Nature serves as inspiration for art in the most expensive hotel rooms

Henry

By Yolanda Wessels

This is the world’s most expensive hotel room, where a single night’s stay in a suite of the Royal Mansion at Atlantis The Royal will set you back $100 000 (about R1.8 million), but did you know that a local artist’s art fancy in the hotel room?

Caroline Jordaan grew up with a paintbrush in hand. She painted on everything: the yard, walls, her legs, even her sister. From 2019 she is a full-time artist and she has her artist journey with Yolanda Wessels shared.

Caroline was born in East London in the Eastern Cape. Her earliest memories are of playing in the garden and collecting ladybugs. “Even at the age of 3, I was mesmerized by the variety of colors and patterns that were on them. I really love animals and being in nature. Flowers, insects, chameleons and frogs give me great joy. I celebrate the diversity of color, patterns and texture in the world around us.”

Her mother is also an artist, so there were always art materials available in the house. “I painted everything and on everything. Art has therefore always been an integral part of my life.” Her mother taught art classes from their garage for the children in the neighborhood. Her life was filled with bright colors. “In grade 2, my classmates paid me 20 or 50 cents to sign in their school books. I think that’s where my art business really started.”

Unfortunately, not every season is bright and colorful. There was a time when things were difficult and the colors became gray and dark. Her parents were divorced and they left everything behind and went to live with her grandparents. “In the early years of my high school career, I sat in the forest in Helderberg with my sketchbook. It was a wonderful escape. Art is so therapeutic.” She started with oil painting when she was 14 years old and she immediately developed a love for it. Art was a way in which she could process her emotions.

After school, she studied film production, design and make-up at City Varsity, majoring in art in the film industry.

“In 2019, I came to a crossroads where God reminded me that He had given me a talent for art. From there it’s been my full-time career and I’ve never looked back.”

During the 2020 lockdown, Caroline started a nurturing series of hand-painted watercolor cards that are available in stores across South Africa.

“These days my daily routine starts with quiet time outside and a cup of coffee. My life is sometimes busy and this time of day is peaceful. After that I practice and the rest of the day I’m at home in my studio or processing and packing ticket orders.” Music fills her space and her favorite music when she paints is Ludovico Einaudi, Young Oceans and United Pursuit. She says that she draws incredible inspiration from the beauty and grandeur of our country’s nature. “We have such a beautiful country: The sunlight on leaves and wildflowers that dance in the wind. In such moments, time stands still. I marvel at the beauty and it takes my breath away.”

Her favorite places are Kirstenbosch, forests, the ocean and mountains. “I feel very spoiled and close to God when I’m in nature. I am also a passionate photographer and like to take my own photos when I see something beautiful or interesting that I would like to paint.”

Her favorite mediums are oil painting, the realism style and nature. She also does hyper-realistic portraits. Currently she paints what is close to her heart: the theme of water. “It is essential to life and something that everyone can appreciate and relate to. I take pictures of the movement of water at different places I visit and then use realism as a painting style. I am currently working on an oil painting collection that focuses on water as a theme.”

A few of her works are currently on show in the Atlantis The Royal in Dubai.

She says there has always been a piano in her life. Last year she decided that she would continue learning until she could play. One of her housemates happened to be a piano teacher and so she started playing. Her life is saturated with music and singing. Another hobby is hiking and jogging. Exercise and nature are an excellent combination for her.

“Every painting is a new opportunity to learn something and grow as an artist. There is never a day when you can say: ‘I know everything now’. I believe that art speaks and I hope that it will bring light, beauty, and healing and invite others to live.”

Caroline’s studio is in Oranjezicht, Cape Town. She does commissions and ships internationally. Please visit her website at www.carolineart.co.za.