Soulful Art on Special

Marina Jacobs got scolded for selling herself short this morning. Photos:

“Your prices are too low! Remember, you’re not selling a mere product. You’re selling a part of yourself,” someone scolded artist and gallery owner Marina Jacobs this morning.

The person was upset by her special offer. It states: “If you buy a Marina Jacobs painting to the value of R1500 or more, you qualify for a 25% discount on the purchase of a second painting.”

“Look, it’s only until 9 April,” Marina laughed. “I’ll let things go cheaply. I have to make place in the gallery for the other artists who want to exhibit here. At the moment there’s no space for them.”

Beach House Gallery @ MJ’s has been a hive of activity since its recent opening. On this Monday morning Marina looks unruffled, although there’s a cleaning service at work in the gallery, canvasses waiting in her studio, and arrangements to be made with artists wanting to exhibit here, and for an art walk featuring local talent.

Art & business
There’s a lineage of art and entrepreneurship in Marina’s family. She talks about her parents; two restless, brilliant individuals.

Mom Juli le Roux wrote poems that got published in anthologies; she also did up houses and sold them just when Marina really got to love living in them! Dad Willie le Roux attained success as a businessman in the field of civil engineering, in which he trained and practised.

“My farmer’s family farmed with potatoes in the Langkloof,” Marina recounts in her art-filled lounge. “The women were artistic and did things like pottery.” Her youngest brother still lives in that part of the countryside; he owns the famous Wolf Sanctuary near Plettenberg Bay. These fond memories probably inform Marina’s evocative rural scenes.

A blue landscape that hangs on the mezzanine level of the gallery compels one to look at it again and again. It seems to have a story to it. “It is not for sale,” Marina says, mysteriously.

What moves her about these settings, some of which are on the West Coast and some in the Northern Cape? “I wouldn’t mind living there,” Marina says, leaning back in her armchair, and pondering something that to her is deeply instinctual. “The simple lines of the house; the way the house becomes one with the landscape; the way they become weathered and old in the landscape. Colours, they excite me. Blues… The blues are everywhere around us here in Melkbosstrand. Greens… the way they interact with light. They are challenging.”

Pressure to paint certain subjects
“There is always pressure on one to paint certain subjects,” Marina says. She also paints evocative still lives and abstract pieces; while some of her canvases surprise with a joyous surreal element. A happy chance lead to Marina’s interest in landscapes.

In 2016 her son and daughter-in-law Elmien spent some time living with her in Rio Road. “It was my biggest inspiration,” she says of that time. “I enjoy being on my own, but Elmien’s enthusiasm boosted me to the extent that I worked so much that she later called me ‘The Machine.’

The entrepreneurs in Marina’s family have finally made peace with her doing art. Now, they’ll have to take into account that she’s embracing both parts of her lineage.

Marina Jacobs’ special offer runs until 9 April. Beach House Gallery @ MJ’s can be contacted at



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