Born 1939 in Magaliesburg, but grew up in Welverdient near Potchefstroom.
His childhood friend Simon introduced him to drawing with a stick in the sand. After school he started working for the Post Office, but his interest in painting led him to study commercial arts part-time.
He took art lessons from Zakkie Eloff, where he learned how to do portraits in pastel and oil, and he drew inspiration from Eric Meyer's landscapes and the maters of the French impressionism. Small dealers took his first paintings, to exhibit them, and his work found buyers. "Encouraged by my instant success, I felt ready to face the world of an artist".
His studies, landscapes, city scenes, flower studies, still-life's, Cape people pulsating the joy of living, children playing, became sought after collector's items throughout SA.
Wessel Marais' ability to partray the captivating play of light and shadow in vibrant colours is a gift which is highly appreciated by his many admirers.