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Local artwork at Ndiza

Ron Waldeck has been in the art game for 35 years.

The Strand resident is the latest artist to exhibit his works at the Ndiza Gallery at the Krystal Beach Hotel in Gordon’s Bay.

Before relocating to the Helderberg with wife Lilian more than a decade ago, Waldeck owned a number of art galleries, mostly in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.

To say art is his passion is an understatement. “I live it. I’d rather paint than eat mediocre food. I’d rather paint than sleep. I have found myself painting 02:00 in the morning,” he says.

Though specialising in bird species, he also enjoys painting wildlife and flowers, and draws inspiration mostly from photographs.

His painting, titled Insect Attack, Not Deterrent to This Beauty X Iris Unguicularis won him fourth place at the 2016 American Art Awards in the category Floral Realism.

“It was a genuine flower, eaten by insects,” Waldeck explains. “That is what attracted me to it.”

The painter recalls being extremely surprised when he got word of the award as it was the only category, and painting, that he had entered.

In 2014, he was also awarded fourth place in the same category with his painting, Jasmine Flowers.

“Artists from 51 countries competed. If you just think of how many artists are painting in America. . . There are some incredibly frighteningly good artists,” says Waldeck.

“The awards have inspired me and made me believe in myself.”

Waldeck is looking to better himself in 2017. Entries for the 2017 American Art Awards open in August and he has already started preparing paintings.

“I am thinking of entering three or four categories and perhaps more than one painting per category.”

On whether his wife shares his love for art, he says: “She paints, but mostly sectional titles. Believe it or not she is one of my biggest critics, yet also my biggest fan.”

Waldeck will be at the gallery every Saturday in February, painting and engaging with fellow art lovers.

For more on his work, visit www.ronwaldeck.com.

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