Where is Schoenies?
Schoenies pronounced Schoonies (real name Schoenmakerkop) is a small seaside village on the southern coast of South Africa near Port Elizabeth. There are around 100 houses stretched along this thin strip of rugged coastline where the sun rises and falls over the sea making the village an artist’s and fisherman’s dream.
Over 190 species of birds have been recorded by residents in the village and offshore the sea is frequented by whales, dolphins and the famous sardine run during spring of each year.
" Schoenmakerskop (Schoenies if you are in a hurry) is a small coastal drinking community with a fishing problem on the east coast of South Africa. "– Friends Of Schoenmakerskop, Facebook
How I started painting
Photo above is of a commission I painted in June 2016
When I was an early teenager I found a book in the library in Hastings (GB) which was titled “How to Draw Horses” by John Sweet. Wow I thought the author has the same name as me. So I took it out and learnt how to draw horses!
Many years past and in the meantime I became a professional photographer and in those days that meant that we developed and printed our own black and white photos.
I became well known and at one stage Kodak highlighted my work and had me talk to an audience, a bit like TED talks, on how to market my methods of child portraits.
Years later I got hooked on BOB ROSS videos where he painted landscapes using a 2” brush oil painting ‘wet on wet’. This intrigued me and I copied his style as a hobby,
" You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy"– Bob Ross
Years later I retired, in fact it was just a few months ago. By then I had been painting about 20 years and it was time to retire. So I handed over my business to my wife and daughter and started painting full time for the fun of it. I then started painting what I really enjoyed, and that was seascapes and the subject was right on my doorstep.
Where to buy my work
Bespoke John Sweet creations are exclusively available from the artist.
"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream." – Vincent Van Gogh
For purchasing details please leave a message in the contact form
What inspires me
Living in this beautiful coastal village, I get inspired daily by just walking my dogs, whatever the weather, rough seas, beautiful dawns, stunning sunsets or just watching the whales and dolphins or the fisherman on the rocks I cannot wait to start another painting.
I will never run out of something to paint, with this incredible inspiration right on my doorstep
" Darling... would you like a string of pearls or a house at Schoenmakerskop?" – said Sir Edgar Walton to Lady Rita Walton | History of Schoenmakerskop; compiled by Joan Shaw
When I can, I give my paintings to local charities like SPCA where they sell or auction my work to help their funding.
The above painting was given to the local Animal Welfare as a token of gratitude for our brave little dog, Oscar, who we adopted.
My wife cried when I told her that I'd sold "Incoming Tide." This piece used to hang above our bed and reflect the morning sunlight beautifully.
Fortunately, she preferred the new painting put up in its place. Each and every art creation is meaningful and has a place in my heart.