Biography - Nellie - The Naked Artist

I have been an artist since I was a little girl.

I studied art at home - my Dad was the "real" artist.
He was not allowed to practise art because his widowed mother was dead set against it.

But he was my rock, my teacher, my go-to guy! That was before I was 10...

My first "commission" was when I was a teenager.

Various art teachers at school (Roodepoort, South Africa) taught, mentored and instructed me.

After finishing school I studied BA FA (Bachelor of Arts - Fine Art) at Unisa (University of South Africa).

I did not finish my digree, as LIFE got in the way.

But painting in all mediums and drawing was my passion.

My earlier paintings, dating back to the 1960's would be sighned "N Botha" (my maiden name).

Later paintings would be "N Bezuidenhout" (married name).

Thereafter I re-married, and I am now "Nellie O'Callaghan".

I had one very sucsessful 'One Man' exibition in Helderkruin, Roodepoort, in 1986 and this resulted in various commissions which lasted for over a year.

Thereafter LIFE happened again and I went back to being a weekend only, artist - without a studio.

But that is water under the bridge as I now have my own studio and I am painting full-time.

This website is where I showcase my work - as it is - not at all "touched up" - rather "naked" as it were, hence the name of the website.

Some of the photos of my earlier works are "photos of photos" - digital photography had not been invented yet.

Unfortunately, over the years many of the photos that I had have been misplaced which is upsetting but unfortunately that is how it is.

I have also lost contact with many of my early patrons so I have not been able to replace the lost photos - if anyone can help in that regard it would be appreciated - please drop me an email.

The medium set that I use is mainly oils, acrylics and water-colours however I have made various pieces in pastels, wood carving and on occasion mixed mediums to get the result that I was wanting to achieve or where the creative process was taking me during the creation of the work.

When I start a new work I normally have a base concept. However it is often the case that the finished work is not in accordance with the original concept - the creation process often leads me down a different path - and that is "OK" with me as every work is an experiment, is pushing some or other boundary - is its own creation.