People have been asking me how it is that I can make wildlife art like I have been making without having painted or even drawn for so many years and even more so not full time? Good question.

I can’t say exactly why or how except that it’s just this thing inside me. It’s this special thing that has just been brewing away all these years and it’s ready to let itself go now.

But one thing I can say is that observation is key to it all. I have been dragging around the world a collection of pieces I have made over the years and while a good chunk of that work has been given away, I hang on to some of it with a white-knuckle-death-grip. Looking back on things like these butterfly studies it was all about observation. Paint what you see not what you think you know.

I loved collecting butterflies with a passion and I loved painting them with just as much passion and fascination. I wanted to make the most faithful copy of the species I collected. Was deeply inspired by Pennington’s Butterflies of Southern Africa. Mum and Dad gave Riley and I this book one Christmas when we lived in Bulawayo. Such a treasure which I still have with me and I have taken to pouring over it again during our COVID confinement. It’s a hefty tome – rich in science, insights and… observations.

I think observation is key for our life in general. Look hard, see well. See what is not obvious and use these observations to better serve everything that you do in your life. Even the smallest creatures who live fleetingly short lives can offer us something so rich and meaningful if we take the time to look.

Thanks for you time and your ‘observations’ and don’t forget to subscribe if you want a little notification in your inbox when I post updates.