Saturday, March 6, 2010

Impala's Soul

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."
~Herb Caen~

Animals are wonderful to paint... not only do they show character and expression, love and energy but they have the ability to creep into the hearts of all that know them. 

The juvenile Impala that were prounching and pronking around at Jejane Nature Reserve were a delight to watch. We were in hysterics at their antics, I just had to capture these lovely graceful little creatures with my camera. The Impala are very common in South African Game Reserves and are often overlooked as they seem to be grazing around every corner and hill. One starts becoming complacent every time we see them. It's such a shame! We take it for granted as we know there are more herds over the next rise and just drive straight past them.   Meanwhile, they have the most wonderful markings and colouring and have gorgeous big eyes, I think that's where the expression 'doe eyed' comes from........ I also love this quote........

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~ Martin Buber

I did a watercolour of a male ram I captured as he looked on, totally bemused by his offspring's 'race day'. This expression was a delight to paint...... hope you love his expression too!
 Male Impala

This is the study sketch I did to get his colouring...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My 'Gift'

This weekend we spent the most wonderful time at a private nature reserve called Jejane in the eastern part of South Africa just outside Hoedspruit.  Our friends have a wonderful holiday home there and are blessed to be able to enjoy nature at her best.

I am at peace in the 'bush' and find my soul when I'm there, I ditch the heels and make-up and throw on the casual bush attire and comfy hiking shoes. A paint brush and camera are never far at hand. This little quote reminded me of why the bush gives my heart pleasure and brings contentment to my restless spirit.

"The human spirit needs a place where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man." ~Unknown

Although I took all my paints with me, I  didn't get the opportunity to sketch, let alone paint anything, but took loads of photographs. We spent most of the day on the game drive and then retired to the 'boma' (an outside deck or reed/wooden enclosed area) where we set up a braai (barbecue). We sat chatting about the day or just caught up on 'life' over a few glasses of wine. We retired early as we were sapped from the exhilarating adventures in the bush.  The evenings were wonderfully warm and the stars tried very hard for us, although the clouds where giving signals of it bringing overcast weather for the day ahead. In most cases this is wonderful for game viewing as the animals don't tend to hide under trees for shelter from the scorching sun and are easily visible in the veld.


As a thank you gift to our friends, I painted a scene of one of the roads in the reserve. They were thrilled with it. Hopefully, next time we're invited, I'll be able to see this painting framed and adorning one of the walls in their lovely home.......

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunshine Award


I'm Honoured to be receiving this Sunshine Award from Jane Minter of Jane Minter's Sketchbook.What a lovely surprise. Thank you Jane!

As a nominee of this Award, I have to follow the rules by choosing 12 artists or blogs I think deserve to have a bit of sunshine too, 12 blogs I admire and enjoy following. Please take time to view their amazing work. I know of many more inspiring painting friends whom I follow and would love to share their work with you, but the rules are only 12.

The rules for accepting this award are simply to:

1. Post the Sunshine Award logo on your blog, on your post or both.
2. Pass this onto 12 bloggers who you admire.
3. Inform them of the award.
4. Link the person who awarded you in the first place.