The creatures I most wanted to see, who made me tear up when we saw our first herd, and they are so beautiful that I wonder – how can anyone even consider shooting one?
The elephants. We were quite fortunate to see many herds, although I’m sorry to say I have no idea which ones we may have seen the day before. These magnificent animals were described in the brochure as “Large, grey and unmistakable”. I can’t put it into words any better, so I’ll just post these 2 sketches.
Not sure if you’ve seen enough, but here’s some more art made from my trip photos and sketches. I haven’t even gotten to the elephants yet, (my favorites, you may recall!) I’m saving those, and I may shed a tear or two while sketching as they are so dear to my heart. ❤️
Hyena – I wondered what he was looking at?
The giraffes were very tall!
Zebra – their black and white stripes were quite vivid.
With minimal access to wifi, this trip was a relaxing vacation from social media. The unique environment (which consisted mainly of riding to the park, finding big game, sketching, then returning to the lodge, where I sketched some more) has truly inspired me to create as much art as possible to remember this trip by.
The lions are SO majestic! I doubt I’ll ever enjoy going to a zoo again after seeing them wild and free.
Our huts were mostly quite clean, and (I think I mentioned) the beds were quite comfy. But somehow, these little guys (or gals, not sure) managed to enter and keep me company every day!
I even did a photo album titled: “There’s a frog in my …!” And of course, one of them got sketched.
Thornicroft Lodge is where we stayed for our art safari. A short 10 minute drive to South Luangwa Park, the staff was friendly and helpful, and our individual huts were clean and quite comfortable.
The main lodge had an interesting carved statue of a woman feeding a baby, and when I sat to sketch it, Marisa (she ran the lodge) told me that there was a second statue of a man. She said that a certain part of his anatomy 😳 had broken off, but she would be gluing it back on. After it was repaired, I was able to sketch that one as well.
A little more about a few hut visitors in my next post!
Hello! More than one person has asked me if this trip was “worth” it. Not sure how you could put a price on seeing elephants in their home, and not in a zoo. If the leopard in the nearby tree doesn’t make your heart skip a beat when he stands up to check out your vehicle, then I have to wonder if you are even alive. Or how about seeing exotic birds that aren’t caged? Hippos in the river next to your lodge?
Yes, it was more than I normally pay for a vacation, but hello, it’s AFRICA, and who knows if I’ll ever get back? (Although, I’m definitely hoping for a return visit!)
One thing I can say about this trip is that I came home truly inspired. The experience seems to have opened up some creative faucet, and I hope it doesn’t turn off for a while!
Here are a few of my recent works:
Top left: Yellow- billed stork. Top right: Helmeted guineafowl. (With one of their feathers!) Middle left: Kingfisher (grey-headed?) Middle right: Hippo. Bottom: Little Bee-eater
These are all ink and watercolor on Arches 7×10 cold pressed paper
So yes, elephants are amazing and exquisite, but there were also other wonderful creatures. The giraffes, so tall and stately, and when they tipped their head to reach the leaves, they were just one fluid line.
My sketches don’t do them justice, so here’s the real thing:
With Zambia temperatures in the high 90s, the heat and dust made me wish for cooler weather. Waking up back home in upstate NY, the cool rain was exactly what I needed.
But – Africa, right? It’s now in my heart and in my dreams.
There is a lack of focus in these posts, so let’s blame it on jet lag, okay?
I’m not sure where to start, to share parts of this experience. It feels like words aren’t enough to describe it. Well, of course there are sketches, but maybe I’ll start at the beginning.
When you’re my seat mate, or in an airport, know that you are fair game to be a sketch subject.
Arriving at Thornicroft Lodge near Mfuwe, we had a perfect view of the river, with hippos and various birds.
Our safari rides into South Luangwe Park started on Tuesday. My dream on this trip was to see elephants, and they did not disappoint! So as not to overwhelm you, I’ll only post some of the sketches today. There were many fantastic opportunities to sketch, and we took advantage of them!