A Grassy Park artist took to the easel by chance when he bought some paints and brushes online.
Angelo Solomons has always loved woodwork and making things with his hands, but the 42-year-old started painting five years ago.
He would find photos online of well-known personalities such as Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali and paint their portraits.
In 2017, the American consulate offered him an exhibition table at the consulate, in Steenberg Estate, where he displayed and sold paintings of animals to American tourists.
His work has travelled to Johannesburg, Durban, the Netherlands and America, he says.
At his first private exhibition, at the Solomons Art Gallery, owned by his older brother Georget in Scott Road Observatory, on Thursday December 2, he said different art media were to him, like sweets are to a child.
An initial preference for landscapes has shifted to portraiture, executed mostly in oils but sometimes also in acrylics and charcoal.
His favourite portrait is that of his father, Peter, done from a photograph that was taken of him at a family gathering shortly after his wife’s death.
“I saw loneliness, this void in his life, but he put up a brave face, and I was quite taken by his eyes,” says Solomons.
“He had a look in his eye. He was happy that his family was there but he looked lonely and lost, without my mother.”
He paints every evening after working as a pharmaceutical manufacturing operator and would like to turn this after-hours hobby, along with woodwork, into a full-time vocation.
“If you ever have the smallest interest or creative ability to do art then you have to do it. Then at least you know you’ve tried,” he says.
His work is on show on the first Thursday of the month from 6pm until 9pm in Observatory. He can be contacted on 081 215 1645 to view any other time.