It's now or never

Are you one of those people whose parents said: No you are not going to study art, you are going to become a lawyer, or an engineer, or an accountant?

Well, you are one of many in the world. So being the obedient child that you are (were), you did what was expected from you. And ever since, you’ve done some Sunday painting in a corner at home or you’ve visited galleries with long eyes and a funny sense of missing out in life. The people who discouraged you were right, and they were wrong. It IS difficult to establish yourself as an artist and make yourself heard and seen in a world overly saturated with visual images, information and an abundance of artists who want to MAKE IT out there. You have to be an entrepreneur whilst trying to be the next William Kentridge.

But those people were also wrong, since being born with a creative soul is not going to go away. You can suppress it for as long as you want, but it’s going to raise its neck time and again. And make you feel frustrated. Many professionals in careers other than art, start looking seriously at art practice later in life.

So before I say something about this, I want to ask whether you know that Robert Hodgins only became an established artist at the age of 61? A short bio on Hodgins from SA History Online states the following: “Robert Hodgins was born on 27 June 1920 in Dulwich, London. In 1938, he immigrated to South Africa, and joined the Union Defense Force in 1940. In the Second World War, he served in Kenya until 1941, then in Egypt until 1944. During the same year he returned to England and was discharged after the end of the war in 1945. From 1947-1950, Hodgins studied part-time and from 1950-53, he studied full-time at the Goldsmith's College of` Art, University of London. He first studied teaching, and then art. In 1951, he obtained an Arts and Crafts Certificate, and in 1953 a National Diploma of Design, the equivalent a major in painting. He returned to South Africa in 1954. Between 1954-62 he taught painting and drawing at the Pretoria Technical College, and from 1962-66 he worked as a journalist, art critic and then Assistant Editor of Newsweek. As senior lecturer he taught at the Department of Fine Art of the University of the Witwatersrand from 1966 to 1983. Thereafter he painted full-time. Despite having exhibited since the early 1950s, it was until 1981 when he was properly recognised. … Hodgins has exhibited extensively in South Africa, London, France, the United States and Netherlands for over six decades.

His work is currently on exhibition at Goodman Gallery in South Africa, entitled A Sense of place - On 10 May, Hodgins’s Out Shopping sold for R500 000. (Lot 653 | Robert Hodgins | SOUTH AFRICAN | 1920-2010 | Out Shopping | signed and inscribed with the title on the reverse | oil on canvas | 91.5 by 122cm excluding frame.

Let's consider international French artist Louise Bourgeois: She worked professionally as an artist until the ripe old age of 99. The Art of Louise Bourgeois. She was a second-generation surrealist and feminist sculptor and one of the most important American artists o