Meet the Artist: Lizl Bode


Lizl Bode is an artist working mostly in graphite and ink and we were thrilled at her interpretation of Member Challenge #2.  The Sheep Cotton Ball Holder was inventive and original and rendered with a sensitive touch!

Lizl hails from Kuilsriver in Cape Town.

“I am a mom of three and I work freelance, from home, as an embroidery programmer (digitizer). Art has always been a part of my life in some creative form or another, but like most people, I really only started doing art on a more serious basis when my kids got a bit older. Apart from high school art and a year in college and an attempt to study Graphic design, I do not have any formal training. I did get my love for technical pens during that year at college though.”

I ask Lizl what draws her to her subjects – no pun intended!

“I am one of those people who sees pictures in random objects and everyday life, so art is always with me. I have always really been a portrait artist first, because I love people and have always tried to challenge myself to bring out each person’s personality and emotion in each drawing. Over the last year, though, I started enjoying drawing vintage objects, as I have always had a love for old things, especially shiny objects with a bit of texture and character.  I think, like portraits, vintage objects have a story to tell.”

As with a lot of other artists I chat to, Lizl admits that time is her biggest challenge. Juggling work and family and the need to find time to create art is a daily struggle.

Her medium of choice is graphite.

“The challenge for perfection is my biggest fascination and I feel that one can get a lot of fine details in with graphite. There are not many true graphite artists anymore, because most artists prefer to work with charcoal, so it makes learning how to use the medium properly, very difficult. So far graphite has been a lot of trial and error and experimenting for me.

I use clutch pencils mainly for my graphite work, so I can get finer detailing in my works. I do not have a go to paper brand at the moment, but I do choose hot pressed for the smoothness of the paper.”

Lizl’s art conveys so much texture and I love the the subtle ways she uses value to add dimension. As an artist who has never worked in only black and white I have to ask Lizl why she prefers monochrome. 

“Monochrome art, for me, is a very powerful artform, as it can convey an abundance of emotion and thought. Alan Perlis once said that “simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it”. This sums up monochrome art for me completely. I spend a lot time building up layers and layers of tonal value to create that final look of realism.

I do not have a reason as to why I do not work in colour; I have simply never been drawn to it. Other artists’ use of colour fascinates me, but I have never really had the attraction to try it myself. Maybe one day it will be my next challenge.”

If Lizl could sit down and have a chat with any artist, she’d pick Paul Cadden.

“He is probably the best hyper-realistic artist that I have come across, so I would love to sit and chat with him about his processes. I think I could learn a ton from him.

My biggest dream is to be able to create art full time. I don’t have one single proudest moment, but rather several, because each artwork I create is like one of my children.  Each time one of my creations hangs in a gallery or receives recognition – is very special to me.”