piece. That is your message. Everybody gets another message and that is what makes art so universal. There is no class differences in art and definitely no rules. That is why I love it so much. Nobody needs to feel inferior. If you do – it’s only your own baggage.
10. If you had to share an art project with someone, what would it be and who would your partner be?
I would love to do an exhibition on the people of NY with Burt Silverman. You already know I idolize him and the way he works. I think I can learn a lot from him and how he would approach a project like this. As for NY – I fell in love with the city when I was there. It’s so vibrant and always moving. I would like to paint the local butcher doing his everyday tasks or the barista doing a cappuccino. People going to work etc. There are so many paintings in that city.
11. Are there any parts of your childhood which play significant roles in which you are as an artist today?
I have told this story so many times now. I actually started painting in high school. And I started because I had depression and started with anorexia. My mom took me to Louise Goudemondt, and I started art classes. It was therapeutic.
12. Do you listen to music while you paint? What’s on your playlist ?
I absolutely adore music, it’s my muse. I love jazzy sultry stuff like Sade, Seal; BoB Marley is my king – his greatest hits; then I do the Putumayo music of the world as well – brazillian, yoga etc. Afrikaans music is usually alternative stuff like Karen Zoid and Jan Blohm. I also like classical music, but not heavy, Josh Groban. Popular stuff Ed Sheeran, Mick Hucknell, Billy Joel, Simon and Grarfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Joan Biaz. I cannot paint without my music.
13. You know art is a luxury item for most people and decent art tends to be high priced for the average individual. How accessible are your paintings and how to you manage to make them so?
If you want your work to be popular you need to sell to as many people as possible. The more people see your work and hear about you the higher the demand there off. If the demand becomes more you can up your prices a little. To price yourself out of the market will be detrimental. I paint smaller paintings which is more affordable than bigger ones as well as doing more commercial work that takes less time to do.
14. The Big Apple has great plans for you, an art exhibition?
a. How did that come about?
The creative director, Suzie Maria, from Creative Concepts saw my work on the net and contacted me.
b. Which of your pieces will be making an appearance?
I still have to do them **sadface**. Because it’s only for 2014, I think I will work over Christmas. I think my figures will be the best subject matter for the exhibition
c. How do people get hold of you if they are interested in your art pieces while you’re over there but cannot attend the exhibition?
The can contact me through my details given below or contact Creative Concepts Inc if they would like to purchase some of the work there.
1221 Sixth Ave,
New York, NY, 10020
T:646-224-6996 | F: 646-224-6996
15. If I’m outside South Africa or even local but our of Johannesburd and I wanwork?
Website: www.jonelscholtz.co.za and email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile +27 82 853 8621
16. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Just click my heals and make people talking stupid go dumb. I am not talking about joking and being silly, I mean people that talk without common sense.
17. Let’s say I’d like to attend a fancy art exhibition but am worried I’ll stick out like a sore thumb because I’m average and don’t have the acumen of an art expert nor do I have the slightly eccentric or whimsical characteristics associated with artsy people. What would you recommend I do?
Just drink a lot before you go…you’ll fit right in **laughs**
18. You are an Afrikaans meisie from an Afrikaans dorpie if I’m not mistaken and Afrikaans people are renown in SA for the best home cooked meals. I’m sure you must eat in between your painting activities so I would be remiss if I did not ask you to share your favorite meal and accompanying drink with us.
I love coffee. Coffee and painkillers is my staple diet. Jokes! No I do love coffee so that would be my drink, especially when I work. I do not eat a lot while I work – but I do drink loads of coffee, water and I chew gum. My favourite meal is skaapboud. I love making it and my gran taught me well. We also do a mean potbrood. It’s a bread you do in a black cast iron pot. It’s filled with syrup and butter. Lovely yum!
I think I have to put up a recipe of that mea1 sometime..... thank you J. It was epic having you here because I've wanted to do this for a long time........ and all the best with New York.