"Transformation - Nelson Mandela" original painting of Nelson Mandela in pastel over watercolor by artist Kim Novak. Copyright 2014 Kim Novak. All rights reserved.

Transformation – Nelson Mandela

"Transformation - Nelson Mandela" original painting of Nelson Mandela in pastel over watercolor by artist Kim Novak. Copyright 2014 Kim Novak. All rights reserved.
Transformation – Nelson Mandela


Pastel over Watercolor

The world has been amazed by Nelson Mandela’s power to bring people together, so when he died I wanted to create a painting to honor him. I tried showing his spirit transformed into a butterfly, with wings made up of his dream to form a Rainbow Coalition that included all races and all nations coming together in peace and harmony. I wanted the drips in my watercolor underpainting to represent the sweat and tears that were endured by himself and his people for their freedom.

I decided to add some miscellaneous creatures to accompany him on his journey as a gesture of his all-encompassing nature. He is about to lift off on a joyous adventure with his choir of voices singing in harmony as one!”

~ Kim NovaK, Artist


4 thoughts on “Transformation – Nelson Mandela”

  1. Kim, I just watched you in “Picnic” on tv. You were great! This led me then to your web site and I have spent the last hour admiring your art. Although I am an American, I did live and work for 5 years in South Africa while Madiba (Nelson Mandela) was alive, so I particularly like your work of him. I am a teacher in Las Vegas, and I go back tomorrow to start another school year – hopefully we can overcome the challenges of Covid. Kim, I wish you well and thank you for your wonderful work on the screen and canvas !
    -Tim Larson
    [email protected]

  2. Dear Ms. Novak,

    As an expat, Europhile, (I’ve lived in Europe for over 20-yrs), etc., I regret to say I’ve often removed myself from following news from across the pond, especially when the focus appears more about a person’s appearance or worse; matters of a more personal and/or private nature. And after learning of the rather disturbing and ugly public attack on you I wonder, is it me or America that has changed over the years? It never ceases to amaze me how mean the public can be. European media seems to emphasize more coverage to the intellect and less on the physical appearance. Yes, we do have our share of yellow journalists in the old country, but there appears to be more restraint and civility for the famous; especially legends like yourself.

    I’ve admired your work on the screen since I was teenager. We and others my age thought you were not only “drop-dead” gorgeous, but an equally dynamic actress, performing in various film classics.

    I was really impressed by your artwork. I had no idea you were such a good artist! Your work reflects a great deal of creativity, thought and detail. Especially the pieces on Mandela and of your self-portrait and dealing with ones’ demons; very moving and very well done.

    This is totally out of my character and rare for me, to write such a personal message to a stranger. But I felt compelled to react after such an outrageous and totally underserved attack on such an extraordinary person. Not sure if it changes anything, but at least for this one day you know of one person/fan/fellow resident of this planet, who also sees the ignorance in all of this.

    Please, keep on painting………I see nothing but beauty:-)

    cheers from Germany,


    Submitted on 2014/04/18 at 7:19 am

  3. Beautiful work! My favorites are your self portrait and Nelson Mandela! The way you fade hot color combinations to cool color combinations is genius.
    Thank you for standing up to haters that think looks are everything in this world. Those haters should check out a site called reallifeskin.com before they publish their hate for all posterity to see.

  4. Dear Kim NovaK: Having seen you on the Oscar telecast, I was prompted to read your bio on IMDB. What was of interest is that we were both born in ’33, are both from Chicago and both went to Wright Jr. College … probably at the same time. You came out here and got into films, and when I arrived in LA, I got into Television, rising to Director of Production for ABC TV Entertainment. My favorite show was The Academy Awards, having worked on 17 of those shows. Was wonderful fun.
    When I was taking Army Basic Training, my first weekend pass found me in a Theater in St Louis seeing Picnic, which I recall with great fondness to this day.
    Always thought you were a fine actress, and was so impressed to read that you are such an accomplished artist. Extremely imposing work. Guess it’s because I too am an admirer of impressionism and expressionism.
    Best wishes for your continued enjoyment of your work and inspirations.
    Mort Goldstein – A fan of your work as an actress and now even more so as a noteable artist.

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