I remember, amongst others in the classes, Caerli Hare, George Taylor-Botha, Karina Behr and John Robert, who were streets above me, and who displayed marked talent.
Ryno set up still lives as we worked in a circle, always attempting to obtain the best vantage point. When he set up his famous "Red Teapot", we all heaved a collective
sigh at the sight of this unforgiving object. But we learnt to view it and see it and set down our vision with a fresh eye as to line, volume and tone.
Quotes from artists were a continuous backdrop to our labours such as his well-known readings of Ruskin - "You must control that hand of yours…".
An artist first and foremost, Ryno is arguably one of South Africa's best known and loved art teachers. Through the years he has guided many now professional artists in
their own right and he continues to teach amateurs and professionals alike. His practical knowledge of painting and drawing is profound, and he delights in herding groups of
artists on painting courses abroad. These are immensely popular, and include trips to Greece, Italy and France.
I have presented Ryno's work in the Gallery for the last 25 years and have grown to know his models through his paintings, such as Stephanie, Samantha, Maria, Ruby and Chantel.
I admire him for his integrity towards art, his intellectual ability and his sheer virtuosity – he paints subjects ranging from the nude, to the still life, scenes from the ballet,
and a bird in Venice.
"Leave your mistakes" and " half close your eyes to cut out detail" are some of his sayings, often repeated for inspiration.
I was particularly struck by a sentence in one of his monthly newsletters, which he writes with such intensity and sensitivity - I quote this in full:
"Our greatest problem lies in our desire to show the maximum amount of detail which moves a picture towards a continuous tone, where everything is
equally visible and nothing stands out. Too many tones break up the surface tension of the painting, and destroy its design and quality, in particular the organization of lights and darks."
This epitomises his vision and knowledge of what is right and should be sought after by the serious artist.