Elsabe Moolmans place is a quaint little house in the suburbs, nested in a little garden. Flanked by shady verandas and an extensive outdoor area of built in barbeque, the living arrangements speak much of the extrovert personality of the couple whose habitat this is. Elsabe's work has been documented and exhibited at numerous galleries, and she has a postgraduate diploma in female art formulations. Her studio is a memorial to the delicate art forms that unfold from her psyche over time, and she holds a limited number of classes during the year. During 2005, after an extensive period on the waiting list, I was lucky enough to receive a place in one of these tutorial groups, thus making the aquaintance of an artist of note and a deeply moving human being. After an entire year of not seeing her, it was a pleasure to re-aquaint myself with a visit to her studio.
The shade of the familiar cherry blossom tree embraced my car as I parked. I gingerly approached the entrance to ring the bell, aware that her pet dog might all-too-delightfully welcome me. I tried the buzzer labeled 'Studio Deodando'. And again. Hmm, no reply. Just as I tried the one for the main house, a voice rang out in joyful welcome. I stepped in through the electric gate as it rolled by a few centimetres and closed again behind me, already being smothered in hugs and a waft of perfume, and all the while taking note of the pinkish colour in her face glowing happily and the blue spark in her eyes twinkling with her usual merriment. Amidst kindly compliments and exchanges I was led down the walkway to the studio, already hearing the faint sound of Strauss becoming louder as the cool interior of her art enclosure drew closer. The fascinating faces greeted me like old friends, in similar likelihood of the joy I had just seen on the artist's face. Except for a new addition screaming out of the painting in agony! Her evocative charcoal sketches have always dug deep into my soul to bring out much emotion, and I knew that I wouldnt leave without an extensive discussion about that one! But she scurried me along to the far end of the studio: the business at hand, as we had planned, was for me to see two paintings of a German student of hers, named UtE.
When I called Elsabe two days prior to out meeting, I presented to her my dilemma of finding a suitable cover for Daughters are Diamonds. And she brainstormed and quickly set up this viewing for me. Each were worked in oil with the use of a fine brush. One of a little Iranian girl readin the Quran, in shades of cream, and the other, a rural North African Muslim woman sitting behind a trellace, wrapped in the traditional 'chador'. Admittedly, even though the works I saw were beautifully rendered and an absolute visual delight, they were too random and not in keeping with the content of the manuscript. And to illustrate my view, I proceeded to show Elsabe the picture that I have my heart set on, sitting benignly on my laptop, awaiting the possible permission for its use. And, not only did she agree with my choice, but she pointed out symbolisms in the painting that even I had not discovered. So now I feel like my heart will break if I am not able to make use of it!
But, I left Studio D feeling revitalised by the memory of the creative centre that fueled my soul for some time, classic music, flowing white curtains and captivating masterpieces all etched in my memory for a time past and a glorious future of spurning forth my own creative endeavours.