Capturing a moment in time through art


"Elma you are indeed a brilliant teacher, composer of music and creator of special artworks. I loved every moment of my classes with you. Every one of your paintings speaks to my heart. Doing this interview with you was a special experience.

Elma is a remarkably creative woman! She paints, draws, composes music, sings (with a most beautiful voice), plays guitar, piano ánd wrote and performed four full-length musicals! For the latter, she trained and coached ordinary people to sing and act!

Elma shares her talents generously! She loves teaching and developing people to reach their full potential. She has the ability to change people’s perspective by using art and music as a medium. Her reward is seeing others thrive and find their own creativity and confidence." ~ Lianne Smuts ~

Interview by Lianne Smuts (a previous student):

I am curious to know where your talent for art started. Have you taken art classes at any time in your life?

I never realised that I have a talent for art. From a very young age I have just given my best when I needed to draw something – I did not realise it was different and seen by adults as exceptional. My only intention was to create. I did what I saw in my mind and it was only much later that I realised I had a special creative talent.

As a child, I loved trying out different media so I drew with crayons, pencils, pastels – whatever I could lay my hands on.

I have never taken art classes. What I wanted to know I read up and often observed others with an intense eye for detail.

How will you describe your style of art?

I love colour and contrast, but not in a disturbing way – I prefer a picture to be colourful with good balance and composition.

Every painting I have ever done carries a personal message. Every stroke has meaning. The world stops when I paint. I live in the picture I am busy with.

Do you prefer to work with a specific medium?

My favourite mediums are Acrylic, Oil, Pastels, Pencil and Charcoal, but I have also worked with ink, watercolours, oil and soft pastels, and digital art.

You have a very unique approach when you teach art. Can you share that with me?

My approach is to "teach you to learn to see first". You need to see the global picture and at the same time develop an eye for fine detail - notice the shadows, colour nuances, undertones and overtones, the direction of light, every line or curve, shapes, movement of composition, contrast and becoming aware of the framework in which you work.

I have developed this very unique drawing course on teaching students to find clarity and focus and unlock their hidden potential within a very short period of time.

I believe everybody is born creative. But as the child grows up, pressure from external forces (school curriculums, parents, etc.) start inhibiting his own creative abilities and prevent him from applying this in-born creativity.

I have sold in excess of 300 artworks, mostly on commission.

Your passion is to touch lives through your paintings and through your teachings. Please comment on this.

Indeed! My passion is to speak through my art and my music while also empowering others to find their own creativity again.