Saturday, May 14, 2011

Botswana collection - Painting #1 finished

It's not an elephant!

Yes, I suppose it would be expected that my first painting towards my Elephants for Africa Exhibition Project should be an elephant... but well, seems I've surprised a few people by doing a bird instead. It's good to try and not be predictable sometimes.

Although the exhibition is going to feature elephants heavily (pardon the pun), I also want to encompass the other animals of the Okavango as well. This image of a pied kingfisher was in my head and it felt the right one to start with - a nice simple composition to get the ball rolling, so to speak. I could have done it with a sunny blue backdrop, but that would also have been fairly predictable, wouldn't it!

First thing in the morning and late in the afternoon, just before the sun dips below the horizon, on clear bright sunny days everything becomes bathed in unbelievable colours. Deep yellow and golds, peaches and mauves intermingle with cold blues. A short magical spell of time at each end of the day when the light is so colourful and, to me, inspiring.

I'm not sure what my next Okavango piece will be yet... maybe an elephant... maybe not. Watch this space!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


I can’t believe it has been a month since I have been back from Botswana… already! I have reluctantly settled back into the routine of city life and I’m trying not to miss the sights and sounds of the Delta. But it’s not easy; as the saying goes… those memories will stay with me forever.

Needless to say my time spent there was incredible, every day was an adventure, delight and awe-inspiring. It has been hard to put it into words for my friends and family back here at home, when they ask about my trip; but I think most of them know just how much it meant to me to be able to go there and spend that amount of time in the bush. I shall be eternally grateful to Dr Kate Evans and her team at Elephants For Africa (EFA), for their time and for making me feel so welcome. And also Seba Camp managers, Chris and Heather, and all their staff who looked after me so well; I highly recommend Seba Camp as a place to stay if you should ever visit the Okavango Delta.

I really hope that one day I can return and immerse myself in that wonderful place again, but first I have an exhibition to paint for, which will take me a few years. I started my first studio painting at the weekend and am finding myself eager to finish it so I can start another and then another. I have many ideas flowing in my head… it’s just a case of being able to paint them all!