Willie Schlechter

Willie  Schlechter

Willie Schlechter was born in 1982 in Joubertina, South Africa.


He matriculated from the Lady Grey Arts Academy in 2000 and proceeded to further his studies at the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2004 he received a BA FA (Fine Art) degree and subsequently an MPhil VA (Illustration) degree in 2008. At this time, he started teaching Visual Art and Design at Stellenberg High School in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. At the end of 2016, he resigned to focus on his career as a visual artist.


During his studies Willie worked in various mediums and techniques, from painting and printmaking to photography and film. However, his love for painting and realism was most encouraged while doing a watercolour course in botanical illustration by Vicki Thomas as part of his postgraduate studies. Since then he has worked mainly in watercolour within the genre of botanical art, and has received awards at various events, including the Kirstenbosch Botanical Biennale, Cape Town (2010 - bronze, 2013 - bronze); World Orchid Conference, Pretoria (2015 - merit) and Botalia, Painted Flora, Lucca (2010 - silver).


In March 2019, Willie had his first botanical art solo at the Woordfees Festival in Stellenbosch, titled Uproot. The works explored some of the plants that played a role in (mis)shaping the socio-political and cultural landscape of the Cape.  


Willie depicts plants as "portraits". He approaches the subject matter as he does the human figure, with a definite, yet delicate analytical investigation, while at the same time aiming to capture the personality and essence of the plant.


His botanical paintings are digitally reproduced and manufactured into a collection of interior products, including fabrics, scatter cushions, tablecloths, wallpapers, ceramics and art prints. His work is included in the Grootbos Florilegium, and he is a committee member of BAASA (Botanical Artists Association of South Africa).


Willie teaches Visual Art at the PJ Olivier Art Centre in Stellenbosch. 

Read more about the painting of the Mourning Dove here



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