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"BORN TO PAINT" by Dave Dykman

The words life and work are used so often when describing distinguished men and women that there is a danger that they could eventually be reduced to, a meaningless phrase or an overworked cliché. These words are appropriate, however, when describing someone whose life and work are so closely interwoven that one cannot think of the one without the other or even begin to separate the two.

Isabel le Roux is such a person. What Andy Warhol said of himself is equally true of Isabel: "If you want to know everything about me, just look at my paintings - it's all there..." Art is an integral part of Isabel's existence and her work manifests itself in almost every facet of her life." Isabel's work is contemporary and expressionistic. The colours used are vibrant and courageous and reflect her passion for painting and life. The themes are influenced directly by that which she experiences or creates out of an emotional involvement with the subjects.

ART TIMES by Pieter van Heerden, Director of Association Pretoria

For many years, Isabel’s works were constantly lauded in reviews. To cite a few examples: “Her colourful works with their energetic designs and stylish realism are sure to enthral viewers” or “with her strong colourful style and secure feeling for composition and mood, she gives expression to timeless themes such as human relationships, love, a woman’s spiritual safety, mirth and joy as well as an artist’s understanding of and compassion with the works of fellow-artists.” Another review praised her innate sense of humour and the layers of emotions that are portrayed.

It could be said that of all the contemporary South African artists, Isabel le Roux is the most French-like painter. This is easily explained, not only by her love for Paris but also by the fact that she had six sojourns in the Paris Cité Internationale des Arts where she was captured by the French elegance and culture. In her works, many influences of famous French painters such as Picasso, Modigliani, Manet, Leger and others can be detected. However, this does not mean a slavish copying of French styles, but an energetic, eclectic style of her own to portray scenes and impressions of her own through, so to say, the eyes of famous French artists. Strange as it may seem, Isabel’s work brings the paintings of Marc Chagall in the mind. Although the whimsical, dreamlike paintings of Chagall are miles apart from Isabel’s vivid expressionism, they do share one basic element, which is a pervading passion for beauty, their lyric qualities and a love for life, in short a joie de vivre.

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