• Goals for 2016

    Having just updated my website with my new abstract works, I am eager for my paintings and my website to be viewed in as many places over the world, as possible. This is no mean feat! But I am ambitious and determined.

    My next paintings will continue on a similar theme, but larger in scale, where I plan to use as much earth and nature on the canvas, as I am capable of doing. This means collecting leaves, sand, sticks, feathers etc and lots of gel to stick it on with.

    My time will be pretty much taken with the addition of a new Thursday Art Class for Ladies, from 3.00 – 5.30. I am still doing my Wednesday Art Class from 6.00 – 8.30 and a Tuesday morning class from 10.00 – 12.30. I am pretty full but could squeeze one or two people in if anyone is interested.

    I would say my most utmost need for this year, is to be out there and on the art scene radar.


    The year is easing into in a very satisfactory ending, with lots to store in my creative box and to reveal in 2015.

    In Johannesburg great exhibitions happened and a highlight is the Johannesburg Art Fair, works by Karel Nel stood out for me. The Fringe exhibition, running parallel to the Jhb Art Fair, was exciting and great to be a part of. My fun and stimulating art classes ran throughout the year, ending off with many diverse, wonderful paintings by my students. A pop up exhibition of their work is planned for early next year. My own paintings are building up, as I get ready for a big exhibition in the New Year – watch this space.

    Inspired by Nature

    Nature in and around Johannesburg has prickled my senses with the wonderful sprinkles of jacaranda flowers falling off the trees onto the ground. The rain that fell for days and days, and forced me back into winter clothing, created lush dense foliage, so much a part of my paintings, growing my canvas’s with new ideas and new ideas.

    Travels and Art-filled Experiences

    In London, I saw Anselm Keifer at the Royal Acadamy of Art. He is a German artist, his sculptures, installations and paintings a reflection on the past, present and future. Born at the fall of the Third Reich, he uses ash, fire, lead and straw. His work is emotional, and honest.   The viewer is thrown into the anguish of the composition.

    In Denver, the Museum of Modern Art, works by Matisse and the Fauves were displayed. The curator used comfortable sitting room seating, to view the paintings. The walls picked up colours from the paintings. This was so different from the usual white sterile look.

    In San Francisco I saw a retrospective of Keith Haring, an American who started as a Graffiti Artist, and worked as a Pop Artist until he passed away at the age of 31, from AIDS. He unashamedly painted about his inward emotions and outward views on the persecution of AIDS sufferers and victims of society. His was skilled in committing to paper symbols that express a myriad of emotions and forms, in a graphic and aesthetic way.

    In New York, I caught touring exhibition of the Matisse Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art. I enjoyed the pins holding the paper together, the crudeness of the rough edges and the imperfect paint on the paper. Reproductions in books do not show the authenticity, or the monumental scale of the works.

    A walk in Central Park, the fall colours on the trees, the buzzing Big Apple attributed to bringing my year of visual stimulus, to a satisfying end.

    A Brand New Chapter

    Joining the world of technology (I am now on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook) and being ‘out there’ with my new updated and modernized website, has enabled my art to be seen more broadly, and I am able to share my motivations and ideas on the different themes for my paintings with others.

    The website has helped me to place my work in a chronological order, and show what is available for purchase. It is a public exhibition and discussion of my paintings. This is an ongoing project and I look forward to moving forward even further in the New Year.

    2014 has been a major learning curve, and I am so looking forward to 2015 with all the experiences the New Year will bring.

    Wishing everyone a blessed festive season.










  • Redefining the Pop-Up Exhibition

    In December 2013, Philippa Graff held a pop-up art exhibition in her garden called ‘Capturing the Moment’.

    These days ‘pop-up’ events are definitely the trend. Whether it’s a pop-up dinner party at an interesting venue, a pop-up shop where you can buy certain choice  items for a limited period of time, or a pop-up exhibition that gives artists a platform to showcase their works to an appreciative audience.

    At the end of 2013, artist Philippa Graff decided to have a ‘pop-up’ exhibition in her garden to showcase the work she had completed in her Tree Series, this particular exhibition consisted of her paintings from the ‘Capturing the Moment’ series.

    With paintings hanging from walls and trees around the house and in the garden, invited guests came together to take a look at Philippa’s work in a relaxed surrounding with nature playing a leading role both on canvas and in the environment. Being December, the day was gloriously warm – with not hint of rain and guests could mingle in the garden – while surrounded by art.

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    The day was a huge success and Philippa sold a few paintings as well as getting a few orders in as commissioned work. ‘I have been working on my Tree Series of paintings for quite some time and it felt so appropriate to have these paintings on view in my garden’, she says. ‘I love the spontaneous feel of a pop-up exhibition, and am thinking of doing another one as 2014 comes to an end.’

    Her exhibition was aptly titled ‘Capturing the Moment’ which is exactly what Philippa did with her pop-up solo exhibition.

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    Joburg Fringe

    Another pop-up event that Philippa was recently involved in was the Joburg Fringe event that took place in New Doornfontein in Downtown Johannesburg as part of the recent Maboneng Arts Festival.

    The Time is Now

    In the art world, it seems that the message is clear – there is no need to wait for galleries to put your art up on exhibition (or the long waiting process this sometimes takes to get things organized), -if you want to showcase your work – find an empty shop, an open space – or do it in your garden, like Philippa Graff, the time is now. 

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  • Get Creative with Philippa Graff

    If you’re needing a creative outlet, why not book your space at to attend art classes with local artist Philippa Graff.

    In our fast-paced world, we don’t seem to give ourselves enough breathing space to get creative and have some adult ‘playtime’. In a time when most things are left-brained activities, the right side of the brain (the more artistic side) seems to be ignored, often to our detriment. Things like stress, hypertension and burnout are all part of our modern world, but taking some personal time to create beautiful works of art may be just the thing to allow body, mind and soul to breathe.

    Artist and painter Philippa Graff says getting in touch with your creative side is essential for healthy living. She runs art classes from her peaceful studio in Highlands North, and is adept at teaching students art, inspiring them to reach new creative heights through different mediums.

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    She has been teaching art for over 20 years and loves nothing more than sharing insights and skills regarding her passion for painting, drawing and colour.

    She says, ‘I take students through a process of various techniques, showing them other artworks from different artists in order to see how artists have achieved their sense of style.’ Her classes are very hands-on and she believes anyone can learn to draw and paint, if they have the interest. ‘Often a gifted person does not exploit their talent, and a motivated, ambitious person who does not have talent, will achieve phenomenal results,’ she says.

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    Philippa’s classes run on Mondays from 2.30pm-4.30pm, Tuesdays from 10am-12pm , and Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8pm.  Materials for beginners are supplied, but once you feel established, you bring your own oils, brushes and canvases or whatever you enjoy using.  Participants should come along in relaxed clothing (that can get paint on it!) and be ready to unwind and spend some time focusing on creating their artworks under Philippa’s watchful guidance.


    ‘My classes are open to both beginners and accomplished artists; painting is very individual and everyone moves at their own pace.’

    She says the classes also provide a space for participants to share their ideas and discuss artworks, and generally have some quality ‘me time’ while learning valuable skills along the way.

    The studio is situated in a beautiful garden surrounded by trees and provides a tranquil space for students to focus on their artistic pursuits.

    Philippa’s teaching style is laid back and inclusive and she loves to encourage her students to push their own boundaries and grow from strength to strength.

    ‘Some of the students are hesitant when they start out, not sure what is expected of them – but, after some time, they find their stride and produce beautiful works,’ she says.

    So for some creative inspiration and guidance, book yourself onto Philippa Graff’s art classes and let the creative juices flow.


    You can contact Philippa Graff via her website: www.philippagraff.co.za or email her at: philippakotzen@gmail.com