The students call Kobus Potgieter “Oom Pottie”, but perhaps that should be expanded to “Oom Pottie Picasso”! What many people might not know about Kobus, who works as a senior operations control officer at Protection Services in Vanderbijlpark, is that he is also a gifted artist.
Kobus says that as a child, he spent hours making pencil sketches and especially enjoyed Mr Andre van Staden’s art classes at Standerton High. That was in 1970. Today, he paints in his free time and has found his forte in oils on canvas.
“I got my love of drawing from my late father, Philip, and I would say that it is definitely a big part of who I am,” says Kobus, adding that time spent in front of a canvas with his paint palette in hand “soothes his soul”.
Where does he find his ideas? “Everywhere! I recently went to the doctor and in the waiting room I saw a painting which immediately tickled my fancy. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to rush home and start drawing,” says Kobus.
With no formal art training and never having taken part in a public viewing or exhibition, Kobus’s artworks are in high demand among friends, family and colleagues, who eagerly collect his works. To date, he reckons he has sold around 15 paintings and he has been asked to create several specific pieces for avid followers.
Although he says that every painting is a favourite piece, he is especially fond of a recent painting of an old steam locomotive.
“My father worked as a train driver on the Standerton-Vrede route back in the day, and I used to drive upfront with him. The other day I found myself reminiscing about the past and before I knew it, I was drawing an old locomotive and just like that the memories came flooding back.”