an egg, orange and lemons, oil on canvas, 304 x 609 mm, Odette Marais

I paint traditionally in oils and watercolour and my source and inspiration is in the observation of the domestic and nature. The concerns of my practise are primarily driven by process- the alchemy of materials, marks and time.

My fascination is atmosphere. Solitary meditative moments… when dust settles and light touches. Time and its passing is a constant motif.

Artist statement

The abstract quality of my recent paintings are the cumulative result of many years working on figurative paintings in the genre of landscape and still-life. My exploration without direct reference to a literal subject has presented me with exciting and magical options and outcomes which has deepened my intuitive process.

Conscious decisions lead by the reading of the composition and colour values and using the evidence of palmiset creates opportunity to build complex dynamics, layered tensions and a suggested poetic language. These outcomes pose endless challenges and exciting unpredictable outcomes that eventually settle into a balanced resolution. The resulting narrative is thus open and expressive.


I am presently ‘playing’ with the contradictory and oposing actions of construct and destruct, crossing over between the observed ‘actual’ and the implied abstract.
My work has been represented in various solo and group shows over the years in Cape Town and internationally.


My works are essentially studies of absence and presence: the vibration within a quiet transitional moment, a push and a pull, a shimmer, a shift, a shadow and an exhalation.