Lioness Reflection Completed/Featured In Wildlife Art Journal


The completed Lioness Reflection painting recently appeared in a Serengeti Day  installment of Wildlife Art Journal protesting the proposed commercial highway through the Serengeti National Park. My accompanying statement:

“I observed this lioness one afternoon close to my small campsite in the northern reaches of the Serengeti, near Bologonja. She had just made a careful, but ultimately failed attempt to ambush a young wildebeest that had strayed from the edge of the Great Migration. Lions fail far more often than they kill, but something about her posture–an attitude that I worked to convey in my painting–tells me just how much of a survivor she is. She may fail time and again, but she’ll keep trying until she provides for herself, her cubs, her pride. That’s just one of the things about lions that I find so inspiring.

Painting this lioness in the studio day to day transported me back to the Serengeti– and to the emotions that I experienced when I was immersed in one of the few places where one can get a clear idea of what the earth must have been like during the Golden Age of Mammals. I divide my field work these days between two Serengetis: East Africa’s–the last great stronghold of the world’s megafauna– and the lost ecosystem of the American Great Plains, where bison once roamed in herds that were perhaps the greatest ever known to man. I recently stood on a hilltop in the midst of the western Kansas prairie, looking across a landscape completely empty of the vast numbers of large mammals that had roamed there until the mid-nineteenth century, just a moment ago in geologic time.

The proposed Serengeti Highway threatens to reduce the great plains of East Africa to a land just as empty and just as haunted by what might have been. America’s vast herds were lost before they could even be studied and understood, destroyed by men who did not appreciate the value of the natural world beyond their own blind and momentary greed. Today, we know better. This lioness cannot pause to reflect upon the future of her world– she can only work to feed herself. It is up to us to ensure that short-sighted greed will not prevail again. We must stand together to protect the Serengeti for present and future generations– and for the wild creatures that still call its majestic horizons home. ”

This piece is now in the collection of Mrs. Jackie West Cowden.

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11 replies »

  1. Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures,leaving me with a question in mind “Who sees the Nature Face more Clearly: the photographer, the mirror, or Charles Alexander the painter?”
    KUDOS FOR YOUR GREAT WORK

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment, Timothy. Your kind words mean a lot to me. Hope you are doing well, my friend…

  2. Hi Charles,
    I have just come across this painting on the internet, and it is truly amazing! I run a lion conservation project in southern Tanzania (Ruaha), and am just captivated by how well you have captured this lioness – do you have any prints of this available? If so, please let me know as I would be very interested.
    Such amazing work! Good luck with it all!

  3. She touches my soul..like no other. Her spirit and magnificent beauty brings tears to my eyes as I become more keenly aware of how much she has to go through, just to survive. Thank you for all that you do Charles to try and make it just that little bit easier for the voiceless creatures in nature, both in your beautiful artworks as well as your fascinating literature. Thank you does not begin to express how grateful I am to you.

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