New Migration Crossing Composition: Underdrawing

A look at the underdrawing on canvas of my new migration crossing composition, scaled up from my smaller working drawing. The concept is “order within chaos”: depicting the crush of bodies, the atmosphere of dust, and the repeating motifs encountered at water’s edge at a Great Migration Mara River crossing…

You can get a more accurate sense of scale when I stand next to it. This piece measures 32 x 60″, linen mounted on panel (one of 14 such works currently in the studio). Now to begin the color ebauche underpainting: a thin wash of the basic color palette that I will use for the opaque layers of the painting…

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First Flight

Monitoring a flight’s progress over the vastness of the Sahara, final destination: Arusha, Tanzania.

This was a momentous day in my life– a first sunrise over Africa, witnessed from the window of a plane: a first glimpse of the continent that had captured my imagination since early childhood. I’ve never gotten over my sense of the true miracle of being lifted into the sky and propelled across the globe, taking only hours to cover distances that once consumed whole lifetimes in the days of early exploration.

Though it was years ago now and I’ve since returned to Africa for more safaris, this particular morning has never faded from my memory: glimpses of the desert far below with its strange and lonely rock formations; the play of light on cloud fields–African clouds now–as the sun flooded the sky with color; the realization that each passing moment was carrying me closer to places with names out of books: Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro. I arrived with expectations– and discovered that I had set the bar too low. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience.