Rembrandt@350 exhibition; Lin Barrie Art, Lions and Life Drawing!

Rembrandt@350 exhibition will be hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Zimbabwe, and the National Galleries in Harare and Bulawayo.
This year marks 350 years since the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, the most famous artist from the Golden Age.

I am very excited to be submitting works for this show, inspired by the superb draughtsmanship of Rembrandt, his timeless mastery of elemental emotion with simple sketches…such as his brush and ink sketch ” Woman Sleeping”:

Woman Sleeping: a drawing by Rembrandt.

The Brief:
Artists select a Rembrandt work of their choice and recreate or interpret it in their own style and medium. Considerations for the local context and modern day might also be factored in. Local and Dutch judges will select entries for display alongside prints of the Rembrandt pieces being recreated.
Also on display for the opening night in Harare will be the six original Rembrandt etchings held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe!

• Opening Night Harare: 24 October for a three week showing

• Opening Night Bulawayo: 25 November for a three week showing

I consider Rembrandt to be one of the masters of drawing people from life, capturing the essence of his subject intimately- such as his sketch “Woman Sleeping”, probably his subject being his life partner Hendrickje Stoffels.

Rembrandt’s ink and brush drawing is both affectionate and yet not a precise likeness of the sitter.  Created in about 1654, it is yet timeless and throughly relevant in a modern context.

The study is drawn with brush, in brown wash with some white bodycolour. This technique is appeals to my eye, reminding me of minimalist oriental brushwork.
With only a few broad strokes, Rembrandt has superbly outlined the body of the sleeping woman. The white of the paper helps to create her form and is a vital part of the composition.

To me the essence of a great sketch is in being able to say so much with very few, well considered brushstrokes or pen lines… to “say more with less”!!!

I have tried to re-create the mood and composition of Rembrandt’s original with brush and acrylic, giving the subject an African context by using as my model a young Shangaan (changana) woman sleeping on her large cowhide drum, after I had watched her drumming for her energetic dance troupe at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. The Changana culture of dance and drumming is strong here in the Greater Transfrontier Conservation Area of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. (GLTFCA)

Woman Sleeping on her Cowhide Drum

So one of my submissions is “Woman Sleeping”, 2019, Ode to Rembrandt, by Lin Barrie, acrylic on deep stretched canvas, 61 x 40.5 cm:

Woman Sleeping”, 2019, Ode to Rembrandt, by Lin Barrie, acrylic on deep stretched canvas, 61 x 40.5 cm

The original “Recumbent Lion”  drawing by Rembrandt is my inspiration for my second painting, in terms of its timeless depiction of a male lion, capturing the ‘essence” of lion admirably…obviously drawn from real life, he probably drew a lion that he had access to in a zoo…

Here is Rembrandt’s original sketch:

Recumbent Lion, pen and brown ink on brown paper, 12.2 x 21.2 cm (4.8 x 8.3 “) by Rembrandt

The original is executed with pen and brown ink on brown paper, height 12.2 cm x 21.2 cm

This superb Rembrandt sketch talks, no, SINGS to me, since, living as I do with wildlife in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, I have a passion for sketching animals in the wild, capturing the feelings, the movements and emotions of the living creature….!

I have been observing lions regularly at my bush house, and they call around us most nights. I have also observed lions at great length in the magnificent Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, such as this magnificent boy, one of two brothers whom we spent hours with on a camping trip…

So, with lions close to my heart, I have recreated the feeling of Rembrandt’s sketch by using my palette knife as a ‘pen’ and brown acrylic paint. Extra detail has been done with a brush…

Recumbent Lion, 2019, Ode to Rembrandt by Lin Barrie, acrylic on deep stretched canvas, 40.5 x 61 cm

Thank you Embassy of the Netherlands in Zimbabwe, Doreen Sibanda, Chinovava Chikukwa, and Valerie Sithole all of The National Gallery, for this inspired forthcoming exhibition!

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Painting and Sketching in my Garden of Eden; But Winter is Coming…….

As an artist and as a naturalist, skulls skins and bones have always fascinated me.

oil and oil stick sketch on handmade paper

I love drawing the shapes of found natural objects and perhaps this harks back to the fact that I loved Biology as a scholar. The natural world, its balances and ecosystems entrance me…

Vinca Flowers and Buffalo Skull, Life and Death…in my garden

Sabi Stars and old broken Kudu Horns in my Tsavene Bush Garden are a natural pairing!

My painting “Sabi Stars with broken kudu horns”, (Diptych), is acrylic on stretched canvas, each panel being 3 x 2 feet

“Sabi Stars with broken kudu horns”, (Diptych)

Here below is my alpha female wild dog skull- she was killed many years ago by a lion while defending her five-week old pups at the den. I treasure her skull and her memory. (Before you ask, her eight pups survived!….but that is a story for another time…)

Alpha female wild dog skull, acrylic sketch

Porcupines entrance me, and one in particular, Mr Nhungu, visits our bush garden regularly to nibble at the leftover dog food, or more happily chew on the bark of my favourite trees! And so of course, I paint quills……

A Porcupine likes dog food……

Leopards grunt and prowl around our Tsavene bush house, exquisite cats, and so I paint spots… but my paintings are not purely decorative, just as animal skins are not…there is an excessive harvesting of skins for various cultural and decor uses which is not sustainable if we do not become very aware of the finite resource we are abusing…

leopard spots, a finite resource

Life and Death, Predator and Prey, are all the natural cycle of the world we live in, to be celebrated and honoured, not feared… and so my garden inspires me endlessly…

We live to eat, and eat to live and so hunting for food in a sustainable way is part of life, whether we are wild animal or human…

Something killed this warthog, but his memory lives on on my sketch pad…

Warthog Skull

Giant land snails, often caught and killed by fire or drought, leave behind their exoskeletons… pristine empty white shells which are thereafter joyfully found by me like the jewels in the bush that they are. Prey to me and my pencil….!!

Giant African Land Snail shells

So…. my studio is a cornucopia of treasured objects, laid out on a work table that has seen many years of use.

this baboon skull has bite marks through the bone, possibly leopard, maybe lion?

I relish painting these amazing natural shapes and colours…but the flip side of the coin which preys on my mind is un-natural death, excessive hunting or poaching by wire snare, poison or unwitting use of chemicals and plastics, trade in illegal wildlife products…

Very recently, in conjunction with Parks, we recovered the poor head of a female rhino who had been shot at by poachers. She ran, only to die a lonely death in the mopani ….

the head of a poached black rhino

A mono-print..inspired by the old skull of a white rhino that I sketched many years ago, when do a mono-printmaking course at Artists Press in White River…

mono print by Lin Barrie. Rhino Skull

My new diptych, “Winter Woodland and Rhino Skull”. Each canvas panel is 2 x 3 feet. (

Winter is Coming….. as they say in “Game of Thrones”….

Winter is coming…..

Here are bones slowly returning to the earth, from a black rhino poached years ago below our bush house…

Will we soon see only blank space, empty walls with faded memories and old marks, where once were wild rhinos..? A sobering thought- reflected in my photograph “Cable Snare Wire and Rhino Bone…”

Cable Snare Wire and Rhino Bone

The pelvis of this same rhino was a terribly beautiful object, and I have honoured it in paint..

Detail from a larger painting…black rhino pelvis by Lin Barrie

The other-worldly beauty of a vertebra bone, a strange orchid flower or dragon-head shape emerging…. on a lighter note, this could inspire an image for a Game of Thrones dragon….or one of the amazing dragons from the movie “How to Train your Dragon”!!! or indeed, a Star Wars/Darth Vader type creature….

Winter is indeed coming.

Perhaps some of my paintings and photographs will act as a reminder of the fragile beauty with which we are entrusted, and of the mortality that looms if we do not find solutions to the over-use of our worlds resources…

And so I am working towards a solo exhibition…

Living with my life partner Clive Stockil in the lowveld wilderness of Zimbabwe, I document skulls, stones and bones around our house in the Save Valley Conservancy, and I will continue to paint the joy, and sometimes terror, that I find in them.

Disclaimer: With respect to Zimbabwe National Parks rules, no bones, or indeed any objects, must EVER be removed from any National Park. Take only Photographs and leave only Footprints! Any bones I use for sketching and photographing are private collection, and/or with permission – not for any commercial value or sale, and definitely not from any National Parks.

Please read my previous blog for more insight into my bush garden and studio

found objects are a delight

You can find more images of some of my finished artworks  ; 

Lin Barrie Art Page:

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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!

Painted Wolves, whether the wines or the animals, always get our attention at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge!

A weekend of wine tastings with Painted Wolf Wines and talks by the African Wildlife Conservation Fund, always creates enthusiasm.

and no matter what you prefer to call Lycaon pictus, its all the same glorious animal! As reflected in my artwork below , “What’s in a Name?”, monotype, metallic acrylic and oil bar, 84 x 118 cm.

What’s in a Name?, monotype, metallic acrylic and oil bar, 84 x 118 cm.

Dr. Rosemary Groom presents slides and facts on African wild dogs, (mentored by her baby boy Benjamin!)…and as a full moon rises on the beach, even little Benjamin joins in the fun.

my paintings celebrate wild dogs, aka Painted wolves!

Painted Purple diptych-acrylic on loose canvas, each panel 54 x 39 cm

Painted Purple diptych, acrylic on loose canvas, each panel 54 x 39 cm

Jeremy leads happy guests down the road of tasting and appreciating fine wines…

Professional guides such as Clive Stockil lead walks in the wild…stunning Lala Palm and Baobab country near the Tembwehata Pan

lala palm and walkers

The immense “Hunters Baobab” near Tembweharta Pan, also called Shadreck’s Baobab! Admired by Jeremy….

Clive and Jeremy discuss weighty matters at sundown…

what could be better than a wine tasting on the banks of the great Save River?!

gorgeous Alpha female seen by guests, near Chipinda…

Jermey and Emma, what a team for Painted Wolf Wines!

Adventure awaits Clive and Emma on a safari drive across the Save River into Gonarezhou National Park…

Wild dog photos by Xenia Kuhn – how special, 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 the be at the den- but everyone saw adult dogs after a  long drive and a Chilojo Cliffs trip … very rewarding. Dear friend Ajit St John even wrote a poem about those magnificent cliffs….

Everyone joined the wine tasting on the beach,

gorgeous snacks on the edge of the Gonarezhou wilderness,

my sunset in Africa, Save River with a glass of Painted Wolf Wine….mmmmmmmm

At the last light, a stunning photograph of the guests by Martin Harvey, as we end the day…..

So… if you want to be part of the next fantastic event, please join us!!

The views from Chilo rooms and decks are always inspiring….

Here is the flyer with all information….contact

Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, africa, African flora, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, african wildlife conservation fund, animal rights, anti poaching, arid areas, art, art on clothes, baobab, beauty, bio diversity, bush camps, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, chilojo cliffs, citizen science, clive stockil, coats of many colours, community conservation, conservation, conservation education, conservation news, cooking, cultural beliefs, culture, dogs, eco-tourism, education, elephants, endangered species, family, flowers, food, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, lowveld, moonrise, painted dog conservation, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines, painted wolves, photography, Poaching, predators, prey, pups, Rivers, runde river, safari, SAVE, Save River, serenity, sketching, travel, wild dogs, wilderness, wildlife trade, wine, wine tasting, wines, wolves, wood sculpture, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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 and read my next blog for many more paintings and my forthcoming exhibition!…. 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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
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