Elga grew up on a farm in South Africa in the province of Mpumalanga as the second of five children. She matriculated in Piet Retief High School in 1967, before studying in the Teachers Training College in Durban. After teaching for three years Elga decided that teaching art was not her passion and started to do what she liked most, she painted. With very little experience but a lot of motivation she let her creative juices flow until she had enough paintings for an exhibition.
Her first exhibition she held in a poster Shop in Durban. A little newspaper write-up was one of the reasons why she immediately sold 75% of her work. Her paintings were done in a variety of different mediums, including watercolour, pastel, oil, charcoal sketches, pencil sketches and even batic and etchings. Her portraits drew most attention with the customers. That was the beginning of a series of exhibitions in the province of Kwa Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga.
In 1976 she got married to a farmer in Greytown area of Kwa Zulu Natal, where she is still living today. She enjoys the close-to-earthness, and finds the tranquility and peace of country-life very inspirational. Raising four children and farming kept her and her husband busy for a while and her art had to play second fiddle. Apart from giving art classes and doing portraits of children, she didn’t do much art until the children were much older.
Elga started taking her art more serious again in 1990. Apart from exhibiting her own paintings and doing childrens portraits, a company in Johannesburg, bought her wildlife paintings. Elga’s Father was a keen big game hunter and also went hunting in quite a few countries in Africa and abroad. Elga spent enough time in the African bush to develop a passion for nature and wild animals . She knows the habits of the different animals and enjoys painting them in their natural surroundings.
Apart from the African wild life, Elga also appreciates the African people in all their different cultures and loves capturing them in their traditional gear and ethnic beauty. The owner of Mark Galleries saw her paintings and for a few years bought everything she produced. Since March 2007, Elga works more independently and sells her paintings mainly on the Internet.
A few exclusive Galleries, like Crouse Art, the biggest gallery owners in the country exhibit her work, also the Johan Smith Gallery in Clarens.
Elga gives painting classes twice a month to almost 20 adult artists from many parts in Kwa Zulu Natal. She teaches in various mediums like oil, pastel, watercolour, acrylic and mixed medium. They have an annual exhibition in Greytown in October which is an exciting and well attended exhibition with work of a very high standard.
Elga has taken part in numerous exhibitions, nationally and internationally, including the following; THE BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC, ANTIQUARIUS GALLERY- NEW YORK, NEW YORK ART EXPO, PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL, CARDIFF/SA TRADE AND DÉCOR SHOW and in 2006, an exhibit at the UNITED NATIONS IN GENEVA.