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’Field of Dreams’

A small 20cmx20cm painting from a photo that felt as though it should be a painting. While it’s the yellow wildflowers that are the essence of the composition, I over emphasised the spectacles a tad to enhance a focal point for the painting.

The daughter of one of my collectors in Ireland was recently doing a school exercise, where one of the questions asked who their favourite artist was? ’Jan Raats’, her answer. Such an honour.

Thrilled to find one our speciality food shops ’Fireworx’ open for that touch of fresh herbs and spices. The alchemy of travel, adventure, and the mysterious into a dish.

Red zone for my blood sugars, an uncomfortable time. A gazillion liters of water and using shopping trip walking to stretch the time I’m out exercising in an attempt to moderate levels.

2157 runners (I finished 2154). 57 countries. 1 race. Lockdown Romanian 10km challenge to earn therapy hours for autistic kids. My bib number 955. I managed to pass the 100km mark for the Lockdown Ultra and will be glad to get back to my running along the edge of the lagoon. Early sunrise running and cycling given the limited hours we have been allocated.

Pizza night. The keto quick pizza base from gnom-gnom worked a treat. A topping of bacon, feta and ago, with mozzarella cheese. Simple. Tasty. The keto marinara sauce fabulous.

An interesting reflection on my Agnes Martin inspired painting, ‘Sunset over the sea’ being representative of the constraints we are under with covid-19. A small canvas, rather than her 2m square canvas, our lives confined under lockdown. Rigid stripes, the multiple rules that trample our rights and govern our lives. Without the perspective to see the ‘whole’.

Given the limitations in what I can manage with my ’finger-painting’ style, and the small canvas (20cmx20cm), I chose to use one of Agnes Marin’s banded stripes of colour from her period in Taos, New Mexico rather than her ’grid’ paintings.

I found the process mesmerising and became fixated on working within the boundaries. Constantly thinking about next steps as the tone of the painting changed continually with each layer of wash.

I’m not sure there is an end to the painting, and a wash of acrylic primer may mute the colours. I eventually ran out of time!

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.


  • Just LOVE your yellow wildflowers painting and really “get” the spectacles focal point. Also admire what you’re doing in your abstract painting studies. Constantly learning and expanding. Well done, Jan!

    May 2, 2020

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