February 22, 2024
Uncategorized

Mopani Winter Woodland

“Fallen Tree”, acrylic on loose canvas, 85 x 200 cm is my painting of the incredible mopani winter woodland in the lowveld of Zimbabwe at this time of year, russet red leaves, filtered light at dawn and dusk and always, as I drive slowly through the landscape of the Save Valley Conservancy, the promise of wild dog dens…

Near the den of the Mbungu Pack, in deep woodland, monitored by the African Wildlife Conservation Fund, (AWCF), I know that at any moment I could spot the dogs…

Deep red leaves and golden lion’s mane grass frame my search…

There they are!… the wild dogs lie and doze, waiting for the cool of evening to begin a hunt

Dogs in Mopani 1, acrylic on loose canvas, 70 x 105 cm

…camouflaged like the patterns of persian carpets in the rust red mopani leaves…

Where do coats begin and leaves end?… a glorious medley of colour….truly a painters delight, and I love the alternative common name for these gorgeous tricolor hunters, Painted Wolves…. or Painted Dogs…

Mopani camouflage, acrylic on canvas, 88 x 88 cm

My painting “Pep Rally” (acrylic/oil bar on canvas, 130 x 100 cm) is typical of the interaction between young wild dogs just before they go hunting.

Exuberant and social, they bolster each others confidence, rearing up and playing..

Pep Rally I, acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 88 cm

galloping and twisting sinuously in the growing pale light of the rising moon…

Painted Wolf Pep Rally, acrylic on loose canvas, 53 x 97 cm…

The hunters soon disappear into the mopani dusk with white tails flashing, as a full moon rises……

full moon rising

they vanish into the surrounding woodland, hunting food for the alpha female who waits patiently at the den with her pups ..

Mother and Pups, acrylic on canvas board, 61 x 76 cm

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