EXOTIC ANIMALS

EXOTIC ANIMALS

It began with a dream, a desire, and a random invitation.

I have always loved the idea of painting elephants;

The majesty, the slow graceful movement, the absolute knowledge that they are enlightened, nurturing beings from someplace beyond, or from sometime further back before humanity.

I knew I had to go to Africa, a place on the planet that you can feel…this place is much older than us. Dear friends of mine, who just finished their home on the Maasai Mara, invited me as their inaugural guest in just two weeks’ time so not to miss the migration. I called my best friend and told her my plans and then asked her if she would like to join me. Though I hadn’t created any itinerary for the trip, she answered with a resounding yes. I packed my bag and we jumped on a flight to Kenya. After landing in Nairobi and driving to Wilson we grabbed a puddle jumper onward to the Maasai Mara. After landing on a slip of dirt air strip, feeling further away from anyplace we have ever been, we were greeted by a towering and smiling Maasai offering us a drive to the house. With laughter and love I introduced my hosts to my best friend and immediately a new set of friends developed like splitting cells. Two days of bush drives and night drives, surprise campaign lunches and dinners by the river, we hatched a plan for the continuation of the trip. Off to Angama, perched high on the cliff of a ridge, with views of the full Mara and day long game drives, we settled in.

When the sun rose over the ridges, and the flatlands bathed in golden morning light, something awakened in me.

The elephants and zebras began their morning journey down from the protection of the trees and into the open grazing of the hot sun. The slow, deliberate movements that transcend time following instinct that only they know in the full scale of their existence.

THIS IS THE MOMENT I FELL IN LOVE WITH AFRICA.

This, I knew I wanted to paint, to filter this awe through my hands and onto linen.

This series is a memory, a romance and a contemplation on everything I hold sacred.