Artists in St Francis – Artist of the Week Juliette Godfrey

Artist of the Week – Juliette Godfrey

Juliette Godfrey St Francis Artist

Juliette Godfrey with Ricky

Well-loved member of our Seals community and permanent resident for over two decades, is abstract artist and photographer, Juliette Godfrey.

Her unique ability of finding the ‘spirit’ in the inanimate aspects of nature through her lens, has led to a series of experimental processes with the brush, and some ultimately breath-taking outcomes.

“But it is never about the outcome” says Godfrey. “Art is about process and play, and this is why I don’t do commissions. What my buyers buy is an experience that cannot be repeated if you are in creative flow”.

Her oil on cretestone series is food for the creative mind or meditative soul and can keep me captivated for hours. I find a whale plunging into the depths of a kelp forest or the spirits of the trees moving through the mountain forest at daybreak.  Of course this is the beauty of abstract art. What it is for the artist is different to what is seen by each member of it’s audience. Like the flow of the ocean, it is always new.

Examples of Juliette Gofrey's Oils on Cretestone

Juliette’s latest work Oils on Board

In some Jungian way Juliette Godfrey’s art is the outpouring of the unconscious onto the canvas, with archetypal symbolism coming through organically in the play – uncontrived and authentically beautiful. “Spirit calls, and I go” she tells me. And I believe her. I can feel it in her work. Her exhibitions include her buchu series at the Youngbloods & Arteye in Cape Town.

Buchu is farmed and distilled into oil on the farms where she lived and raised her son for many years, and the resin which is her medium, holds powerful healing and transformative qualities. This series was an honouring of the life, the love and the loss experienced in those years in the aptly named exhibition “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. Inspired by the rocks around her ever-burning fireplace, she produced pieces with names like ‘From the mud, to the blood, to the gold’ echoing the life-death-life cycle and universal story of the human spirit. The fireplace is both literally and symbolically the place of gathering, of storytelling, of mourning, of healing.

Examples of Juliette Godfreys Abstract

Examples of Juliette Godfreys abstracts on canvasses as big as 3m x 2.8m are a burst of colour and movement

Her large acrylic abstracts on canvasses as big as 3m x 2.8m are a burst of colour and movement, a joyful dance through the cosmos, and show that this artist is able to go as high as she goes deep in her creative expression.

Her latest works, 70cm x 90cm oil on board are again inspired mostly by her photography, ranging from portraits taken in India, to abstract Turner-esque landscapes in shades of sepia and deep earthy hues.

Her abstract photographic work can be printed onto canvas or aluminium and makes engaging conversation- piece art for the contemporary home, or small original gifts at  reasonable prices. Inspired by thousands of hours of walking on the Wildside or to Shark’s Point, she feels she has explored every rock, puddle and pool of the area. “And this is why I need to travel” she says “to fill up the creative well”.

After years of traveling as a surf Mom with her son Nicholas, Juliette lives  with her dog Ricky. Alongside showing up at the canvas,  daily walks and yoga,  she is constantly busy with her other great passion, the renovation of homes and gardens.

She has sold works locally and has had buyers as far and wide as Mauritius and New York City.

All works printed here are available and to see more of Juliette Godfrey’s work, the artist can be contacted directly on +27 83 656 4319 or at

Examples of Juliette Godfreys abstract photography

Article by by Jacqueline Jorgensen

For previous Artists of the week be sure to visit Art in St Francis 



Artists in St Francis – Artist of the Week Dodds Blom

Dodds Blom - Art in St FrancisIt was a chilly July morning mid-lockdown the day I first encountered the serenity of a Dodds Blom work. Trade Wind had opened for take-aways and we had plonked our well-walked bodies down for a moment as we waited for our hot drinks. Swaddled in obligatory masks, head-hugging beanies and down puffers, we defiantly risked our “clean slates” each day for the exhilaration of some crunch underfoot and a hint of spray on wind-whipped faces.

These illicit walks under rigorous lockdown rule were tainted with angst, even as we thumbed our noses at the powers-that-be.

It was a time of deprivation and prohibition. Our beloved beaches irrationally whisked away, and no beer or wine to dull the pain.

A Dodds Blom wavescape on Trade Wind’s wall was a thing of beauty poised upon my path in otherwise horrible and uncertain times. It provided a sense of immediate relief and reconnection with what I missed most.

And is this not the purposes of art? – to help us encounter something that is otherwise elusive – the peace, the freedom, the love, the beauty we find missing.

Dodds has developed a signature style that captures the endless summer of our beloved St Francis Bay and Seals. He does it in a way that feels quite heavenly, and in so doing emphasises the piece of paradise that is our patch.

His puritan wave sets under candyfloss clouds point to to the perfection of Bruce’s Beauties, a name given to the metered swell that peels through our ocean when the offshore blows.

I recently had the pleasure of chatting to Dodds over a beer at the Full Stop. Handsome and quietly self-possessed, the doting father of two spoke of his other great passion. An accomplished self-taught guitarist, Dodds has worked as a professional musician in all genres including Classical and Spanish guitar. He currently offers guitar lessons in Cape St Francis.

After matriculating at Victoria Park High in Port Elizabeth, he studied art at PE Technikon for two years, where he says he learned nothing. “And you can tell them that” he says with a smile. His art took flight after meeting his mentor Mel Brigg during a five month stint in Australia in 2002. Having only seen Dodds seascapes, I was astonished to see his abstract and portrait paintings which demonstrate a remarkable versatility. His preferred medium is oils.

Dodds stunning wavescapes can be found at the St Francis Brew Pub in St Francis Bay.

A pint of Wildside, some Jack Johnson tunes and a Dodds Blom seascape provide all the sensory chill you need at the end of a hectic day. For commissions, or to view different styles of his work you can contact the artist directly on 0606347451

Article by by Jacqueline Jorgensen

Art by Dodds Blom



Introducing “Art in St Francis”

 Artists of St Francis

by Jacqueline Jorgensen

Painting with Bob McKenzie on the Canals

Bob McKenzie

Photo by Juliette Godfrey

In mid-May, a group of 9 local artists (including two glorious octogenerians) gathered at Anne Kleu’s beautiful home on the canals for a four-day workshop with Bob McKenzie. Originally from Queenstown, Bob, who is far from retiring, now lives in Port Alfred with his wife Faye. In his mid-seventies, Bob is still very much in demand, not only as a collector’s artist, but as an artist’s mentor. He travels the country from White River to Paternoster and even as far afield as Zimbabwe to hold these workshops, which are nothing short of life and art-changing.

As with all creative processes that push one beyond ‘comfort zone’, there were moments of angst, resistance, wanting to give-up-and-go-home, or erase your faulty creation with a turps-soaked rag and start again. He notices this all and he works with it, or around it and redirects it, poetically and calmly with lightness and kindness that is quite masterful.

Bob, who works with a palette of 9 colours and white, brings with him a box of tricks that, even in their utter simplicity, perform the breath-of-life upon any lack-lustre rendition of a reference photograph. More importantly, he brings himself. When asked what he paints, Bob’s answer is always the same “I paint light”. Not only does he generously give away what he has mastered in order for other artists to become as good as, or even better than him, but he has the impossible knack of pulling the gold out of each artist in the group with a sensitivity that is honed to the individual and their particular lean. Bob has the gift of encouragement and alongside being a painter of light, is in and of himself a bringer of light.

As I write, I still feel high (on joy, not turps) in the afterglow of deep satisfaction at what I learned; and in awe of the the beautiful paintings that our group was able to produce in a very short space of time with the help of this wonderful teacher.

Whether you are a self-taught novice painter like myself, an abstract large-scale painter like our fellow Seals artist/photographer Juliette Godfrey, or a Bachelor of Arts graduate with years of experience in a a variety of genres like our divine hostess, Anne Kleu, a 4-day art workshop with this acclaimed artist, promises to take your art to a level beyond your wildest dreams.

Bob uses only Winton oil paints by Windsor and Newton and Primeart brushes.

For enquiries about Bob’s Workshop calendar, and the costs involved, feel free to contact Bob McKenzie directly on 0836932442.

His work can be viewed at his gallery in Wharf Street Port Alfred, and he can also be found online as RD McKenzie SA Artist


Next Artist in the series – Dodds Blom