By Renate Engelbrecht

Monday, Aug 17

Her paintings are all signed Rini, but for me, she’s Mom. If there is one woman I’d like to celebrate in August, it’s my mother. Today I celebrate her and her many talents and the fact that she has always been an advocate for chasing dreams.

At the age of 58 my mother, Rinie de Villiers, took a life-long dream and made it reality. For as long as she can remember, she has been wanting to draw and paint. When my brother went to varsity, she started going for art classes and what came of it completely blew my mind. I mean, I knew that my mother is creative, but have you seen these?

My mother is a true artist (and I am not just saying it because she’s my mom). After many years of putting family first, she can now do this one thing – art – for herself. In the end, she also does it for us, her family, because we are ultimately the ones who get to enjoy it.

For her, family always comes first. “I waited until there was enough time available for me to paint. The wait was worth it.” She says it is the feeling of getting lost in a world of her own that makes it so special. “Time stands still, and I think of nothing else.”

Every painting she has done thus far has its own story to tell. “I won’t be able to draw or paint a picture that doesn’t speak to me. Some even affect my sense of smell. Like the sheep… I can smell the dust they kick up as they come trotting along.”

The pine trees were planted by my mother’s grandfather. He passed away before she was born, but when she sees this painting, she says she feels like she is strolling along the pines. And then, of course, this painting that hangs in Wikus and my house was done just after Catha’s birth: A grandfather’s hand holding a little baby’s hand.

My mother has been receiving numerous requests about a possible exhibition, but humble as she is, she says that at this stage all her paintings are still too sentimental. For now, she much rather shares her talent in the form of gifts. She likes making things that are special to people. Still, she might gather the guts to hold an exhibition at some point. For now, she enjoys learning and finding her own character and technique. According to her, each image justifies its own medium and even while my mother doesn’t like dirty or wet hands, she says things can actually get quite messy and she still enjoys it.

My mother believes that a painting needs to talk to you. Whether it’s the colours or the design that awaken your emotions, what a painting says to your heart is eventually what makes you buy it.

She says that she is always in awe to see what artists have achieved over the years. Whether it is the century-old cathedrals’ enormous ceiling paintings or paintings by her classmates at art class. “I know how much goes into an artwork and I can only stand in awe.”

Tips from my mom:

  • Never give up on your dream.
  • Always motivate your children to have hobbies (like her parents motivated her and like she motivated us).
  • Keep the balance. It may be a challenge to keep the balance between family life and your hobbies, so be sure that you start with hobbies at the right time – even if it’s only when you reach 58.


1 Comment

  1. Rona Zwarts

    A privilege to share art times together. So fulfilling to teach a teachable gifted lady like Rini. Such a rewarding experience to see yougrow and develope. With this devotion there is no ceiling. Love your art



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