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Born in 1969, Leana de Villiers grew up in the Little Karoo, Western Cape of South Africa and has lived all her life in South Africa. She resides with her husband, son and three cats in the vicinity of Cape Town, surrounded by its beautiful mountains, oceans and wildlife, which is well suited to her love for nature.
Since childhood she has always been a naturally creative person.
Although de Villiers has a natural flair for creativity, she never really knew what her true talents were and started praying about them in 1994. After about two and a half years of persistent prayer about her talents, she started to venture into handmade gift cards and did a lot of beadwork which she also sold. The hunger to find that special something which made her tick became stronger and she discovered the wonderful world of painting. This was when she realized her prayers were answered and found her destiny.
With no formal art education she started her painting adventure in 2000 with an insatiable hunger to learn more and nothing could hold Leana back once she discovered her love for art. She believes in the power of dedication, hard work, perseverance and persistence. She is a very keen learner and believes that the learning process in art will never cease. The knowledge she has, has been built up since 2000 and has been gained from reading many art books, doing research online, learning by watching videos, taking online painting classes and then putting all of this into practise.
“Painting is what I do; it forms an integral part of my being, my existence. The Artists’ Curse is part of the daily struggle, however at the same time the driving force that pushes oneself and one’s abilities further and further, striving to satisfy the Artist’s soul.”
De Villiers paints what she is passionate about and thus her subject matter is mostly focussed on nature and then objects or subjects that have special meaning to her and that she loves.
Her aim is to draw the viewer into the work of art and let the work speak to the viewer on an intimate level, evoking different feelings and emotions through colour, texture and subject matter.
In the past she painted for fun and as a hobby. She sold many paintings to family, friends and acquaintances.
In 2009 she was involved in a motor vehicle accident and injured her neck. A prosthesis disc replaced the torn disc in her neck and in 2010 she suffered an injury on duty, which resulted in the prosthesis disc to break out of place and after another neck operation the vertebrae was fused. Due to the injury de Villiers could unfortunately not return back to work.
In 2014 she decided to turn her passion of painting into a full-time career.
Besides painting, de Villiers is a keen Blogger and an avid hobby photographer, with a desire to capture the beauty of nature and interesting subjects around her.
Through creativity, Leana found her destiny and purpose in life by bringing colour, happiness, enjoyment and appreciation of nature into people’s lives.
2014 20 May – 11 April – Twitter Art Exhibition, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A – ‘Karoo Farm Cottage’ was one of the first paintings to sell on opening night.
2011 October (Month) - Solo Exhibition in the Main Gallery of the CopperFlame Gallery
2011 July (Month) - Solo Exhibition in the Wendle Room at the Virtual CopperFlame Gallery. This exhibition presented all Best In Show artists of the first 7 shows.
2011 June (1 Week) - Solo Exhibition in the Thames Room at the Virtual CopperFlame Gallery. Received award for ‘BEST IN SHOW 3’.
I paint under the pseudonym of Mow, which is a nickname given to me because of my love for cats.
On the back of each painting you will find the following information: Serial number and name of the painting, my full initials and surname as well as my pseudonym, signature and medium the work was painted in.
In my paintings I respond to the effects of colour, light and atmosphere, as well as the feelings stirred up within my being when painting and viewing the subject matter. I use Professional Artist quality products and a variety of mediums ranging from acrylics, mixed media and oils as I enjoy the unique quality that each medium has to offer.
My inspiration comes mostly from nature and the beauty around me. The subject matter I choose are subjects or objects that I feel a connection with, has special meaning or are what I absolutely love and enjoy. My mission is to freeze that moment in time in a lasting way on canvas.
From a young age I have loved nature, especially the sea and the calming effect it has. I have always been fascinated with shells, their shape, textures and the variety of colours they come in.
Shells are symbolic to me and in a way reminds me of human beings. All the different shapes, textures and sizes of the shells symbolize diversity. Shells gave shelter to an animal that once lived in them, giving protection, just like a uterus protects a foetus. Sometimes we might say to somebody that is perhaps shy, ‘you need to get or crawl out of your shell’. In other words, show to the world who you really are or allow people to get to know the real you. Although shells symbolize protection, they also symbolise fragility at the same time as they are very fragile and can break easily. As human beings we can also feel fragile physically, mentally or emotionally. The shells we pick up along the beach most of the time, do not have any living animals in them and thus the shell is the only proof of their existence once upon a time. These animals have perhaps died and the beautiful shells remain, which symbolises to me the human being’s desire to leave behind some sort of inspiring legacy.
Please remember to bookmark this page and check back often, as I am always adding new work. Thank you for your interest and support!
Copyright Notice: All images have copyright and the property of Leana de Villiers (Pseudonym of Mow) and may not be used wholly or in part without the prior written permission of the Artist and is strictly prohibited, including copying, duplicating, printing, publishing, reproducing, storing, altering, displaying, redistribution of any of the images or transmitting by any means what so ever.
Solo Exhibition in the Main Gallery of the CopperFlame Gallery for the month of October 2011.
Solo Exhibition in the Wendle Room at the Virtual CopperFlame Gallery for the month of July 2011. This exhibition presented all Best In Show artists of the first 7 shows.
Solo Exhibition in the Thames Room at the Virtual CopperFlame Gallery for 1 week in June 2011. Received award for BEST IN SHOW 3.