About Willie Schlechter
I was born in 1982 in Joubertina, a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. My high school years were spent in the picturesque town of Lady Grey, surrounded by the southern Drakensberg mountain range. Here I attended the Lady Grey Arts Academy and was exposed to visual art, drama, music and dancing, which would all play key roles in my future inspiration and art making processes.
After I matriculated in 2000 I proceeded to further my love of the arts by enrolling at the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2004 I received a BA FA (Fine Art) degree and subsequently an MPhil VA (Illustration) degree in 2008. At this time, I started teaching Visual Art and Design at Stellenberg High School in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town. At the end of 2016 I resigned in order to further my career as a visual artist.
During the course of my studies I have worked in various mediums and techniques, from painting and printmaking to photography and film. However, my love for painting and realism was most encouraged while doing a course in botanical illustration as part of my postgraduate studies. Since then I have worked mainly in the genre of botanical art, and have been fortunate to receive awards at various exhibitions. These include the Kirstenbosch Botanical biennale, Cape Town (2010 - bronze, 2013 - bronze); World Orchid Conference, Pretoria (2015 - merit) and Botalia, Painted flora, Lucca (2010 - silver).
My background as a high school teacher, as well as my attention to detail and realism makes me a patient tutor and I often present workshops and evening art classes in various mediums.