The Itch by Liezel Van der Linde

Liezel van der Linde grew up as the daughter of a South African artist, teacher and potter. After completing school Liezel studied at the University of Pretoria in South Africa completing her Bachelors in Art specialising in Information Design.


Practicing in the vibrant South African advertising industry, Liezel spent 9 years developing a career as an Art Director. Still feeling the pull towards Fine Arts, she gave up design and started painting and illustrating full time in 2009.

Specialising in oil on mixed media, her work has been exhibited in South Africa during two exhibitions in 2010 after which Liezel moved to Melbourne Australia in 2010 where she since then have participated in various exhibitions and art related events.

She is currently teaching contemporary art at the Wyreena Art Centre and Now and Not Yet cafe in Melbourne. Her work explores the art of storytelling and human connection and features in private collections in South Africa as well as Australia. 


I believe hat most artists have an itch.

Not as in a physical itch, but a spiritual one. A place that needs to be scratched. You know that itch you get at the middle of your back, the one that just stays out of reach. The one that slowly drives you insane until finally you give up and call someone over to scratch it for you. I believe artists have something similar happening in our spirit. It’s that sense that there is something underneath the surface haunting you, calling you, always staying just outside of reach.  I have come to call it the creator’s itch. You can ignore it, suppress it or deny it but it’s always there, lingering.

Artists normally are people that are more aware of the spiritual and unexplainable. It’s like we have a sixth sense that picks up that there is more than just the physical. Not to say that non-artists do not have this sense. I just believe that artists learn to embrace it earlier than most other people. We kind of never let go of our childlike imagination.

For years now I have taught people to draw by creating a space where their intuitive right brain can flourish and their analytical left-brain can take a bit of a rest. I found that most people that can draw well without guidance are people who have the ability to assign the creative task to their right brain and not the left. That is to say that they are more at ease in the right brain mode of thinking. Their thought processes are more lateral, spacial and holistic. In other words they are comfortable with the right brain’s capacity to deal with the things in life that does not make sense.

There is this thing that happens when you ask a kid to draw a cube, and it amazes me. To draw something well sometimes mean you have to throw out some of the things you know are true about a cube. For instance we all know a cube rests on a flat surface at the bottom. So when a child draws a cube they usually draw the bottom side as a straight horizontal line.

Pic_ - 0096a


But most art teachers will tell you that if you want to draw a cube so it looks correct you have to draw diagonal lines at the bottom. That goes against what you know but somehow it looks more accurate.


Pic_ - 0096b

Great artists are those people that can see differently, that can express something beyond what we have learnt. They show the world something that does not necessarily make sense, but still resounds in its truthfulness.

So back to the itch. As an artist I have always felt the need to create, a deep urge that draws me to keep exploring, keep writing, keep painting, keep making in search of something more. Over the years I have come to believe that this urge is born out of a search for the Devine. For me I think of it as a search for God, for His presence, for that place where truth resounds within the deepest parts of my being. I listen to a song, or see a painting and it feels as if my soul can breathe. It feels as if the Creator of the universe is there with me. So I have come to love the itch. The thing that draws me to create, because in those moments I am in the presence of God and I am at peace.


The Featured Image is by Liezel Van der Linde

You can see more of Lizels work on

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Love Lisa

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