D e s i r e e P r i n s l o o
I delight in the watercolour medium and, for many decades, have loved working with its unpredictability, limitations and possibilities. Its freshness, immediacy and transportability made it my medium of choice. My constant companion is a sketchbook and small pan.
My preference is for hot pressed, heavy weight paper. I draw basic guidelines before laying down washes and, from there, the painting commands itself, really. I steer it through landscape, and other subject matter, working on several pieces at a time.
As Henry Miller wrote of the medium, ‘…watercolour has affinities with the sonnet, or the haiku, rather than the jeremiad. It captures the flux and essence, the flavour and perfume, rather than the substance. Ambience, that is what the watercolour renders par excellence.’
Desiree Prinsloo attended the Pro Arte High School for Art, Music and Ballet in Pretoria, South Africa, before undertaking formal studies in Fine Art at the Pretoria Technicon. Following her arrival in Australia in 1986, she exhibited widely in collective exhibitions and taught painting for a decade. In 1996, she relocated to Auckland, New Zealand, returning to Australia four years later. Since 1984, she has been a full-time painter, working in various countries, and has served on several art society committees. While characterising herself as essentially a plein air landscape painter, her focus returned to the figure and portraiture in an exploration of the deeper subtleties of these genres and their parallels to landscape.
She was a finalist in the 2002 Doug Moran Portrait Prize, the 2009 New South Wales Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize and the 2010 Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial, Zhujiajiao, China.
Prinsloo has held several solo exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Greece and South Africa, the most recent having been in Hydra, Greece, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Her work is held in private and public collections in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States and Mexico. A large dyptich hangs in the Spoleto Ospedale, Umbria, Italy.
Currently, Prinsloo divides her time between her studio in Sydney, Australia, and her studios in Umbria, Italy, and Hydra, Greece, where she conducts workshops.
A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 2008, she is a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales and was a Founding Committee Member of Portrait Artists Australia.