lilac breasted rollerSince going on holiday and painting a dozen or more little watercolours for Running with Brushes, I have been somewhat busy. I have a book cover to finish, some interior illustrations for the book to complete, illustrations and design for a club foot charity to manage, wine labels to design, bodies to draw and, oh yes, children to cart around and feed…

In the middle of all of this, a cousin got married and is travelling to New Zealand with his new wife and another cousin had a big birthday. For both of these occasions, relatives commissioned me to create little watercolour paintings as presents. The moving-to-NZ cousin loves birds so I painted a Lilac-breasted Roller for him and his wife as he would have been familiar with them having spend a lot of time in the Waterberg. They are also arguably one of the bushveld’s prettiest birds.

lapalala leopardThe second commission had parameters. Preferably a predator, preferably a species found at Lapalala Wilderness. The family who are posted up at Lapalala are in charge of all filming and photography, including laying camera traps. The camera trap had caught the most beautifully posed leopard and so that became the source of the second painting. In both cases the paintings were sold under the Running with Brushes banner – so a third relative’s charity could benefit. Phew! Nepotism in the best way possible!

Now it seems I have a theme going on – birds and beasts of Southern Africa, as I have also been asked to do some Wild dog artwork for Painted Wolf Wines art auction in November. I have come up with a solution, though…

birdsI have pre-cut a bunch of RWB size watercolour papers. So when I am waiting for paint to dry on my big projects, I throw a bit of paint around on the small ones. I recently sent off a package of birds to Running with Brushes, but before they could be sent, another relative snaffled this one for a present!

LBA 0022 guinea fowlJust keep an eye out on the facebook page,  website or google+ page for them.

And remember, Christmas is coming! Got a relative who is impossible to buy for? Why not give the gift of original artwork?

Birds, Beasts and Relatives
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