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Kalahari Lion painted 'Alive'

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Dear Nature Lovers,

Greetings from darkest Africa!

The Mysterious Matopos

Although most of life has been in Africa, I was born in Belfast, Ireland, and moved out to Zimbabwe shortly thereafter. I spent my early years there and developed a great love for the veld in my days as a boy scout. During my teens, I camped and hiked through the Matopos, a wilderness area some twenty miles from Bulawayo in the southwest of Zimbabwe. Game abounds there amongst the massive granite outcrops, that strike through the surface of the African plateau. The great rocky whalebacks, Africa's sinews, rise with a riot of colourful lichens, from the flaxen sward of bush grass and Mopane woodland, and afford perfect cover for leopard and lynx.

Inselbergs and the Calligraphy of the Khoisan

Here, I feel the tangible dawn of Time, the essence that still dreams in Pangea. When I am here, in the hush at twilight, as the shadows deepen around the fire, I am one with this eternal presence. High in the crevices of the great rocks, the black eagles nest and soar, where thermals play over the crystalline surfaces. Where the overhangs and sheer faces of the rock remain dry, the ancient artists of the San have sketched a lively calligraphy of figures and symbols, recalling their Spirit trances in the days of Eden.

The 'San' Masters and Ostrich Egg Tempera

I well remember making a copy of the 'White Rhino' Cave Painting at an international scouting jamboree held at Gordon Park in the Matopos. The entire granite overhang of this cave, was a continuous warm blend of ironoxide pigments bound with ostrich egg yolk. Over this marvellous subtle surface, leap bushmen running and jumping in wild leaps with handfuls of arrows, along with a beautiful succession of prancing wildebeest. The centre-piece is a stunning profile view of a great white rhino. I was delighted to take the first prize for a watercolour rendition of this wonderful frieze by the San African Masters.

West Belfast and the Flemish Painters

After my schooling in Bulawayo, I read for a Bachelor of Science at the university in Harare and then returned to Ireland to read a Diploma in Education at Queens University in Belfast. Thereafter I taught in a very troubled area of west Belfast for five years. During my sojourn in Ireland, I was able to pursue a lifelong interest in European Art with particular reference Great Masters of the Flemish and Italian Schools of the Renaissance.

The Patterns of Eden

I started drawing seriously at university without realizing it! The zoology and botany practicals there, provided a great diversity of life forms and plenty of practice! It is inevitable in observing the great wisdom and experience of Nature, that one perceives it as a continuum of patterns which reflect the principles of a grand design. We all sense a great order in all these forms and perceive the wisdom expressed through their existence. I welcome the challenge of painting a compelling image, one where the "spirit" of these noble beasts may remind us of our earlier selves in the fields of Eden.

Peace is beyond Mind

Today I find the real 'civilization' very far from all the tracks of Man, and I am here to gather and portray some measure of this ancient and fragile heritage. I derive great enjoyment from painting and hope that you will find pleasure, inspiration and peace in viewing my art.

Yours sincerely,

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