This is a reminder that the Creative Workshops will once again take place at the Visual Arts Department, Stellenbosch University - from Monday 4 to Friday 8 September. It gives the general public an opportunity to make use of the infrastructure of the arts department, as well as their teaching skills by enrolling for one of a variety of short courses.


Experienced arts practitioners will facilitate the workshops thereby ensuring quality instruction.


All the courses are introductory, but can also be attended by artists who wish to become acquainted with new disciplines. 10 participants per course ensures special attention to each individual. Courses are offered only if at least 4 participants register for a particular course.


Duration of each workshop is 5 days and the cost includes about 30 hours of teaching, practical work and outings where necessary. On the Friday, at 17h00, there will be an exhibition of work completed during the week. Friends and family are welcome to join for a glass of wine.

Each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation endorsed by the Visual Arts Department. 


Courses offered (and costs per course)  :

Book Arts                                                                    R3500

Children’s Book Illustration                                      R3500

Alternative Etching Techniques                               R3500

Oil Painting                                                                 R3500

Botanical Illustration                                                 R3000

Book Restoration                                                       R3500

Screen Printing                                                          R3500

3D Mould Making                                                       R3500


Current and former students of the department pay R3000 per course (Botanical Illustration – R2500).


 Participants need to bring their own materials as these are not included, but facilitators may choose to provide materials at an extra cost.

Choose one of the above, or if you are interested in a discipline not mentioned, send us a request – we might be able to offer it too.


If you are interested in one or more of the workshops, please send me a request to send the complete outline(s) of the specific workshop(s).


 All the courses are offered at the Visual Arts Building, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch.

Our website and Facebook pages will be updated soon.


Once you have decided to do a specific workshop you should complete the Registration form and return it to me together with proof of payment of half the course fees.  The rest will be payable on Monday 4 September.  Please register before mid-August to ensure participation.


If you need more information or a registration form, please contact Marika Bell at 083 680 2057;  021 886 9271;   or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last Updated on Friday, 23 June 2017 12:19

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Bibliophilia . . . Turning the Pages.

Barbara Wildenboer, Spinning Tales II, 2017. 


There is an exiting exhibition featuring book art currently running at the ABSA Art Gallery in Johannesburg till the 10th of March. Book art exhibitions are often rare as they are more a niche form of artistic expression when taken into the context of broader art world production. If you are a book art enthusiast, then there is still ample time to visit the show if you are in the area. Bibliophilia . . . Turning the Pages, encompasses a group show where selected South African artists engage with the notion of the book. In creating works that express their admiration for the written word, they use the book as an open ended stucture and aid in order to create new and distinctive forms of visual experience. Artists featured, include - Banele Khoza, Barbara Wildenboer, Stephan Erasmus, Collen Maswanganyi, Angelique Koekemoer, Bongani Njalo, Martin Onyis, Mohamed, Nieuwoudt and Kathleen Sawyer. 

ABSA Art Gallery, ABSA Towers North, 161 Main Road, Johannesburg. 

Last Updated on Monday, 20 February 2017 14:12

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Johnny Ryan on Parody

Johnny Ryan, The Comics Book Holocaust, 2006 

Johnny Ryan is an alternative american comics creator. His in your face attitude when it comes to comics, will either make you love him or hate him. A notion that becomes highly apparant with The Comics Book Holocaust, published in 2006, it could be described as something out of the archives. However, when it comes to the nature of parody in comics, this book is a great example, in the sense that no cows are held sacred. Almost every comic strip, comic book series or graphic novel that a comics enthusiast is expected to be exposed to, is subsequently turned inside out with Ryan's acerbic wit and sarcastic humour. Which is great for the furthering the development of a comics dialogue, since all that is placed on a pedestal is relegated to the dirt in Ryan's world. For a great article on Ryan's use of parody in comics, follow this link for an in-depth interview between Noah Berlatsky and Johnny Ryan that featured in the Comics Journal #279. 

 Johnny Ryan, The Comics Book Holocaust



Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 08:08

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Creating a graphic novel, a reality check.

Scribble, by Sean Michael Robinson. 

Sean Michael Robinson is a high school art teacher, and he is one of those individuals with an unfinished, unpublished and relatively unseen longform graphic novel behind his name. Titled: Discards, Robinson has spent more than four years on this personal project, with more than three hundred completed pages, in a highly detailed hand, which is no small feat. For Robinson, Discards, constitutes a failure, he views it as a journeyman project that remains uncompleted, but has however left him with the skillset that allows him to work as a freelance illustrater and to tell stories. In retrospect, on making a longform graphic novel and the pitfalls thereof, Robinson wrote a very insightful article, under the rubric of How not to make a comic. It is a must read, and shines light on the problems he faced, as well what process and stylistic areas to be hyper vigilant about when creating your own long form graphic novel. 

Robinson, Discards Page 42. 

Robinson, Throw. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 12:11

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Kirsten Sims on Saturn Return

Kirsten Sims, So on and So Forth, 2017, 111cm x 80cm. 

Kirsten Sims is a well known feature when it comes to Salon 91 and South African illustration. With a solo show in Toronto, Canada under her belt, Sims is back in action and starting 2017 with a bang. A preview of her latest scheduled solo show, Saturn Return, will feature at The Cape Town Art Fair in mid Feb. A little prequel to the main event, to be hosted at Salon 91 from the 21st June until the 29th July. Sims has the great ability to change the ordinary into  the extraordinary through her art. Taking inspiration from the everyday, she creates works that intersects the existing with the imagined, creating spaces and scenarios, that easily shifts from the whimsical to the dramatical. For a good show, put this on your calendar.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 February 2017 09:38

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