Cecilia Maartens was born in 1956 in Ermelo, South Africa, and has been living in Bloemfontein since 1988. Maartens was informally tutored in visual art practice by Joy Rousseau, artist and former lecturer in Visual Arts at the University of Potchefstroom; Johan Fourie, painting lecturer Motheo Technical College; the later Werner Wiid, former Head of the Arts Department at the Bloemfontein College of Education; and attended MarianDeNard’s art school for a year. She obtained a Basccalaureus Artium (UNISA) in 1981, BA (Hons.) Psychology (UFS) in 2004, and the Advanced University Diploma in Visual Arts (UNISA) in 2011.
Maartens practised traditional artmaking from 1986 until 2010, when she enrolled at UNISA for the Advanced University Diploma in Visual Arts, to develop her skills pertaining to conceptual art making. Resigning in October 2015 after 35 years of employment (as State Accountant for half that time), Maartens wished to devote her full attention to her art studies. She held an exhibition and obtained a Master’s degree in Visual Arts with distinction at the University of the Free State in 2019.
Maartens was selected as a finalist (2017 and 2018) in the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition presented annually in collaboration with the Association of Arts Pretoria. The oil painting Remembering, forgetting and imagining, and the nine-piece acrylic painting Intensities were included in the respective catalogues. Additionally, was selected for three consecutive years (2016, 2017 and 2018) as finalist for the Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition and the following artworks concurrently formed part of the relevant group exhibitions: Decalcomania – a trace memory (2016), Innere Klänge #1 and #2 as well as Waiting for the next move (2017) and Feelings#1-#4 (2018). Two commissioned 20 x 20 cm paintings and the oil painting Waiting for the next move are included in Phatshoane Henney Attorneys’ private art collection.