June 17, 2024

Bright Skies and Waterlilies; New Year, New Hope….

Bright Skies and Waterlilies…. Wonderful soaking rains in Harare have filled our dams at Borrowdale Brooke Estate and rejuvenated our gardens. A New Year and New Hope. 

Borrowdale Brooke is filling our dams! 

Bright skies behind palms start our day as we walk …

Kelli – my daily delightful daughterly inspiration

And the sun peeps through …

Early morning walks are a lesson in Reflections…this sky and water symphony on our walk remind me of Dulux Colour of The Year for 2022, which I have fallen in love with, called “Bright Skies”!…..and which is inspiration for the wall murals that a group of artists will create at the cancer centre in Harare…


Dreamy, delicious; Dulux “Bright Skies” radiates hope, calm and healing….

As we walk through Borrowdale Brooke, bright skies frame the flowers that I photograph, in perfect balance and harmony…

Datura, a moonflower, deadly poisonous but exquisite against a ‘bright sky’…..!

and a hymn of sunlit tree silhouettes is ours…an ode to the rising sun….

“Morning has Broken, 

Like the first Morning….”

Acacia trees, Sunlit silhouettes

From the sun side of these very same trees, (at the entrance to the Brooke Estate), these glowing golden beauties are framed by a summer sky..

Acacia trees in Borrowdale Brooke Estate

Beauty glows in every blade of grass at our feet

Green green green

The ‘bright skies’ above us, the green wetland around, and a perfect pink rose, dewy in the early morning light, brings to mind our latest project-

Lin Barrie photo, early morning rose… Think Pink!

….a large and growing group of artists and cancer survivors are working with Debi Jeans of The Pink Project, and Sophie Banks, Interior designer, to paint the walls of the Cancer Association Centre in Harare… ably helped by Junior and Linda of the cancer centre.

Maureen Cox, such an inspiration for us all in this endeavour, was former Bookkeeper and General Manager for the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe and sadly succumbed to breast cancer in 2020.
She served as an employee for the Cancer Association for 10 years and offered her services as a volunteer thereafter. She was a highly valuable and respected team member. Her work will not be forgotten.

We will keep a list of various artists/ sponsors but will emphasize that it’s by no means a comprehensive list as many more volunteers/patients sponsors/artists will join as we go along – and whether we donate one hour or two months; one paintbrush or a whole bucket full of hardware, each donation no matter how small is filled with the same amount of love as every other donation

As we walk, looking for waterlilies in the dams of the Brooke as inspiration for the massage room at the Cancer Centre which is our allocated room to decorate, I think back to my memories of last years rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park, (my ‘other home’)…the mellow blue of Tembweharta Pan and the multitudinous white waterlilies which were food for my soul… bright skies indeed..

Lin Barrie photo, Gonarezhou, the mellow blue of Tembweharta Pan and white waterlilies 

Then, we find them – Waterlilies in a Brooke dam, glowing in the early morning light…

Lin Barrie photo, Waterlilies in the Brooke”

So I will be in Harare with Kelli for a few weeks helping her and talented Rutendo Karikoga to paint the massage room mural at the Cancer Centre. Starting on Monday, we will develop a water lily and dragonfly theme … 

Rutendo’s paintings are accomplished and deeply evocative – abstract expressions of emotion so powerful that I can not wait to see her in action.

Rutendo Karikoga, abstract

Kelli’s paintings reflect intense nature and mood in a healing process, studied abstractions of emotion… her artworks are maturing, powerful and evolving, and I am so excited to share in what she brings to this project…

Kelli Barker, small work, 20 x 20 cm

Think Pink!

Kelli Barker, “Think Pink”, acrylic on stretched canvas, 50 x 50 cm

Here below is a mood board, to give you a feeling of what Debi, Sophie, Kelli, Ru and I have discussed for the massage room….water, waterlilies and dragonflies. And deeply inspired by Dulux’s “Bright Skies” – a calm and reflective colour of the year, for us to dream into. Thank you, Dulux Zimbabwe, for donating paints and Electrosales for donating the hardware to paint with! 

Bear in mind that, since three very individual artists will come together and create something spontaneous, the finished walls and ceiling may not look like this at all, but will certainly reflect our hopes and dreams!


Mmmmm.. thinking dragonflies, those symbols of hope and luck in so many countries myths and beliefs…

My dear friend, Master wire and recycling artist Johnson Zuze, creates creatures with such presence that you can feel their thoughts, and believe you inhabit their world completely – such as this masterful yet whimsical dragonfly which alights in my garden – I want to paint like this- maybe this dragonfly will translate to the walls of the massage room!!

Dragonfly by Johnson Zuze

The fantastic beast’s thorax glows with jewel like recycled objects – and Oh …the eyes! Johnson’s visionary use of nespresso pods create large, multifaceted, compound eyes- so expressive ! 

Johnson Zuze – dragonfly- Johnson’s visionary use of nespresso pods create large, multifaceted, compound eyes-

And more fabulous inspiration by my friend and master metal worker, James Suraji, whose dragonfly shapes entrance me..and which have great meaning for Rutendo, who is on her own ‘dragonfly journey’

James Suraji dragonfly

Impressionist artist Monet was the ultimate master of water, reflected ‘bright skies’ and waterlilies, so he is a strong inspiration for us…..

Monet, “waterlilies”

The white waterlilies of Tembweharta Pan in Gonarezhou, near Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge , (seen also in my photograph in the mood board)….

Lin Barrie photograph, Tembweharta Pan, and lilies… Gonarezhou

Tembweharta waterlilies inspired these large paintings of mine below when camping at Mahove Tented Camp a few years ago. The pans behind that delightful camp on the Runde River were also filled with waterfowl, kingfishers and myriads of these white beauties…

Lin Barrie, “White Waterlilies” (diptych), acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 130 cm each panel, with Dulux Colour of the Year, “Bright Skies”

So, my own paintings of waterlilies are certainly a stepping off point in my own mind…

Lin Barrie, ”Waterlilies” , acrylic on canvas 94 x 104 cm

But only a stepping off point….I can’t wait to see what Rutendo, Kelli and I actually create on the walls of the massage room, allowing for serendipity, happy accidents, possible wrong turnings, all of which will teach us and lead in the end to the right way…. each day the walls will grow, in probably unexpected ways, and that is the joy of creating. 

Rutendo Karikoga, poem ”bright skies”

So, watch this space as the blog grows day by day with our artistic endeavours….!

Lin Barrie stirring Bright Skies

the paint colours are seductive…..

…we begin to paint

Rutendo (‘Ru’)

Teamwork is everything

Debi Jeans our fearless leader and her daughter Rachel attack the ceiling – bright skies all the way!!!

Debi and Rachel
Ru Kelli and Lin

Time to meditate –


at last a finished massage room ….

Debi and Lin
a job well done Alex and Ru- and poetry to dream on- thank you sweet friend snd fellow creative, Ru

I have completed a large painting if that inspiring Moonflower seen and smelt on my daily walks – (and inspired hugely by my muse Georgia O’Keefe)… seen here in the exciting new creative showroom that Dulux Zimbabwe has created in Harare. more blogs on this Dulux collaboration to follow! Their company ethos, ”to do good”, truly resonates with me. Bright Skies indeed… 

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