Suzaan van der Ryst

My paintings should bring beauty, happiness and inspiration to those who look at them - that is my ultimate goal.

About the artist

Artist Suzaan van der Ryst was born in Mariental, Namibia, in 1990, 15 days after Namibia finally gained independence from RSA after the Namibian War of Independence. In her childhood she grew up on a farm outside of Delmas, South Africa. Farm life shaped her bond with animals and nature. Suzaan van der Ryst also spent a lot of time with the farm workers and learned a lot from different African cultures. Growing up in a politically unstable time in South Africa, there was still a lot of hatred and pain, but there was also beauty, love and kindness to be found if you knew where to look. Although Suzaan drew and painted as a child, she only bought her first oil paints in 2016 and began to play with colors while creating. In 2017 Suzaan took part in a weekly art course in Pretoria and drove 140 km at night to learn from Lukas de Witt for about 5 months. The experienced artist taught Suzaan van der Ryst old master techniques as well as the correct mixing and application of colors and prepared her for her future as a professional artist. At the end of 2020, African artist Suzaan moved out to the country with her family and has since enjoyed farm life and the many wild, majestic animals around her that give her inspiration every day.

The unique acrylic/oil animal-portraits by this special African artist are breathtaking artworks with realistic animal motifs and abstract layers of color that create a connection between reality and fantasy/emotions. The wild animals she chooses for her paintings are often lions, cheetahs and other dangerous big cats, but also zebras, giraffes, wild dogs and many more. Through her special works of art, Suzaan van der Ryst enables people all over the world to immerse themselves in this spectacular, breathtaking scenery of the wilderness of Africa and to enjoy its beautiful colors, animals and cultural aesthetics in her art. Together with CheetahCraft worldart, it has finally become possible for Suzaan van der Ryst to be able to offer her animal paintings for sale outside of Namibia and thus to enrich the entire international art market.

About Suzaan

Since I am mostly self-taught, I have come a long way and often had to test myself hard until I improved. I learn by experimenting, thinking outside the box and not trying to strive for perfection. I allow myself to make mistakes and I even welcome them in my work - that makes my pictures authentic.

My lively use of colors reflects my passionate personality. My favorite subjects are portraits and animal portraits. I have to feel a connection to the subject to be able to paint it with passion. I don't want to paint landscapes, cities or still lifes, I need lively, breathing subjects with personality so that I can also let my personality flow into the painting.

When I paint, I treat each painting differently. Sometimes I do a very light color wash over my sketch and let that shine through, sometimes I just keep painting and paint the right colors right on it. After getting the basics of the subject from a photo, I put the photo away and play with the colors until I feel like the painting is done. Some pictures take a long time, have many layers and others are taken alla prima (wet-on-wet technique). It all depends on how I feel and what my mood is. I work on feeling and not on a recipe or within the limits of artistic rules. When I start a painting I don't have a general plan of how to turn it out, I play and layer colors until I find a desired effect.

It is my wish to capture emotions and feelings and to influence the thoughts of the viewer with my work. My goal is to show beauty in the world around me and to bring out a little of my personality in every painting. My pictures should bring beauty, happiness and inspiration to those who look at them - that is my ultimate goal.