meet the artist – inspiration and method to the madness…

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

the artist at work photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald 2020

A FAQ: “Where do you get inspiration from?

I believe inspiration/ideas are everywhere. I once read that the muse can be found anywhere/everywhere, he/she/it must just find you working.

I work in series and on individual pieces.  I usually have more than one piece I am working on at a time.  Much of my work involves my own artistic freedom even when i work from a brief for a group exhibition, since those briefs are usually very open to interpretation.

I also have been keeping visual diaries/sketchbooks since 1998 and i revisit them from time to tome which will sport more ideas ore even a different take on previous ideas.

sketchbook collage

I have only one favourite needle that I prefer working with, but i don’t know the brand or even where I bought it.  Sigh.

artist at work Hannalie Taute photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald 2019

I rarely use DCM floss – only for small pieces.  For bigger pieces I use a variety of thread/yarn, ranging from Elle, Nikkim 100% cotton yarn to Kartopu organica (Egyptian cotton) or whatever I get my hands on.

There are times when I combine paper (as in found pages or vintage photographs) with rubber and thread.  I also experiment with fabric, which I applique onto the rubber.

I mainly use one type of stitch since the rubber don’t really allow for fancy stitches.  My stitching are intentionally imperfect or even messy. 😉

I wish you a happy productive week ahead.

meet the artist – all in a days work

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

the artist in her studio photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald

Before I became a full-time artist I used to work as a front office receptionist at a 3-star hotel and later I had a half-day position at an animal hospital, but since the year 2000 my art-studio is situated at home.

In the beginning it was just a corner in a room.  Later a whole room and since we relocated in 2018 to to a new house – we now have a 1 bedroom flat at the back of our house, which is currently my studio.  It is marvelous to have so much space for once, but it took me a while to get used to.

I am quite obsessive when it comes to stitching, so I stitch everyday, but there are some days when I either do admin, cut and clean inner tubes, update my blog, write newsletters, or play in my sketchbook.

I work alone and do not have an assistant.

Motherhood made me realize the value of time-management and having my studio at home enables me to work until the early hours of the morning or very late at night, depending on my deadlines.  With that said I also take a day or two to just be me/a mother and a wife.  Its a balancing act 😉


meet the artist – fairy tales

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

I love fairy tales and fables.  I am inspired by them.  I once read somewhere that fairy tales and horror prepares one to deal with potential death.

I guess working with fairy tale themes and subverting it makes me able to cope with reality.  It was very heartbreaking when Greta Thunburg said in one of her speeches that ” This is not the time for fairy tales.”

I also stitch a lot of hybrid figures.

In the book: “The uses of enchantment” Bruno Bettleheim stated that in fairy tales and dreams any physical malformation often stand for psychological misdevelopment.  It is said that in these tales when the upper part of the body is animal and the lower part human, this indicates symbolically that things are wrong in the head/mind.

Which indicates something monstrous.  I am fascinated by monsters!

What is your favorite fairy-tale?

meet the artist part 7 – working with rubber

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Artist photographed by KleinJan Groenewald 2020

Rubber is a very tactile substance and I love the skin-like quality of it, which can be highly fetishized.

It also distances my work from the perceived softness or delicacy of ‘women’s work’ to become the opposite – hard labor.

Working with rubber is like fusing two seemingly irreconcilable material forms together along with their associated symbolic values.


Thank you for reading my ‘meet the artist’ posts during this month, reaching the half way mark today. I wish you a lovely Valentines day. xxx



meet the artist part 6 – Words and titles

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Words and titles are important to me.  A title is an entrance into what the work is about, as well as having the potential for humor and mischief.

Hoogste bome vang die meeste wind , (Somer) 570 x 370 mm vintage photo, cotton thread, rubber 2019 Hannalie Taute

Afrikaans is the language I feel most comfortable with, since it is my mother’s tongue, and one that allows me the freedom to break the rules and play with it.  Afrikaans can be very serious, but also playful.  I do my thinking in Afrikaans so it is inevitable that it will show up in the titles of my work.   It is actually a pity that it sometimes get lost in translation.

Hoogste bome vang die meeste wind herfs 570 x 370 mm vintage photo, cotton therad, rubber 2019 Hannalie Taute

Random note: Other languages I wish I could speak: Spanish, Italian, Xhosa and Sign language.

Anyway I will leave you with a song that stuck in my head for weeks…..