kristi pretorius
capturing metaphors on canvas

Kristi Pretorius works are at once ethereal and thought provoking.
The pieces draw you in, hinting at hidden depths in the images mesmerizingly captured on canvas.

We chat with Kristi and learn more about her striking creations and her process
I’ve always been into creating art. When I was 7 years old I would sit with my dad (who also paints) at the dining room table, with the cricket on in the background and paint with him.

I first started out with photography. In high school (16 years old) I started my own little business taking photos for Fashion Design students from the university. I moved to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth thinking I would be a fashion photographer but realized that the industry was not for me.
I studied Graphic Design and Art Direction, in 2016 in Cape Town at a private design college which has now closed down.
The college’s name was Dada, like the art movement.
Like many aspiring artists, I studied design – I didn’t think I would ever make it as an artist – And the studies certainly helped me with the work I now produce.

My Submerge and Thalassophobia series is based on a feeling.
It’s a metaphor for my life, which I feel at some point most of us can relate to.
Whether it’s love, work or family… the feeling of anxiety and feeling like you are drowning.r> My Two Ocean series is based on a love story gone wrong.

Thalassophobia (2019) was the first series to come out.
These works are created in watercolour and depict the sensation of drowning or being underwater.
With every one of the pieces, there is a source of light to indicate that there will be hope.
Darkness surrounds the sides of the painting which resembles fear and distrust. You know that something is lurking in the corner, but you aren’t sure what is just yet.

My Submerge (2020) series shows the progression of the story.
Still overwhelmed by the dark waters, unsure of what lies beneath them.
But this time we take a step back, we gain perspective yet submerge ourselves into the reality of the truth that has prevailed.

When I am not creating my Submerge range I am creating landscape scenes of places I wish to be in.

My fear of the ocean echoes the same emotions I felt during this moving time.
Heartbreak, loss and discovery.
Vast open lands and the deep shades of blues are a big source of inspiration for me.
I love seeing the waves crash along the peninsula coast of Cape Town.
The Cederberg mountain range is a common theme in my landscape painting.
I love taking trips around the coast or nestling into the mountains.

I have become known for my abstract aerial perspectives of the ocean.
I don’t really have a process I go through when I paint, BUT I do try to start painting in the morning, painting to music and making sure no devices are left on to detract from the creative process!

Although your art is your passion which you are trying to sell, it’s also a business and you need to think like a business.
I always ask myself if the process of creating and the time invested is justified by the price.
Is it worth my time? Is what I am creating in tune with the type of artworks that are currently selling?
Not to say that you should copy other artists but be aware of the artists who are selling and what types of works are selling.

And ALWAYS understand the importance of marketing and never stop marketing yourself online!

To view more of Kristi’s works, or to get into touch with her to see what pieces are available for purchase or to commission a work, simply click on the Social Media icons below.