Michele du Plessis
Marinda le Roux, a resident of Sabie, Mpumalanga, need only look around her for inspiration as she is surrounded by waterfalls, mountains and forest.
Marinda is a freelance consultant who does environmental impact assessments for a living and the mother of two, has a passion that flows in another direction – that of paint pouring.
Amazingly, the sturdy flat surfaces on which she creates her work are mostly sourced at local rubbish heaps, courtesy of her supportive partner Samuel who spends many a Saturday mornings salvaging items for Marinda.
“It is amazing how many people get rid of their unsuccessful hobbies. We’ve found many framed paintings, paint, brushes and decoupage materials at dump sites,” Marinda said. She started acrylic pouring less than a year ago and says she is now hooked on the technique. YouTube videos were her tutors and her kitchen table her workspace.
“I soon realised that this art form is not very ‘contained’ and moved to the braai area outside under a fruit tree. This later proved to be a bad choice because little figs kept falling onto the wet paint, ruining the effect. Also, I found a few moths that had crash landed on the canvas and I even had dove tracks on one of the paintings one morning.” Fortunately, Sam gave up his carport for Marinda and two large tables, extra lights and drying scaffolding were set up to create her temporary studio.
Despite the relatively short time Marinda has been doing acrylic pouring, she jumped at the chance to showcase her work in the National Craft Competition, which is currently in the entry stage.
Marinda explained that acrylic pouring is a technique in which acrylic paints are thinned to a runny consistency and then poured onto a surface. “The colours mix and wonderful things happen when you add silicone or alcohol. A ‘dirty pour’ is when you pour a few different colours into a cup or container at the same time and then pour them onto your prepared surface. The ‘puddle pour’ is when you pour paint into a funnel after closing the bottom opening. Once all paints are added, you open the funnel and the paint flows onto the canvas. You then move the funnel around to create a design. The paint is poured in several ‘puddles’ before the canvas is tipped to create interesting designs in the flowing paints.”
Going back to the natural beauty that surrounds Sabie, Marinda explains that as an environmentalist – by profession and heart, her work is mainly inspired by nature. “Some of the pouring artworks end up being backgrounds for a nature scene, while others look like something from outer space or underwater,” she says.
Taking the unwanted and lovingly making it her own is not something that only happens in Marinda’s studio.
“Last year we bought a property with a half-built house in Sabie and we are in process of fixing it up. This might take a few years, as Sam is owner-builder-woodworker who uses mostly second-hand salvaged materials and does most of the work himself. For now, the plan is to convert the ground floor area into a workshop for him and an art studio for me. Exciting!” says Marinda.