thanks for the colour

95 portraits for a 95th birthday

I started painting at a young age and have always enjoyed creating, whether through arts or through crafts. One of my favourite pieces is a naive Karoo landscape that I painted aged fifteen. I will never sell this piece and it occupies a special place in my home in Johannesburg. 

My desire to pursue a career in the arts started with a Diploma in Graphic Design and a job as a junior art director in the Joburg advertising and design industry. Over the years I went on to win various awards for design work.

In 1989, with Madiba still imprisoned, my husband and I left South Africa. We travelled around Europe where I spent months absorbing famous and inspirational artwork at various galleries and museums that I had only ever seen in books.

Like most South Africans, I will never forget where I was and what I was doing the day I heard that Madiba was to be released from Victor Verster Prison. It was the 2nd February 1990 and I happened to be in the Gardens of Tivoli outside Rome. It was the perfect setting to receive such wonderful news.

We ended up in England where I worked as the Creative Head in a London design agency. 

We decided to return to South Africa in 1992, and together with my husband, I started a design and advertising agency in Joburg which we ran for the next ten years. It is during this time that I had the privilege of meeting Madiba at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

After the birth of my twin daughters in 2000, I decided to leave the pressured life of advertising behind for a different kind of pressure - to raise our girls and the self-imposed pressure that comes with waking up every morning and deciding how to experiment with different creative styles and subject matters on canvas.

Over the past few years I have experimented with different techniques and have attended various painting workshops with renowned artists. I confess that I may never stick to any one technique as the process of exploration is a lifelong challenge. 


2007 - Hazel Thompson and Students, Bryanston

2008 - Hazel Thompson and Students, Bryanston

2009 - Hazel Thompson and Students, Bryanston

2009 - Different Perspectives - Design Quarter, Fourways

2009 - Upstairs @ Bamboo, Melville

2010 - Rotary Art Festival, Hyde Park

2010 - Joie de Vivre Festival - Parkhurst Recreation Centre

2011 - Rotary Art Festival, Hyde Park

2011 - GIBS Art Auction, Sale and Exhibition

2011 - Group Exhibition - Studio 34 5th Ave, Melville

2012 - Group Exhibition - Killarney Mall

2012 - Rotary Art Festival, Hyde Park

2012 - Group Exhibition - NicolWay Mall

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