Tony de Freitas was born in 1950 with, it is rumoured, a pencil behind his ear - not because of the Portuguese surname, but because for as far back as he can remember, he was always drawing. Taking art seriously throughout his school years, Tony regularly won the year-end prizes, achieving a distinction for practical art in matric.
We are told that as many as ten years later, Tony's high school art teacher still kept a painting of Tony's on the wall as a bad example of "someone who can paint like that but does nothing about it". The real reason why Tony neglected his artistic talent, he tells, was that an other love took precedence. In his early years, music was also in his blood and with the advent of the Beatles, his interest in guitar as an instrument was captured forever. Proving highly versatile over the years, Tony qualified to teach music at an early age and branched out into all styles, entertaining at many a function all over South Africa.
A few years ago Tony made the decision to fulfill his passion for painting by spending his time with a paint brush in hand on a full-time basis. "I once read in an art book," Tony explains, "that life's experiences are what the canvas reflects - the more the years, the more authentic the work".
Well known watercolourist and personal friend, Wallace Hulley, constantly encouraged Tony to develop his talent. After joining the Somerset West Watercolour Society, Fellow enthusiasts requested workshop opportunities to paint with him. Weekend after weekend at such painting sessions, other artists commented on Tony's ability to talk and paint at the same time perhaps that is where the Portuguese bit fits in!