Thursday, December 27, 2012

The simple things of life

This will be my last painting of 2012, it has been a busy year, and just like others has flown by in a blur of activity. Finding time to paint has been a challenge, and it looks as if I will continue to find time only in the evenings and on the weekends to paint. Of course there are other important things that I need to put first, and this makes my time to create even more rare, precious, and enjoyable.

After painting this boy I noticed that one can find great pleasure in such a simple activity (Pushing an old tyre around) It made me realise I too can focus on the simple things of life. In fact most of the happiest people whom I have met have been those living a simple and uncluttered life.

Unfortunately many of us have been brought up to believe that our wants, are actually our needs. Advertising bombards us with visual images of the so called good life, and we assume that if we don’t get that item, we will be unhappy. It does not take long to realise that real happiness has never come from the things we own, but rather from enjoying and sharing the simple things of life with those whom we love, and even with those whom we don’t know.

So I will be trying to simplify even more, and to focus on the more important things in life, rather than on the things that are here today, but gone tomorrow.

Our Life is frittered away by detail….simplify, simplify.
Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cape Buffalo Bull

Pen Drawing on A4 Paper

Here is a sketch that I did tonight , it is of a buffalo bull that I saw near Baines Camp in the Okavango Delta about a month back. I wanted to paint it, but just didn’t have the energy after a long day at work so I decided to do a Pen Drawing instead. I used three different pens to do this, a BIC ball point pen, a NS Liquid Ink Roller and a Staedtler Lumocolor permanent marker to fill in the large black areas. It took almost 2 hours to finish, but I would still like to do an oil painting of this.

Buffaloes are one of my favourite animals to see in the wild from a vehicle, but not on foot, since they have a reputation of charging first and asking questions later. It is not uncommon to hear reports of people who have been injured or killed by these beasts. Normally this happens when people are traveling on foot and happen to surprise one of these animals. It should not be strange that they are aggressive, since lions view them as prime game, and so it is only natural for them to go on the defensive and even to attack.
I remember the first time I saw some buffaloes on foot , which was while I was staying in Kasane.

 It was early in the morning, dew was still clinging to all the vegetation, which meant I was more interested in dodging the foliage so as not to get wet than paying attention to my immediate surroundings. That is why it came as a surprise when I thought I saw some cattle in the thick bush, but on closer inspection, turned out to be a herd of buffalo with calves. In order to get a better view, as well as to feel safe, I climbed a tree and spent some minutes watching them. Despite my good vantage point the wind was not in my favour and it was not long before they detected my presence and melted into the bush.
It is experience’s like this , when a person is alone with the wild, that one starts to cultivate a deep respect and awareness of nature. I still enjoy walking and exploring the bush when I have the opportunity to do so, however I am very careful, and never do it in areas where there is a high risk of meeting dangerous animals.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mozambique river boats

The use of colored pencils is often thought by some, as a medium only used by the beginner artist.However today, pencil art has taken a respected place among other well established art mediums.Although I prefer painting in oils,I still use other mediums such as colored pencil to express myself,and to capture the moment,and colors quickly.The benefits of colored pencil is that they are portable,they are not messy, and don't require any water or turpentine to clean up.

However if you do want a little bit of that watercolor effect,you should try using watercolor pencils.I was looking through my sketch books this evening and I came across some of my old watercolor pencil sketches such as the above.Although I looked around for these pencils I could not find them,but I hope they might still be packed in some box somewhere.Anyway I thought it would be better to post this drawing than continue searching for something that I didn't have a clue where they may be.

One artist that that amazed me with her colored pencil art is Nicole Caulfield ,her use of this medium is really inspiring.Another pencil artist Katherine Tyrrell who also maintains an excellent blog ( Making a Mark ) has written and provided some links for those interested in making a mark in watercolor pencil.Read two of her articles if you are interested in this medium watercolour pencils ,and ,watercolour pencil techniques .