A Chat with Fine Artist Mariaan Kotze


I was lucky enough to connect with Mariaan Kotze – an artist who really inspired me with the diversity in her artforms and the bold imagery she combines to portray her vision.

Early Years

Artist Mariaan Kotze

Born on a farm in the Eastern Cape, she is the daughter of landscape artist Kobus Kotze and a full-time artist since 2002.  Her mother also started painting later in life but always fostered the love for art in her children. Her sister Hanlie is an artist too, while her brother Floris and his wife own the Kotze Art Gallery in Bloemfontein.  Watching her father painting in his studio was a big inspiration.  She enjoyed growing up in a family where she could feel, talk and live out her creativity with loved ones who understood the highs and lows of her passion.  Mariaan studied at the Free State Technicon and majored in Sculpture and says she has always been involved with art.

Her Art

She describes herself as restless and enjoys exploring new themes and objects. While she does a myriad of different artforms, from painting to sculpture and décor, there is a definite thread running through her art that identifies the pieces as unique to Mariaan and her vision.  She loves symbolism and these themes run throughout her work.  In her blog she describes her creative process and how she develops the narrative that lends a story to each artwork.  Her art is imaginative and thought provoking and riddled with small details to entice the mind and heart.


I asked Mariaan about the variety in her artforms.  She confessed that although painting is her main focus now, she does harbour a fondness for sculpture. Her ideal, she says, would be a combination of mediums spilling into one another without restriction. While staying in Mosselbay she had a large studio and could play around with many objects. Now, situated in Klerksdorp, and restricted with space she is focusing on her painting skills and growing her roots.

She works mostly in Acrylic Paint – her preferred brand is Galeria from Winsor & Newton – but does admit that she really loves oil paint.  Mariaan is exploring the medium in art class, but says that she feels more comfortable with acrylics and naturally gravitates towards using it when in her own studio.  In a world where every self-help book demands that we focus on our strengths Mariaan maintains that although focus would help, she finds structure to be a challenge. Her advice to young artists is to build on what they have and grow organically in a new direction while staying true to themselves. She believes in creating from the heart and to never stop learning and reading.

Dealing with Creative Block


When Mariaan feels creatively blocked she starts by trying to identify the source although she does not stop creating. Being fiercely dedicated to her art pulls her through as she has a lot of skills and ideas.  She does say however that she feels she lacks that magical x-factor when she is in a slump.

Mariaan now has children of her own and would prefer that they study something other than art as a back-up, although she would also not mind if they follow her into a creative career.  Her love for her chosen vocation shines through in her words and work.  I admit that I myself am inspired by her diverse pursuits and obvious creativity.  She has followed her passion for more than twenty years and would not trade it for anything else.

To see more of Mariaan’s art and read her very informative blog, you can visit her website or social media pages.
Website: www.mariaankotzeart.co.za | Instagram: @mariaankotzeart

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