First Solo Exhibition for Tokai Artist

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Constantiaberg Bulletin | The Studio Art Gallery - Letter Head
Andrew Cooper | The Studio Art Gallery - Clifton Beach, Acrylic on Canvas, 180cm by 70cm

Clifton Beach’, Acrylic on Canvas, 180cm by 70cm.


Tokai artist Andrew Cooper will hold his first solo exhibition a The Studio Art Gallery, in Simon’d Town from today Thursday November 28, to Wednesday December 18.

Unspoilt attempts to capture the bare essence of natural gems such as Clifton Beach, Table Mountain, Oudekraal Cove, Sea Point tidal pool, he says.

‘Afternoon sparkle,’ Scarborough, Acrylic on Canvas, 120cm by 90cm.

“The driving theme behind my work is to remind viewers how precious and fragile our natural environment is, hence the title of this exhibition Unspoilt. My paintings have generally showcased the beauty and splendour of our mountains and sea, especially in the Western Cape.”

“My wish is for us all to cherish and protect these unspoilt areas.”

But many of these attractions, he warns, are threatened by population growth and human activity, and he dreams of seeing them restored to their former glory.

“We live in a beautiful country, let our children and visitors enjoy it as we have done for generations to come.”

According to his bio on the gallery’s website, Cooper tries to draw the viewer into his work through his use of “fine detail, rich colour and expansive vistas”. He paints from memory and photographs that he has taken himself.

Apart from a few childhood years in Scotland and England, Cooper calls Cape Town home. He has been painting professionally since 1987.

Cooper has participated in many group exhibitions, often at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden over the years and has donated paintings at auction fund-raisers for causes such as Shark Spotters in Muizenberg, Cape Leopard Trust, Baboon Matters and Parkscape.

In 2017, Cooper saw the publication Edition 1, a hard-cover coffee table book of his work. Visit his website at for more about his work.

The exhibition opening is on Saturday, November 30, at 5.30 pm. The studio Art Gallery at the Harbour Bay Centre on the corner of Main Road and Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town, is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Call 021 786 945 or email

Gallery to uplift the community

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2019-10-22 06:00

Racine Edwardes @Raeedwardes

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The Studio Art Gallery - Marc and Lindy Alexander

Lindy and Marc Alexander are the co-owners of The Studio Art Gallery. PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes.

The owners of The Studio Art Gallery want to make the world of art more accessible to the public but, more than that, they want to showcase and develop the talents of local artists.

The gallery, now based at Harbour Bay Centre in Simon’s Town, is a space that co-owners Lindy and Mark Alexander use to give artists a platform for their work to be seen by the greater public. They have showcased the works of many local artists and have assisted local emerging artists to enter the industry.

Marc says: “About 90% of the artwork in the gallery are from artists living in the peninsula. “The peninsula gathers a lot of artists – and good quality artists,” Lindy says. The gallery boasts artists such as Chris Bladen and Richard Gunston who both reside in Fish Hoek.

The Alexanders also aim to assist organisations in the community through their annual charity exhibition for Mandela Day, “where all our artists who have exhibited at the gallery contribute six pieces. Then we choose a local organisation as beneficiary – last year we chose the False Bay Hospital,” Marc says, explaining the idea behind the Mandela Day Block Art Exhibition. Lindy adds: “This year we raised funds for the iThemba School in Fish Hoek. We want to support our community as much as possible.”

In line with their spirit of making connections and developing talent, they have launched a project which they hope to build on in the future. “We have recently started our art academy with art lessons on a Monday,” says Lindy. “The art academy is part of our 10-year plan at the gallery. Eventually, we want to build a proper art school on the peninsula, and with corporate social investment (CSI) funding, we will sponsor less privileged artists or young people that we find in the community who show potential. This stage in the gallery’s development is kind of a stepping stone towards that,” Marc explains. There are currently 36 budding artists in the academy, which takes place once a week when the gallery is turned into a studio. They also try to get the creative juices flowing at a young age by encouraging teachers to bring their young learners on tours of the gallery, and for workshops.

The Winter Life Group Exhibition is another one of the gallery’s annual exhibitions – this is a nationwide search for new talent. “Each year we refresh our entire gallery’s exhibition space with a new selection of South African artwork. We also choose four outstanding artists from this selection to represent permanently,” reads the website. It takes place every year during August and September.

This exhibition – and those throughout the year – offer a unique opportunity to artists who will receive marketing and artistic guidance and business mentoring from the gallery, empowering them to pursue their careers in art. 

Contact the Studio Art Gallery on 021 786 9457 or for more information.

Gallery Relocation

The Studio Art Gallery is pleased to announce our relocation to Harbour Bay Centre, Simonstown.

The Studio Art Gallery's Location on Harbour Bay Simonstown

The Harbour Bay Centre is a new development that opens on the 14th of June 2018. Our move has come with the decision to expand and rebrand. Our new space will have a new contemporary look, and the ability to incorporate more art forms. Additionally, we are pleased to announce the reintroduction of our ‘Gallery for Hire‘ space as well as a function venue.

The Studio Art Gallery's Location on Harbour Bay Center Floorplan

We are situated in the courtyard, opposite the restaurants. It is a fabulous space with lots of light, visibility and character.

We look forward to showcasing our existing artists as well as other emerging and established artists and an exhibition packed 2018.

Our new address is:
The Studio Art Gallery, Harbour Bay, Shop GF31, Main Road, Simon’s Town, 7975

Artist Donna McKellar Feature

The world does not exist as simply as it appears, and for as long as there has been the opportunity for creative expression, artists have attempted to find ever more insightful and original ways to express their perception of the world. Donna McKellar, an artist in the most genuine terms, has made it her life’s work to portray the world not simply as she sees it, but as she feels it. Donna has previously described her artistic style as Romantic Realism, but a significant change in her life has pushed her to explore a more postmodern understanding of living, an understanding which emphasises the fragmented, and often distorted, nature of reality. In this line of thought, where there are different dimensions of truth and multiple layers of identity, traditional views on perception, understanding and knowledge are subverted. Donna Mckellar’s post modern work attempts to upset the idyllic images of reality that are depicted in her romantic realism expressions, and to draw attention to the complexity and paradoxical nature of existence. The new shift of thought has become strikingly evident in her stylistic technique: peaceful, painless and serene landscapes with perfect lighting have now evolved into fragmented, unsettling landscapes that evoke emotional unrest. Her realistic signature style is still evident in her work, but another dimension of meaning has been added, almost as if it has been superimposed onto sections of the work, which has resulted in a deep, and sometimes dark, but also playful expression of emotion. Adding these dimensions to her work has shed a new light – literally – onto the subject matter that Donna chooses for her art. Her paintings are, in essence, an adventure and an expression of her life experience, and Donna appreciates that her life, along with her understanding of it, is something that is constantly evolving – a subject that refuses to sit still for a portrait!

Donna has become well known in South Africa for these often large-scale paintings, both highly technical and emotive in nature, and her dedication to this subject matter has afforded her the esteem of being known as one of South Africa’s premier landscape artists. She is able to comfortably work on paintings measuring as large as 4m, or as small as 5cm. Her work has been sought out and purchased by collectors from around the world, and included in her extensive client list are a number of household names, such as Ernie Els (through his signature restaurant The Big Easy in Stellenbosch) and Lance Armstrong. She currently has work seated in the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, and various other locations around the globe. Her work has been featured on South African television and appeared in numerous magazine articles.

Donna’s work can be primarily found at MANZART in Franschhoek and at THE STUDIO ART GALLERY.

Her work has previously been exhibited in the following galleries: The Stephanie Hoppen Gallery Kensington, London; The Red Sea Gallery in Singapore; The Everaad Read Gallery; Hout Bay Gallery; Carmel Art Gallery; Henry Taylor Gallery; Lilies Leaf Gallery; Clock Tower Gallery; RED! The Gallery; The Gallery Grande Provence, The Studio Kalk Bay, The Gallery Riebeek Kasteel, Walker Bay Gallery, Johan Coetzee Gallery, Dorp Street Gallery, Lindy Van Niekerk Gallery and the Holden Manz Collection.

Gilding the Image

Marc Alexander demonstrates his techniques for using gold leaf gilding in an oil painting. 

Enchanted Forest #II by Marc Alexander

In 2012, I produced a series of paintings for a solo exhibition entitled “Dreams of an Enchanted World”. This exhibition was mainly inspired by bedtime stories, folklore and nursery rhymes, which I often told with much glee to my four young children. Working mostly in richly coloured oils in the style of the traditional realist and incorporating the lustre of gold-leaf gilding, texture and some two-dimensional elements into my composition, I aimed at creating a surreal world of talking animals, heroic characters and magical trees.

I’ve always found the rich cultural diversity of the different South African ethnic groups inspiring and worthy of preservation. So growing up in a fast changing world of lost cultural identities has been a challenge to me. It’s because of this reason that I have often included traditionally dressed subjects into my paintings, continually trying to recapture the narrative elements of almost forgotten cultures and folklore.

It was during my training as museum technologist at the Pretoria Art Museum, that I developed a keen interest in the restoration of 14th to 17th century Dutch and Flemish art, especially the extraordinary luminosity that they achieved with their glazed layers. I also learnt how to restore Baroque frames and other gilded surfaces. In fact, I love gilding so much that gold or silver leaf almost always replaces background water, earth, snow or sky in my artworks, which adds a two dimensional element similar to that of a Coptic icon.

For many years now, I have been combining these traditional techniques, and some modern ones with contemporary materials. My compositions are usually clean and triangular with an offcentre focal point. During the preliminary drawing stage I take time to get the proportions and perspectives as true to nature as possible. After that each new element of the painting is systematically applied and there is never a shortage of painstaking detail.

This hyper-realism that I’m aiming for usually has a very smooth finish, so I will add an element of texture. Trees, dead branches or rock are sculpted using my homemade texture paste and a palette knife or other tools. I generally find that people are so saturated with perfect digital imagery these days that they often crave a bit of texture in a painting. Because the texture paste has a water base, I cannot apply it over my oils or gilded sections, so careful planning is essential in the beginning stages or what I like to call the ‘water’ stage of the painting.

Source: The Artist UK June 2016 edition

To view the demo portfolio click here or to see the demo video click here.

Grand Opening

The Studio Art Gallery’s grand opening and evening market and picnic at Imhoff Farm.

Lindy Marc and Donna cutting the ribbon at the Studio Art Gallery's grand opening
The Studio Art Gallery – Grand Opening 5

The Studio renamed The Studio Art Gallery, that was first situated in Kalk Bay at the Majestic Village has, after three very successful years, moved to Kommetjie – the new art hub. On Thursday the 31st of March at 6pm, The Studio Art Gallery will be having its grand opening. Please join us as we celebrate the beginning of the next sensational chapter. This opening will coincide with an evening market and picnic at Imhoff Farm. See: for further details.

The speed and complex, no-cost networking capabilities of the web, has fuelled a growing trend of artists who manage and market their own careers. Providing artist with direct access to private, corporate and institutional collectors as wells as the broader ‘cloud’ of individualised awareness of the artist’s work. Surfing this technological wave as business partners, are Cape Town based artists Marc Alexander and Donna Mckellar, who have chosen Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie on the busy Cape Point route to be their new gallery-front. The gallery occupies shop 6 and 7 that used to be the old blacksmith’s workshop built in 1743 and features the original forge, which is still in use, albeit only to warm visitors on rainy days.

The gallery is situated on your right as you enter the lawned area or courtyard, just after the Imhoff Plant Nursery. This new space with its half-meter thick walls and quaint surrounds perfectly complements both artists work. Donna’s enigmatic Karoo landscapes juxtaposing Marc’s partially gilded wildlife series is a breath-taking experience not to be missed. At present, the gallery showcases a wide selection of Marc and Donna’s original oil paintings as well as the highest museum quality artist’s prints, but plans to also include other local artists at a later stage.

Lindy Alexander, Marc’s kindly wife, who also manages his art career, has been appointed as the gallery’s new director. Besides a friendly welcome, Lindy plans to enthral visitors and patrons with a dynamic exhibition, education and events programme. Whether you are a new enthusiast or serious connoisseur, if you would like to build your corporate or private art collection, then Lindy is the person to talk to.

Most days, Marc can be seen painting in the studio part of the gallery, always willing to share his techniques and business experience, or talk about his latest projects

Neighbouring the gallery, one can also find a good mix of photographic art, ceramics, porcelain, glass art, and numerous other artistries. Many of the shops are new, and so contribute to a fresh and vibrant creative atmosphere on the Farm.

The Studio Art Gallery is open 7 days a week 9am – 5pm. To visit our website or online shop, please go to or for further information, consultations or private exhibition viewings please email: Imhoff Farm has a brief history on their website

New Gallery

Marc Alexander

In December 2015 The Studio Art Gallery, of which Marc Alexander, Lindy Alexander and Donna McKellar are co-owners, situated at the new art center on Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie, opened its doors to the public. In addition to a good representation of Marc and Donna’s artworks this gallery also plans to represent a select group of South African contemporary artists.