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 wind - these are the moments I wait for - this is why I paint. South Africa is my home & theirs. I share the soil beneath my feet with them. We are united by our love of the grass, trees, rivers & skies of this land & our need for freedom to safely roam within it. 
My hand seems guided to draw attention to the gift we have in these creatures and to represent them. The shapes, textures & moods of nature provide an endless palette of inspiration. When asked which artist I am most influenced by, my answer is always "God - His work inspires me every day". 

About

For a time, I lived side-by-side with wild animals in the African bush. I frequently found myself surrounded by elephants. unable to do much more than simply wait it out & observe them. Their detail. down to the last tiny hair on a trunk or vein of an ear, fascinated me. Their small, yet soulful eyes spoke of a wisdom & gentleness that awoke a desire in me to paint them & tell their story. 
  
My love of detail goes back as far as I can remember. My childhood teachers were feathers, seedpods, thorn branches & dead bugs - nature's artworks, lovingly collected for their intricacies & wonder & all sources of great inspiration. These days, while still tempted by such bushveld treasures. My close encounters with some of Africa's mighty & not-so-mighty creatures, is the well I tap into for creativity. My teachers are the inhabitants of the bush who constantly inspire me as I watch them hunt play, rest nurture & survive. 
  
Every click of my camera captures a moment in the lives of the magnificent wildlife I paint. While not every shot tells the story I'm after, my eyes have been trained to seek out the details that will do just that The light in an eye, the tilt of a head or the kink in a whisker can often say more about an animal's nature than I could ever verbally express. 
  
I have been greatly influenced by photography & many years of art directing in the advertising & graphic design world where I learned the art of thoughtful composition & simplifying for a more dramatic effect My transition into a monochromatic colour scheme was gradual yet deliberate as I realised the focus of each painting was being drawn to the character of the animals by eliminating colour. The exclusion of surroundings further emphasized this - suddenly, with nothing else to look at, the very spirit of the animal commanded attention. 
  
It is said that when buying an artist's work you are buying days, weeks & months of frustration as well as moments of pure joy. You are buying countless hours of experimentation, failures & a moment in someone's life. I believe that the same can be said of the animals I paint. Their existence is difficult but marvellous. Days are filled with challenges brought upon them by mother nature & humankind alike, yet elation can be found with the first rains or a newly born antelope finding its feet.

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