Jonel Scholtz obtained a Baccalaureus Scientiae degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, in 1994. She started painting in 1988, while in high school, with Louise Goudemond, an American born artist, specializing in figurative work and oil portraits. She has won numerous awards, of which the “Women for Peace” and Christie’s of London’s art contest was one of the most notable. Alice Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa started representing her in 2003.
She has also exhibited in other galleries in South Africa in Clarens, Cape Town, Swellendam, Hartbeespoort Dam and Dullstroom. She has opened her own art gallery in her hometown of Lichtenburg, a farming town, in South Africa in 2012. Internationally Jonel Scholtz has exhibited at the Agora Gallery, New York; Art Fusion Gallery in Miami, at the Castello Estense in Ferrara in Italy, NY at the International Expo in 2010 and the United Nations as part of International Women’s Day. Selected in 2014 by Monteoliveto Gallery as part of the search for new talents, she was picked as one of 3 artists, who is now represented in Monaco and internationally, by Monteoliveto Gallery Nice-Naples and in Amsterdam.
Her work is simple and emotional. Intense emotions derived from a happening or even a scene, will be a muse. Every time she sits in front of her canvas she feels the need to create a painting that conveys her emotions with the same intensity she experiences them: pure and true. No pretense can survive on a canvas. Her interior paintings create domestic scenes in hues conveying intensely subjective and evocative interior spaces. The frames she includes in her paintings – mostly doorways and windows – call attention to rites of passage and socialization and the gendered organization of space. While clearly figurative, her paintings’ expressive qualities evoke the safety and comfort of the ideal home in our collective imagination.
Her figurative works are more about interpreting an emotion than it is to convey an image. Her nudes express the fragility of the female form. This comes from a struggle she has had with her body for years. As a teenager she had anorexia and an unbalanced image of what the world expects from her. She explains: “ I still have this unhealthy relationship with food and my body, but as I matured, I have learned to express these feelings in my paintings with a shift in focus to the sexuality and beautiful form of the female body.” Her imagination and brain are always in supernova mode – being aware of everything around her and observing every emotion close-by. She therefore uses her keen observation to create ideas for paintings.
In 2018 she was awarded an artist residency at Tamarin Art Centre in Mauritius. She went there for one month and expanded her artistic horizons and is now included as one of the exhibiting artists at the Tamarin Art Gallery curated by Leanda Brass, well-known UK sculptor.