Fynbos Landscape with Protea Nitida and Watsonia (Perception series) 1700x1100mm

Title: Fynbos Landscape with Protea Nitida and Watsonia (Perception series)
Size: 1700 x 1100mm
Medium: Oil on stretched canvas
Year: 2023

This large fynbos painting shows Springtime on Table Mounatain in Cape Town. I combined the Protea Nitida (Waboom Protea) bush with some bright pink Watsonia flowers and cream coloured Everlastings.

The Protea Nitida, or Waboom Protea, is a large, strong Protea species with broad, blue-grey leaves, impressive Protea flowers and strong wooden branches.

In South Africa’s distant past, Protea Nitida was used as firewood, to make furniture, to dye leather and as wood for making wagon wheels and brake blocks for the ox wagons. The leaves were boiled together with sugar and a rusty nail and were then used as ink with which our ancestors could write. Protea Nitida is also called a “Suikerbos”, which reminds us of the famous Afrikaans folk song: “Suikerbos ek wil jou hê”.

Fynbos plants grow in challenging conditions. Weak soil, strong winds, scorching sunshine, droughts and veld fires are some of the challenges facing fynbos. The Protea Nitida is adapted to cope with these poor conditions. When the flower heads have dried out, the seeds are dispersed by wind.  The flowers, with sweet nectar, are pollinated by birds. When a wildfire scorches the Protea Nitida plant, it will emerge again from the underground roots.

The Protea Nitida carries, along with the fresh, new flowers, also the dry flower heads of previous years’ flowers. It stands out like skeletons above the new shoots and leaves.

I often paint Watsonia flowers. I love the vertical lines and interesting shapes. Watsonias are close to my heart.  When I was born, we lived in Watsonia Street in George and the obstetrician who was present at my birth, called me the little Watsonia of Watsonia Street.  This must have started my love for fynbos for the years to come! 

This artwork is part of my “Perception” series:


The way in which my sensory information is identified, organized, experienced, and interpreted, is my perception of the world I live in. The quality of being aware of my physical and spiritual world – through my senses, allows me to make sense of things happening in and around me.

When I perceive fynbos plants, I recognize, take in, and comprehend the shapes, colours, and textures that I see. I look at them so often, that I capture them in my memory and understanding.   When I portray fynbos into a painting, I create something new.  It is not merely a reproduction of the physical – it is my intuitive creation through personal perception. It is the way in which my subject is regarded, understood, or interpreted.

I do not do this alone.  I perceive the assistance of a higher power within my creative process.  I perceive that the Creator of the universe is using me as a tool to create art for His glory.  I allow the deity to use my perceptions to make original art in me and through me for the benefit of people around me.  For those who find pleasure in my creations.  Those who view it, as well as those who own it.  I aim to create beauty.  To magnify the goodness in nature and the goodness of the Creator.

This is my art.  This is my perception.