An inspirational trip to Kenya

I find inspiration from nature in every form and corner. Each element of nature surprises me, and leaves me ever more enraptured.

On my recent trip to Kenya, I visited the Lewa Wilderness, where I instantly fell in love with those gentle giants the giraffe and the rhinoceros. While there, I came to understand the effect of humans on animals and how we can work towards co-existing. Which inspired me to run a marathon for the Tusk Charity organization. Tusk supports forward-thinking and successful conservation intervention in Africa.

Africa is a place where you can truly connect with nature. My experience in Kenya inspired these paintings.

ALMOST EXTINCT RHINO Oil and Sand on Canvas | 60 x 70cm

The primary inspiration behind this painting was of course the Rhino. However, I also wanted to highlight the ongoing threat to poaching in Africa and so I have named this painting ‘Almost Extint Rhino.’ The painting aims to express the likely disappearance of endangered species in Africa; the Rhino in this painting is bold in its presence but seems to be disappearing into the landscape. Since the 80’s there has been a population decline of Rhino throughout Africa with demand for Rhino Horn reducing Kenya’s 20,000 rhino to a few hundred in less than 15 years. This painting is in honour of the Rhino, which we still have time to save from extinction, with organization such as Tusk Charity.

PINK GIRAFFE Oil on Canvas | 60 x 70cm

Whilst being involved in the Kenya Marathon, running for the Tusk Charity Organisation. I stayed in Lewa Wilderness Lodge - an integral part of the history of Lewa Downs as it transformed from a farm into a non-profit wildlife conservancy which has gained international reputation for extending the benefits of conservation beyond its borders. I was so inspired by the richness of wildlife here and I was lucky enough to be involved in one of Kenya’s oldest and most private safari trips. I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes with such diversity of scenery from open planes, rolling hills and valleys, escarpments and rivers but also the abundance of wildlife. I was lucky enough to be right up close to all of the ‘Big five’ which of course includes the giraffe. So surreal the experience of being so close to these gentle giants, I made the giraffe pink, to add to the surrealism of the experience as a whole!

WATAMU WATERS Oil and Wax on Canvas | 60 x 70cm

After my stay in the Lewa Wilderness running in the Kenya Marathon for Tusk Charity, I headed to Watamu with the team. Watamu is an old fishing village in the Indian Ocean in Southeast Kenya about 105 South of Malindi. I was inspired by the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters which are protected by a coral reef. The Bermuda blues, beach-glass greens and pink sunset ‘s are what inspired this painting but also the tranquility of simply being by water with all it’s purifying qualities.

IMMERSION Oil on Canvas | 60 x 70cm

Having been literally immersed in some wonderful experiences in Kenya, I decided, whilst underwater, that I wanted to create something which embodies the immersion feeling we get when underwater. It’s a painting about this experience paired with my ongoing love affair with water and light; evident in this painting and paintings from past collections too. Please see my website for past collections.

CHINA TOWN Oil and Acrylic on Canvas | 160 x 40cm

The inspiration behind this painting was China Town, with all its red lanterns and reflective shop windows and their neon colours, I wanted to recreate a series of line drawings I made from here. I became cap-tivated by the shape of the red lanterns and how they stood out in stark contrast to their surroundings. I made this painting before my trip to Kenya.

OTHER INSPIRATIONS

As well as colours we see in nature I also like to draw inspiration from other sources. I am also a huge fan of jewellery. In the painting ‘Almost Extinct Rhino’ I have used the shades of Purple, similar to one of the most exclusive Gemstones on Earth! The Tanzanite.

I saw this gorgeous, massive Tanzanite @lazarijewels during my trip to Jaiphur in India last February - I am so excited to hear that they have moved their store to London! After my visit to see them last month I decided I would use the exact shade of purple of this particular gemstone which I had previously fell in love with. I’ve used it as inspiration for the sky in my Kenya painting. Please contact me for more details about the jewellery.

If you are interested in commissioning me or if you would like to order a print from one of my paintings, please get in touch or come and visit me in my studio in Shepherds Bush. London

AN EXHIBITION FOR TUSK

What a great evening! We held an exhibition in Shepherds Market in support of Tusk Charity @tusk_org. People were flooding in and we raised more than expected for the Charity. Tusk is a wonderful charity and has supported forward-thinking and successful conservation intervention in Africa. From the plains of the Serengeti to the rainforests of the Congo Basin, they are working towards a future in which people and wildlife can both thrive across the African continent. The charity works with successful local organisations, supporting and nurturing their conservation programmes to accelerate growth from an innovative idea to a scalable solution.