Portchie was born on the 23rd of November 1963. He was the son of a vegetable farmer and storeowner and grew up in Tweeling in the Free State. He matriculated and obtained his B-Com degree in Stellenbosch.
He began painting in 1991 as a hobby, but decided to take it up full time after exhibiting 100 paintings and subsequently, selling every single one in one evening. He moved to Stellenbosch in 1995 where galleries started to buy paintings from his studio.
Portchie has since been a very busy man with 57 solo and 39 joint exhibitions, in both South Africa and abroad. To date he has made and sold over 8 000 paintings, and reckons it is because of the unique character of his work. His paintings are a mixture of impressionism and expressionism, boldly expressed in a naïve manner.
“Personally I think it is easy to start a fresh style without the influence of a mentor. I work with a concept of happiness and happiness can best be expressed with colour, and that is why my paintings are so very colourful. I always paint the trees in my paintings with shades of blues because I believe the air filter through the trees and air is blue. If so much blue filters through the trees, then it must certainly rub off..?”
Portchie prefers to work with people doing the simple things in life, like reading, riding a bicycle or skipping rope.
At exhibitions he always works with a third old paintings, a third new paintings and a third experimental paintings. He always encourages young artists to try something fresh, rather than copying or trying to do someone else’s work better. :There is no right and wrong in art, the secret lies in the originality of the work.”