Michael Heyns

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Roses | Robertson Art Gallery



80 x 70cm

Michael Heyns painting | Robertson Art Gallery



80 x 75cm

Michael Heyns painting | Robertson Art Gallery



41 x 28.5cm

Even as a child Michael liked to draw. He was particularly influenced by the poems he studied and illustrated at primary school. He came across Ikebana in a series published on Japan and was impressed by the simplicity and 'silences' evoked by this style.

He studied art at the Pretoria Technikon and attended practical art classes at the University of Pretoria. He also received the SA Arts Association's New Signatures award for his painting "Seetoneel".  His first one-man exhibition was held the following year.

Michael's distinctive paint application, sometimes wet layers on dry paint, pale colours on a dark background and subtle shades of colour have become distinguishing features of his work.  His use of colour is expensive and evocative, stimulating awareness.

It is the flowers in our garden that always have, rhythmically in tandem with the seasons, something new to offer - new 'pictures' to make. Also, there are two pomegranate trees ... There are also things like 'trading beads', a small tin shoe that Susan brought, a small owl from Greece in flat metal - 1970, we were married for one year.

Rag roses … I use them, even repeatedly, some of them I find just beautiful. Faces, I call them portraits. I find them in my book collection, newspapers and magazines. Repeatedly they form the 'vehicle' to which I can connect my feelings. It is this grand total of everything that surrounds me that gives me enough to relate - in 'pictures'!


Belgian linen is stretched for me by Schweickerdt. They also make the board on which I work and prepare it with gesso.

I prefer to work on both canvas and board as each has its own character. Large canvases have to lie flat while they dry. Generally, I don't work from sketches. I start with a charcoal drawing directly on the canvas or board and start playing as soon as I am satisfied with the drawing. Between work sessions, time passes while the artwork rests.


I love delicate pencil work and pen and ink but also bold oil on paper.

When I work with oil paint, the paper is treated with gesso so that it is not damaged by the oil.
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