Born 1949 in Mutare, in the eastern part of Zimbabwe on a family farm, Sue Maas graduated from the Bulawayo School of Art with a Commercial Art Diploma in 1969. In 1970 Sue married Frik Maas a farmer’s son in the same valley and the couple moved to a family farm in Mozambique which we managed for two years until theborder between Mozambique and Zimbabwe was closed due to the bush war.
Sue’s interest in wildlife painting began when she and her husband moved to Fothergill Island in Kariba and she began to paint there. The couple and their two children lived and worked in the safari business for the next ten years, managing safari camps and having the unique experience of building a safari along with another couple, which they named Tiger Bay. During this time of raising children and managing the camps Sue had the privilege of being able to view the game up close [very close!] and build up a suitable library of photographs taken by her husband for future use. Little time was available to paint at that time. However, when the couple moved back to the village in Kariba, Sue began to paint in earnest, exhibiting regularly in Harare. In 1990 the Maas family moved to Lesotho where Sue and her husband were instrumental in founding the Lesotho Conservation Trust. Sue had her first solo exhibition in Lesotho and subsequent exhibitions were used to raise awareness for the fragile eco system in that country. She also sold her work through the Johannesburg Sun Gallery, along with further joint and two man exhibitions in Lesotho and South Africa.
In 1991 the Maas family moved to Cape Town, South Africa. Sue and her sister in-law established a business transferring the images of the wildlife she loved so much onto textiles. For the next nine years the two ladies concentrated on this venture, building it up into a sizable business supplying a number of curio shops world wide. Sue found little time to pursue her painting in that period. In 1997 Frik returned to Zimbabwe to assist Sue’s brother on the family farm just outside Mutare and eighteen months later Sue joined him there and they built their ‘dream home’ on the farm along with a large work room/studio for the textiles and her painting.
Sadly the farm was occupied in 2001 and Frik and Sue had to make the difficult decision to move back to South Africa.
The couple moved back to the Cape to a small cottage outside Stellenbosch where Sue pursues her God given talent, she has now made painting her fulltime career. Sue is very particular about the detail of her work but also loves to experiment with textures though her preferred medium is oil paint. Her subject matter also varies with a preference for the wildlife that she loves so much and also the indigenous people in Africa.