Thursday, 12 August 2010

Marwell Wildlife Art Exhibition

It's August and that means the annual MWAS exhibition in Marwell Zoo Hampshire. Now in its 12th year, this event has grown to be one of the biggest wildlife art exhibitions in the UK and is a great place to see and buy some wonderful works of art. This year I will be exhibiting four pieces in the show, including 'Evening Flight' shown here. This old barn was a derelict building when I found it on the Morestead road between Winchester and Bishop's Waltham. Overwhelmed with nettles and brambles, it seemed the perfect home for a Barn Owl and I could imagine one nesting there and then flying out to quarter the adjacent fields in the evening light. I notice now that this barn is being renovated and turned into a home, which is the fate of many old barns in our countryside. Lovely to live in such a place but I can't helping feeling a little sad to see the nettles scraped away and the brambles dug up, removing the homes and food of butterflies and moths. Voles and mice will find no hiding place in new concrete and gravel and the Owls will look elsewhere for a nest site. Maybe the new owner will consider putting up an Owl box just incase one should wish to share the space. What a privilege to have an Owl as a lodger.

Marwell International Wildlife Art Society Exhibition
26 -30th August, 2010
Marwell Hall, Marwell Wildlife, Colden Common,
Winchester, Hants, SO21 1JH.
For more details please contact

Monday, 9 August 2010

Sketching in Savuti

Sitting and sketching on the banks of the newly flowing Savuti Channel in Northern Botswana. So peaceful with just the calls of Hornbills and the tapping of a woodpecker in the trees beside me and the sound of fish rising to feed in the river.

Back to Botswana

I was very lucky to return to Botswana for a safari this July/August. Wow! What an amazing trip. For the first time I travelled in to the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans to sleep under the stars and meet a family of wild Meerkats. It is hard to describe how empty but how beautiful this place is. The silence and simple palette of colours is mesmerising and so inspiring. In comparison, the lush greens and golds of the Okavango Delta was a total contrast. Experiencing some of the highest water levels in 40 years, parts of the Delta and neighbouring Savuti Marsh are now under water and carpetted in water lillies. I was so lucky to be able to visit African Horseback in the heart of the Okavango Delta and ride with some of the most experienced riding escorts I have ever met. Both horses and riders were superb and it was the most wonderful way to watch wildlife. Elephants and buffalo, warthogs and antelope largely ignored the horses and the peace of riding through Mopane forests and vast savannah was overwhelming. I loved being there. Such an inspiring place in which to paint.