Wildlife artist Annabel Pope shares the stories behind four pieces of artwork from her travels in Kenya.
I would like to introduce a set of paintings which were influenced by a trip to Kenya. Kenya is the most stunning country with an abundance of wildlife and variety of landscapes.
I am lucky enough to visit lodges in Kenya which have worked for many years with community local areas and this in turn supporting the wildlife and securing valuable conservation projects. I sell prints and postcards in aid of these groups.
When I go out on safari I have charcoal, pen and watercolours to quickly capture images and use my camera also. I will then come back to my studio and bring together the sketches either framing these or getting a composition together to work from.
This painting was influenced by a herd of elephant coming down to the dam to drink. After drinking, the mother of the group just turned her head to look at us, as if to say I knew you were there! My mixed media style (charcoal, pastel and acrylic) is a perfect medium to capture movement and wonderful texture they have. Elephants from lodge at www.borana.co.ke
Grevy Zebra at Lewa in Kenya represent a significant proportion of the remaining global population. I adore painting them with their stunning stripes, dark eyes, huge ears and soft brown coloured nose. I paint them also as they are endangered species and by painting them hopefully people will add to the awareness for conservation projects. Grevy zebra from Lewa Conservancy at www.lewa.org
Also on Lewa are a huge proportion of black and white rhino. This painting I had to paint as I came across a group of three black rhino at dusk and in the evening sun the younger rhino suddenly got a burst of energy and charged about in the grass. It was like the heat of the day had gone and they could now have fun! Again, by painting rhino, I hope to bring an awareness of the beauty of them and importance to save their population. Lewa Conservancy at www.lewa.org
I remember when I first painted a porcupine, it was the first painting to be sold off my exhibition brochure. Friends and clients hadn’t really seen many paintings done of these unusual creatures and loved their quirkiness. They are mostly nocturnal and I was lucky enough to have a few sightings of them. They have a kind dark eye and the display of quills is stunning. They run faster than you would imagine! Namunyak National Reserve – www.sararacamp.com
To view more of Annabel’s work please visit her online gallery.