A lion rolls onto his back & yawns. A cheetah surveys the morning horizon. Alerted impala cock their ears & an elephant raises his trunk to the scent on the wind –
these are the moments I wait for – this is why I paint.
South Africa is my home & theirs. We are warmed by the same earth-baking sun,
cooled by the same dust-soaking rains & united by our love of the grass, trees, rivers
& skies of this land. My hand seems guided to draw attention to the gift we have in
these creatures and to represent them.
My intimate knowledge of African wildlife & their magnificent detail is the result of
many hours spent amongst them, photographing them & observing their
behaviour. This time not only connects me to them, but obligates me to honour
their natures by correctly & sincerely portraying them.
In my Sepia series, my intent is always to focus on the character of the animal which
is conveyed through the eyes & body language. This is achieved through thoughtful
composition, omission of background & a limited colour palette. Working in acrylic
paint allows me to create highly detailed texture, accentuating posture &
movement while keeping focal points, such as eyes, soft & life-like.
In my Sun series, I specifically use colour to convey the mood of the animal & it’s
relationship with the African sun in all its’ vibrant hues. As it washes wildlife in colour
– burning outlines & blending them with their surroundings, I single out the most
intense hue of any given scene & amplify it. I use liquid acrylic for its vibrant
pigment & unpredictable nature – which seems aptly comparable to that of wildlife,
and in a loser, more spontaneous application, sun & mood become one.