Welcome to the colourful life of Duncan Shoesmith, artist and signwriter.
My main business being signs ( I have done that for over 30 years on the KZN coast), I also paint murals, portraits, landscapes, seascapes and wildlife paintings (over 80 paintings), which can be viewed at my house, on Oribi Gorge.
Everything is hand-painted – no tricks! For ‘signs’ I mostly use acrylics, especially to paint “flash” signs/ Quick and effective. Also for walls (not too high).
For work on vehicles and chromodek, I use enamels. The colours last much longer than printed signs. Some examples are shown here.
As for artwork, I like to use Artists oils on canvas – and layer the painting until I’m happy with it, or if it’s a portrait, until it talks to me!
Art Murals work best with acrylics, and no subject is a problem.
I use the ‘grid’ system to enlarge my image.
Anyone need a portrait done? I specialize in commissioned work which I can carry out from off a photograph or live study.
The artists of the High Renaissance made a deep and permanent impression on me from a very early age. The primacy of colour and the dramatic possibilities of light and movement form an essential base for my technique. I prefer oils and paint ‘thin’ using layers of colours. For enlarging my image onto the canvas or wall, I use the ‘grid’ system. I strive to get the ‘vibe’ of the subject – I call it my ‘Brush with Insanity!’. Sometimes its quick, sometimes it’s a battle, but patience and perseverance is what it takes.
Colourwise I find simple is best. I use 2 reds, 2 yellows, 2 blues – plus sienna and white (cad red, crimson, cad yellow, lemon, ultramarine, cerulean blue).
To view my artwork, pay a visit to my home, overlooking Oribi Gorge.
Take the N2 inland from Port Shepstone (Harding, Kokstad road) for 14km and you will come to the Murchison Hospital. Straight after turn right (D4 12) and travel for 5km until you see the signs “The Very Edge” and a large “Silverstreams Cottages” sign. Turn right here and head straight for the high ridge (1km). Before crossing the ridge turn right (Signposted). Please phone to make sure my wife or myself are at home on +27-83-236-1375.
About Duncan Shoesmith
Duncan Shoesmith was born in Durban on the 12th of July 1949. His parents relocated to Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast when he was 2 years of age.
His interest in art was apparent from an early age and he was able to capture likenesses by the age of 12.
His interest in music started in Std 8, and from 1964 he has played guitar and bass, and was a vocalist in many bands – even to this day.
After matriculating in 1966, Duncan enrolled at Durban Art College (Graphic Art). His studies were interrupted 6 months later by National Service, and he was put into the first “State President’s Guard”.
Duncan returned to Art College and completed his diploma in 1970. He then returned to the South Coast, and freelanced for 18 months before joining a professional band. He traveled around South Africa, and Rhodesia, where he also had a weekly ‘caricature’ slot in a Bulawayo newspaper. After that, back at the coast, Duncan continued freelancing, painting signs, murals and designing logos and branding.
In 1976, Duncan was approached by the Department of Education to teach signwriting at a special needs school in Port Shepstone. “Those 3 years of teaching were wonderful and I probably learned more from that experience than my 3 years at Art School!”
Duncan’s home overlooks the famous Oribi Gorge, where he stays with his wife Penny Shoesmith, whom he married in 1983. Together they have a son called Kyle (born 1985), a freelance Computer Graphic Designer and accomplished musician; and a daughter named Christie (born 1990), who is a computer programmer.
Since 1980 Duncan has been self employed – painting, lettering and playing music. He prefers to work with oils and acrylics but also uses pastels, watercolours, pen and ink, and various other techniques.
“At this stage in my life I am intent on getting more into the art scene by painting landscapes, seascapes and life studies.“
Oribi Gorge, KZN
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