Coconut Palms and Rambutans; Abstract Paintings and Thai Sunsets in the Andaman Sea…..

“For our Thai beach holiday, (which was planned to co-ordinate a family holiday with a friends’ wedding), we were delighted and lucky to use Travel Portfolio…I cannot fault the initial itinerary options and efficient friendly feedback that we received from Hayley and all the Travel Portfolio Team.The final result was a seamless and enjoyable holiday, all eventualities planned for, including land and ocean transfers. Travel Portfolio ensured that delightful representatives on the ground at our destination to answer our questions and guide us towards fun tours and activities. A great experience, thanks to the caring Travel Portfolio Team.” 

A seamless flight via Singapore’s Changi airport, an airport delightfully filled with orchids ….

and MORE orchids…orchids everywhere- a feast for the senses….

and elegant Koi fish to distract from the tedium of air travel!!……..

Sunset Beach Resort on Phuket Island, Thailand, was a perfectly positioned haven, commanding views of the ocean and sunset, on Kata Beach, north of the busy tourist beach of Patong.

In the late afternoon Muslim food vendors arrived on motorbikes loaded with canopies and cooking utensils to set up their kitchens in front of the rocky beach and the sunset . A delicious way to snack on local delicacies and view spectacular sunsets at the same time, before hitting the nightlife of Bangla Road!  

Staff were welcoming, the courtyard swimming  pool was surrounded by flowers, palms and birdsong

Spider lilies at the poolside…

The Thai massage came highly recommended……and the ocean view bar was a delightful way to start or end the day…..

A free shuttle bus ran regularly from Sunset Beach Resort, to ferry guests to crazy, commercial, busy but fun-filled Patong Beach….!!!!

Our calm and peaceful sunset view:

I ate yummy street food, overlooking these rocks…stunning!

inspired by rocks and ocean spray, my abstract painting:

For me, meeting long-lost Australian family was a highlight, such special little boys…

The delightful Khun Yai (Miss Yai) was our Tour East representative, who visited us at the resort and answered all our questions with enthusiasm. Her advice was welcome and she directed us to two tours that we really found worthwhile:A full day Andaman sea kayak tour to Phan Nga Bay- on a very comfortable boat, delicious lunch provided (plus the life jackets and safety talks were of very good quality), before we embarked on three man kayaks to explore the limestone caves and bays of the area.

Kelli and Anton….

All the guides and the boat host himself were of character- much banter and fun had by all and absolutely spectacular kayaking.

a mysterious limestone cave beckons…..

Overhangs of jutting limestone teeth remind me of fossilized dragon’s jaws…

Maybe I have been watching too many dragon movies, such as “How To Train Your Dragon” with Ethan, whose passion for dragons exceeds even mine! Here is his wonderful sketch of “Toothless”:

mangrove trees and roots…inhabited by macaque monkeys and mudskippers!

With the monsoons due to begin, the water was sometimes a bit silted…

Each kayak was manned by a Thai guide and held two guests.

A half day Phuket Tour, viewing and photographing the gorgeous coastline, visiting a cashew nut factory and a stunning gem factory. Cashew flowers:

We caught a comfortable ferry to Koh Phi Phi and were efficiently transported five minutes form the pier by longboat to our next hotel the charming Bay View Resort, situated in the curve of the bay against a steep hill of forest and flowers…and a little bit away from the hustle and bustle of Koh Phi Phi dockside. 

Our room was decorated beautifully…..

Sunset on  our stretch of the beach, Ko Phi Phi:

Our room had a stunning view of the bay through tall forest trees, filled with fascinating birdlife and various geckos and lizards. 

Imperial Pied Pigeons flitted past constantly….a new bird for us, one of the THOUSAND bird species that Thailand boasts!

Our section of the beach was sheltered and it was lovely to swim in the  more peaceful waters,

away from the longboat-filled beaches and resorts further towards the pier!!!

stunning longboats, with garlands for prayer and safe-keeping on the open ocean….

blissful mornings spent swimming swimming swimming……

Beaches made for fun and running……


sand perfect for drawing and creating….


Food at various restaurants in Kho Phi Phi was delicious. 

Tuna poke bowl:

hot and sour creamy coconut and chicken soup…mmmmmmmm

My paintings were inspired by the  coconut palm and ocean sunsets:

sky and seascapes inspiration

Stunning flowers everywhere ….

Wonderful exotic fruits such as rambutans- much like a huge litchi in flavor!! 



And of course the infamous Durians beloved of the Chinese, and banned from most establishments due to its pungent odour…

Caught a longboat ferry – fabulous scenery past quaint stilted palm-thatched bungalows perched high against the cliffs…..

to the north of Koh Phi Phi for our friends wedding –

Symphony in blue

Little boys dressed up…

gorgeous brides….

sweet whispers…

fabulous bridesmaids…

Kelli and Bianca watch Robyn and Jaime plant a tree….

The stunning venue and scenery made for a perfect event, with a beach-themed cake made by our  very own Zimbabwean master chef, Dean Jones!

Dean making last minute adjustments to his creation….

what better than a boat-filled sunset at a beach wedding….

only thing better is a palm-filled sunrise the next day….

on Phi Phi we discovered all sorts of fun stuff: coconut cocktails and fire dancers on the beach, best Pad Thai noodles at a tiny food stall, great donuts made by a Muslim lady in the market and a fabulous dive/snorkel school, with whom we went on a snorkeling trip- very professional and safety conscious/ the sea rather silted due to the beginning of the monsoons but still fascinating- we saw black tip sharks and a turtle,  and a myriad of anemones, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, crabs and colorful fish. 

Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, aeroplane, Andaman Sea, art, beauty, bio diversity, birding, birds, cooking, crafts, culture, destination wedding, edible plant, elephants, exotic wedding, family, Fish, fishing, flowers, food, food culture, full moon, gardens, gardens and flowers, insects, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, make up, make up artist, molluscs, photography, plankton, predators, re-cycled products, Sabi Stars, sculpture, sketching, slow food, spa, Thai Food, thailand, tradition, travel, turtles, waterbirds, wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Wolf Wines; Wild Dogs and Wine Tastings Triumph at Chilo!

The wine and wild dog weekend was a great success

walks in the wild

wild dog photos by Xenia Kuhn seeing a den with adult wild dogs !

No one saw actual pups – who hid down the den in the limited time that people were able to be at the den- but everyone saw adult dogs after a  long drive and a Chilojo Cliffs trip … very rewarding. Everyone joined the wine tasting on the beach,

gorgeous snacks on the edge of the Gonarezhou wilderness,

including Xenia’s group. Most successful.)

Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, africa, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, african wildlife conservation fund, animal rights, anti poaching, arid areas, art, baobab, beauty, bio diversity, bush camps, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, clive stockil, coats of many colours, community conservation, conservation, conservation education, cooking, cultural beliefs, dogs, eco-tourism, endangered species, flowers, food, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, gonarezhou national park, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, lowveld, painted dog conservation, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines, painted wolves, photography, Poaching, predators, prey, Save River, travel, wild dogs, wilderness, wildlife trade, wine, wines, wolves, wood sculpture, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Skulls and Flowers; Life and Death in the Garden of Eden

Skulls have always fascinated me, and bones; we start dying from the minute we are created, a natural process not to be feared but embraced, truly the stuff of LIFE….

the decaying buffalo skull adorned by a blue tailed skink in my Tsavene Bush house garden

I collect skulls from the wilderness, and they sit amongst the indigenous plants that I nurture in my bush garden at Tsavene, Save Valley Conservancy.

in my art studio I slowly and happily work up my drawings of buffalo and warthog skulls into paintings…

the art space in the bush house…spot a “tribute to Georgia O’Keefe” by my dearest friend and artist, Bronwen Evans…

A finished artwork, Buffalo Skull and Aloes….

Buffalo Skull and Aloe leaves, acrylic on stretched canvas, 80 x 53 cm by Lin Barrie

How can I not be inspired by my Garden of Eden, the cycles of life, the indigenous flowers, insects, earth, rebirth and decay…

Skulls and flowers grow happily together, Vincas, aloes and crossandras vie for space with my found objects, skulls and giant snail shells…

Warthog skulls are particularly graphic, surreal and inviting to draw…to make marks….

and this is turning into a painting…

acrylic on canvas, in progress….

The finished piece…..Njiri, acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 82 x 89 cm

(Njiri is shona for warthog……)

PS: my favourite tool for Making Marks is an old palette knife inherited from my dear father, Arthur Barrie…

More sketching; the warthog skull and the garden so pleases me…

field work; en plein air…..

it grows……

and matures into a finished piece…“Warthog Skull, with crossandras and vincas”, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 2 feet

“Warthog Skull, with crossandras and vincas”, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 2 feet

Many more skulls and flowers are to come out of my studio and my garden….watch this space…. Wildebeeste skull next and possibly Mr Gudo…..

Here is Mr Gudo guarding my portal, his fierce visage softened by the gentle Crossandra flowers…

Crossandra flowers are waterwise, hardy and indigenous to our lowveld, rewarding and unassuming, they bloom profusely and give me great joy…(I use them to decorate food plates, and place settings, having eaten the delicate peach flowers for weeks to prove to myself that I won’t kill my guests…!)

They even match the Pantone colour of the year, “Living Coral”!!! an interior decorators dream….

Crossandra growing with a Euphorbia, the spiny and the gentle…both plants I have collected from the wilderness around me…

and in parting, a strangely satisfying, sadly macabre, chiromantis tree frog, whom I found recently, deeply embedded on the cover of one of my favourite drawing books…a sad left-over from last winter’s hibernation, who did not make it with the new rains of the season to the waterhole at our house, but perished between the covers of the art books on my book shelf….

(warning this blog contains a graphic image!)

a graphic caricature….set against my “Sunset Impressions” artwork…
Posted in abstract art, Africa, africa, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, aloes, amphibians, arid areas, art, art collaboration, baboons, beauty, bees, bio diversity, books, drawing, eco-tourism, edible plant, flowers, frogs, gardens, gardens and flowers, giant African snail, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Honey gatherers, insects, interior decor, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, lowveld, predators, prey, reptiles, Save Valley Conservancy, sculpture, Senuko, sketching, skulls, treasure, wilderness, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What do Wallpaper and Wild Dogs have in common… Lin Barrie Art!

My wallpapers and soft furnishings/fashion fabrics (art collaborations with Robin Sprong, Sarza Store, Fabric Bank and Photoganic), are inspiring additions to my passion for painting…this is “Eventide”, available through Robin Sprong as a wallpaper…..

Eventide wallpaper

The Lin Barrie wallpaper range strangely melds with my favourite animal subjects, those lean, charismatic and oh-so-elegant African wild dogs that I am lucky to live with!

Here is “Painted Purple”, a diptych of Wild dogs, (AKA Painted Wolves or Painted Dogs, call them what you will, all the same glorious Lycaon pictus…….!)

Painted Purple diptych, acrylic on loose canvas, 54 x 39 cm by Lin Barrie

and this is “Soft Silt”- one of my wallpapers….

and WOW! just look at the synergy and energy created when they hang together…!

I guess you could say my style is abstract/impressionistic, whether dealing with landscapes or the natural animal world… all one big ecosystem as far as I am concerned…

Here is “Eventide” wallpaper, simulated with a wild dog painting of mine, “Pep Rally II”, acrylic on loose canvas, 106 x 180 cm …..

Pep Rally II, acrylic on loose canvas, 106 x 180 cm and Eventide Wallpaper, all by Lin Barrie

on a brighter note…my “New Dawn” diptych…

New Dawn diptych 2, and 1, acrylic on canvas, 2 x 2 feet

which abstract wallpaper lives beautifully with …….

Phoenix reclinata, acrylic on loose canvas, 145 x 86 cm, is one of the many indigenous palms I love painting,

Phoenix reclinata, acrylic on loose canvas, 145 x 86 cm

and look how it lives happily with “Eventide” wallpaper…

Making Marks” is what I love best, gestural and expressive marks on canvas or walls, or fabric….. on anything in fact!

here is “Autumn”, a wallpaper I created with Robin Sprong,

Autumn wallpaper

Sarza Store’s gorgeous Gold Bottom Pot, with Lin Barrie wild dog art and “autumn” wallpaper…..

Sarza Store’s gorgeous Gold Bottom Pot, with Lin Barrie wild dog art and “autumn” wallpaper

and translated into a great fabric by Fabric Bank…

my wildebeests skull with my “Autumn” fabric…

and the elemental chairs by Haldane Martin, using this fabric…

Haldane Martin chairs and Autumn fabric by Lin Barrie, printed by Fabric Bank

check out my wallpaper and art catalogues….

Wallpapers by Lin Barrie:

Art by Lin Barrie:

Posted in abstract art, Africa, africa, African child, African flora, African wild dogs, african wildlife, art, art collaboration, beauty, bio diversity, dogs, eco-tourism, endangered species, Fabric, fabric design, furnishings,, interior decor, interior design, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, Lin Barrie publication, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, painted wolves, photography, predators, printed fabric, soft furnishings, wallpaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mahove Tented camp; Big skies and Terrapins, Lions and Waterlilies

Across the still-high Save River by boat, and into the Park, past the parks reception and found skulls…

this small warthog skull speaks to me, I love the funky shapes and moods of bone and skulls, and have just finished some skull paintings, (watch for my next blog!)… here is a sketch meanwhile…

the adventure begins… endless big skies…

look at that light! painting coming!

A few days spent at Mahove Tented Camp in Gonarezhou National Park is balm for the soul and feast for the eyes and ears…
baobabs and lala palms frame every view…

Mahove is situated on the banks of the Runde River in true wilderness…

Safari chairs on the edge of wilderness await the happy guests….as endless elephant cow herds shepherd their babies to the Runde River to drink- here are two photographs from a previous trip, by fabulous Zimbabwean guide, story teller and photographer, Garth Thompson…

Garth Thompson photographs

To be hosted by legendary African Guides Garth Thompson and Clive Stockil- who could ask for more!?

Warm welcome home to our returning guests..basket hand-made by the mahenye ladies…

Gorgeous greeting card – photograph by Catrine Russell and handmade basketry by the Mahenye Community…

mahove tent interiors are simply decorated, bush-wise and welcoming…

At this time of the year, end of the Zimbabwean rainy season, the baobab and Kirkia leaves are turning yellow, drifting down across the red earth in washes of egg yolk. Albida trees shine on the far bank in the late afternoon sun as evening spreads its wings and far away jackals, songdogs of Africa, begin to sing…..

The dark and starry night brings multiple lion roars, the quintessential raw sound of Africa. Two lions call close and constantly on our side of the river as we have a dinner of tilapia fish…and two call the other side, a duet of tremendous power that floats us to our tents and backs up our dreams through till the early hours…

Shumba, acrylic painting by Lin Barrie, 3 x 3 feet.

A morning game drive finds many vultures perched on baobabs near our camp, lion kill very likely but hard to spot the Shumba in the dense vegetation…

Then comes a huge Dustbin-lid sized terrapin, trundling along on the dusty road, destination must be a preferred pan somewhere, unerring instinct directing the heavy body on the alien earth. Wow…are those lion bite-marks on his shell? I wonder….

Tembweharta Pan is stunning, a picnic spot par excellence and the promising rain clouds are inspiration for me-another Big Sky painting growing in my mind…….

Here is a waterlily painting diptych that I completed last year during the rains season at Mahove…the pans this year are yet again filled with these white beauties…

White Waterlilies (diptych), acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 130 cm each panel

Mahove baobabs are spectacular anytime, but best at sunrise I think, to be enjoyed with a cup of fresh brewed coffee, the promise of a new day beckoning…..

and the Lala palms are a graceful reminder that so much in the Mahove camp is owing to their amazing fronds, woven into place mats, baskets and wall panels…truly creative plants and food for grateful elephants as well…

the flood plains near Mahove are parklike, with precisely topiaried trees gracing the view, refuge of eland and wildebeest and hunting ground of African wild dogs…

these big skies are killing me, canvas and paint is needed!

I am building work and ideas towards a Skyscapes exhibition, somewhere, sometime….here is one completed piece:

Big Sky, acrylic on loose canvas, 101 x 178 cm, by Lin Barrie
Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, arid areas, art, baobab, beauty, bio diversity, birding, bush camps, Changana people, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, clive stockil, community conservation, conservation, conservation news, cooking, culture, eco-tourism, education, elephants, endangered species, fire, flowers, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, interior decor, interior design, landscape, leopards, Lin Barrie Art, lions, lowveld, Machangana culture, mopani trees, Painted Dogs, painted wolves, photography, Poaching, predators, prey, pups, Rainy. Season, reptiles, Rivers, runde river, safari guide, SAVE, Save River, serenity, travel, waterbirds, wild dogs, wilderness, wolves, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Painted Wolves at Chilo Gorge: Wine and Wild Dogs galore!

Painted Wolves will be returning to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge SOON!

whether you call them by their full latin name Lycaon pictus, or by their other names African wild dogs, Painted Wolves, or Painted dogs… they are all the same unique species, glorious “paintable” animals that we celebrate!

This yearly event has been a catalyst for Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge and Jeremy and Emma Borg of Painted Wolf Wines,

to bring together great wines,

my Pictus III wine label, featuring Snare the wild dog who was rescued from a terrible wire snare…

sound conservation researchers African Wildlife Conservation Fund.

together with delighted guests who have a love for African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus….

Painted Purple diptych, acrylic on loose canvas, 54 x 39 cm
Painted Purple diptych, by Lin Barrie, acrylic on loose canvas, 54 x 39 cm

Last year after the annual event, a donation of $ 3,600.00 was donated to the African Wildlife Conservation Fund towards their ongoing education and conservation programs for African wild dogs in the South East lowveld of Zimbabwe….

we can’t wait for the event this year…we’re getting “Pepped up”…..!!

Pep Rally, acrylic/oil bar on canvas, by Lin barrie, 130 x 100 cm

So!….join us for wine, tastings, conservation talks, good food and most of all wonderful adventures into Gonarezhou wilderness in search of African wild dogs, and the other fascinating wildlife that surrounds us…

views from the Chilo decks…into the wilderness of Gonarezhou….

African wild dogs have been seen on a regular basis in Gonarezhou and just two days ago I came across a fresh wild dog/impala kill, near Tembweharta pan and Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. Wild dogs are fast and wide ranging, very challenging to predict where we’ll spot them next, but there is plenty of good evidence that they are around and thriving, hopefully with a few pregnant alpha females in the various Gonarezhou packs, so that we might be blessed with puppies soon!

Purple Puppies, art by Lin Barrie, acrylic on stretched canvas, framed, 61 x 91 cm :
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Sunsets and Aardvarks: An African childhood surrounded by flowers and rivers…

9 th April – 12th April, 2019

Our bush house, Tsavene, is enhanced by the stunning pink summer-flowering Sabi stars that are indigenous to the Northern Kruger Park, and which grace our rocks. At dusk I capture the glow of this flower, with our verandah in the background…

Clive Stockil and Sabi Star flower… at Tsavene

A Spotted eagle owl calls all night from the small kopjie below our bedroom, a regular roost for it I think…then we rise at 4 am for home brewed coffee accompanied by a scops owl calling…..

Driving to chilo an incredible turquoise and peachy orange sunrise accompanies us..

We meet at Chilo with Gary Yip and Mike from WildAid camera crew who interview Clive on the Chilo Deck, before  heading to Chipinda Pools and then Harare for more WildAid camera work. One day we hope to have rhinos back in this wilderness….

 Zimbabwean star, Danai Gurira, she of “Black Panther” fame, is an able ambassador for WildAid, #PoachingStealsFromUsAll

The Save river is sinking slowly, but still very impressive, and dawn brings the usual inspiring views down the Save River, here from the aloe gardens below the chilo deck……

Save River and baobab dawn at Chilo Gorge

From the Chilo deck we watch Nyala bulls, baboons galore, and a lone Dagga boy buffalo who bravely challenges the cow elephants who try to use his path to cross the river…eventually they prevail and we listen to them splashing across in the dusk, tightly knit to protect the babies in their midst.The need for caution in this wide river is emphasized the next day when we watch a bloated Aardvark carcass floating past, being tugged and pushed by numerous crocodiles……rain drizzles out of a clouded sky, cool relief…and we head to the river for the end of the day

Clouds enhance a spectacular sunset as we relax on the banks of the Save, granddaughters fishing, creating installation art and playing in a shallow stretch (where we can easily watch for reptilian lurkers)!

Kigelia fruit become an art statement in the shallow waters…

The joys of a wild African childhood…

Clive Stockil supervises…

and an art installation happens in the crocodile infested waters, one girl and her spade craft this moat…the rainbow is an unexpected add-on!

The Chilo boat returns from an excursion into the green grass-filled park, where the team have been setting up the tented Mahove Camp on the banks of the Runde River

The chilo gardens are a joy, crossandra bushes still clothed in spectacular coral flowers –

My inspiration for floral paintings, using my old palette knife..

“living coral” is the pantone colour of 2019, and we have it in abundance in these flowers…!!

and to add even more beauty, all is interspersed by ethereal white Runde Stars, with vicious spines emphasizing the fragile flowers!

the bird-viewing bench that we created from an Aldo Leopold design faces down the Save River, and is nestled in aloes and drifts of “Living Coral!”…..

Birdwatchers paradise…

The exquisite purity of the Runde star glows in the foreground …

Barleria flowers, another indigenous, waterwise special at Chilo, (originally from my Tsavene bush garden and Senuko), are beginning to show their layered white petticoats…

Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, art, art collaboration, baboons, baobab, childrens art, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, Colour of the YearYear, film, flowers, gardens and flowers, leopards, rainbow, Rivers, runde river, Save River, wildaid, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment