Along­side Im­pres­sion­ism

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents - Text: Monique Van­der­lin­den Im­ages © Ryan and Jodie Loub­ser

Jodie and Ryan Loub­ser are not only a mar­ried cou­ple, but also fel­low artists and busi­ness part­ners. From 1996 to 1998 both Jodie and Ryan stud­ied graphic de­sign at the Pretoria Tech­ni­con where they met.

Fast for­ward al­most two decades later, and now this cou­ple runs their own trav­el­ling art gallery from Pretoria called The Loub­ser House, where they bring their art and works from fel­low artists to the pub­lic by at­tend­ing art shows all over South Africa.

In­flu­enced by Ryan, Jodie painted in her spare time while she worked in re­tail be­fore she es­tab­lished her­self as an artist. Af­ter nu­mer­ous suc­cess­ful ex­hi­bi­tions, she de­cided to leave the re­tail busi­ness to be­come a full­time artist in 2012. Jodie ex­plains that she en­joys the free­dom of ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent meth­ods of ap­ply­ing paint. Each paint­ing she cre­ates has its own story and emo­tion woven within the tech­nique.

Jodie de­scribes the sub­ject of her art, by which she uses the medium of oil on can­vas, as de­pict­ing mainly South African land­scapes, Vic­to­rian in­te­ri­ors, di­lap­i­dated in­te­ri­ors, and wa­terlilies. “We travel a lot all over South Africa with our gallery and I wit­ness so much beauty in our land­scapes, street scenes, and sunny re­flec­tions. On the other side I am greatly in­flu­enced by the ar­ti­fi­cial warm light of the Vic­to­rian chan­de­liers and in­te­ri­ors. I have a huge love for beau­ti­ful in­te­ri­ors, es­pe­cially when they in­clude a stair­case, carpet, or beau­ti­ful light. I started paint­ing wa­terlilies in­spired by go­ing to the fam­ily farm where

there is a dam full of lilies. Monet be­gan to in­spire and guide me through my jour­ney of paint­ing wa­ter lilies.”

The pair usu­ally paint on cot­ton and Bel­gium linen. Ryan and Jodie both be­lieve in us­ing only pri­mary colours paired with white and burnt um­ber for ton­ing to ul­ti­mately cre­ate the most nat­u­ral pal­ette. Jodie says, “We do pur­chase ready-made can­vas, but we pre­fer to stretch and make up our own. We usu­ally paint a thin layer of burnt um­ber as an un­der­coat and then draw dark out­lines to place com­po­si­tion.

“With my re­al­is­tic style, I pre­fer a nat­u­ral, soft pal­ette and with my ad­mi­ra­tion for the im­pres­sion­is­tic French in­flu­ences, I draw the viewer into a more colour­ful pal­ette and knifed in­ter­pre­ta­tion,” adds Jodie.

With a clear in­spi­ra­tion from the Im­pres­sion­ists, and es­pe­cially Monet, in her work, Jodie is also in­spired by other artists such as Gus­tave Caille­botte, De­gas, and Toulouse-lautrec, as well as South African artists John Meyer, Gre­goire Boon­zaier, and Mike Par­sons.

Ryan de­scribes his work as gen­er­ally de­pict­ing land­scapes, street scenes, and por­traits mainly in­flu­enced by the Im­pres­sion­ism and Cu­bism move­ments, as well as the South African masters such as Pierneef, Gre­goire Boon­zaier, and Pi­eter Wen­ning.

“I have a very tra­di­tional style of paint­ing in­flu­enced by the Im­pres­sion­ists.

These paint­ings have a soft and nat­u­ral pal­ette, which draws the nos­tal­gia out of the viewer. My sec­ond style could be de­scribed as be­ing in­flu­enced mainly by the Cu­bism of Pi­casso, and a bit of Pierneef. I break my tra­di­tional art­works up into frac­tions, which has be­come my sig­na­ture style.

Ryan’s lat­est con­tem­po­rary work por­trays much more free­dom in colour and in brush strokes where he ex­per­i­ments with very bright colours in acrylics for a back­ground and then works over this base in a nat­u­ral oil pal­ette. “This range mainly con­sists of por­traits which ei­ther in­spire me, or I will paint it on a com­mis­sion ba­sis to bring peo­ple’s mem­o­ries to life. This new style also con­sists of still lifes and street scenes.”

Nos­tal­gia and warmth are ideally the feel­ings Ryan tries to at­tract from view­ers of his art. “It is all about the way a paint­ing makes you feel. It must draw you in and make you wish you could be there. It is all about at­mos­phere. When it comes to por­traits it is mostly about the ex­pres­sion and the depth of the eyes.”

For this artis­tic pair, do­ing what they love for a liv­ing is the best life­style. “It is a life­style which has be­come a ca­reer,” ex­plains Ryan.

The cou­ple ex­plains that the chal­lenge of work­ing on your own as an artist is the same as work­ing to­gether, with the dif­fer­ence be­ing when you are work­ing on your own you never get to see each other. As they work to­gether, they are al­ways by each other’s side.

They ad­mit that the art in­dus­try is a chal­lenge, be­cause they are both es­sen­tially do­ing the same thing: Pro­duc­ing in­come from pure lux­ury in a dif­fi­cult mar­ket and econ­omy. “It works for us be­cause we work well as a team. We run our ca­reer as a busi­ness to­gether. We both have dif­fer­ent styles of cre­at­ing art that our busi­ness can rely on. Va­ri­ety seems to be the key. That is mainly what is work­ing for us, along with mar­ket­ing.”

Ul­ti­mately, Ryan and Jodie would like their art­works to be well-known and re­spected through­out the art com­mu­nity, and for The Loub­ser House to be­come a house­hold name.

“We do not aim to paint to match your cush­ions or cur­tains. Our work is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the places and things we love. In cre­at­ing our art, we hope to con­nect to an au­di­ence who will in­vest in us.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit loub­ser­house­art­gallery.wee­bly.com.

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