My first visit to the then Wankie Game Reserve, today known as Hwange National Park, was when I was a very tiny tot, we lived in the bush south East of the border of the Park.
Hwange continued to be a favorite safaris spot throughout my life and in my mid thirties I came to live in the park with bedroll in hand and took up a position working as a Professional Guide. I had undertaken a six year apprenticeship in the parks estates of Zimbabwe.
It was a daily occurrence to spend the day with several herds of more than a hundred elephant at a time all gathering round the waterhole, relieving their thirst in the dry African sun. In very dry years these numbers would increase to a thousand elephant a day and surrounded me, often a bush traffic jam.
The great herds of Africa’s elephants unfortunately are being plundered and their very survival depends on us as custodians to protect their home ranges from poaching. If we don’t protect them these home ranges and the elephants these incredible Pachyderms will be gone forever.
Medium: Windsor Newton Professional Acrylique on Cotton Canvas
The Place Of Salt Pans
There are enormous salt pan located in beautiful Botswana, and for much of the year remain dry and desolate until the annual rains arrive. The pans then transforms into an expansive shallow lake no more than knees deep. This attracts an array of bird life including flocks of flamingos, pelicans, and animal life. The migrating zebra and wildebeest from the north utilise the grassy plains which provide good grazing.
Much of the region has been set aside as a National Park and bird sanctuary to protect this magnificent landscape.
I have spent more than 30 years exploring this area. The expansive grassy plains dotted with Baobabs and acacias along the fringes of the salt pans provide a place of reflection, isolation and incredible beauty. I love it so much I even spent my 40th and 50th birthdays camped on the fringes of the pans.
The cycle of life continues with the rainy season coming to an end and the pans begin to dry up until all that remains is a few perennial springs for the wildlife to drink.
Traditional people residing in the surrounding area bring their domestic cattle to share the same springs with the wildlife.
A story of the waterhole, this is the most important place on the dry African plain.
Above is my own impression of a moment in time I attempted to capture onto the canvas. I have tried to create a story of “Pula”, “water”, is life, and unites us all, here is a tranquil scene, domestic and wild animal life around the waterhole. In the far edges of the vast you can see an odd Baobab Tree dotted in the fringes of the pan.
I hope you enjoy this scene as much as I enjoyed painting it.
Lets help protect our wild areas for future generations!
Africa – Rural Life Impression Original Painted By Julie AM Edwards
Title: “Dawn At The Kraal”
Medium: Windsor Newton Acrylique on Cotton Canvas
The inspiration for this painting came while I was living in Zambia.
Cattle play a prominent role in the traditional rural life of this part of the world. Interestingly, the cattle appeared smaller than normal in more arid regions. I imagine this is natures way of helping them to adapt. I.E less rainfall, less grazing availability.
“Dawn At The Kraal” is an impression I created. I included The herder driving his beautiful Ngoni cattle out his kraal at dawn to allow them to graze in the bush.
Working and and living remotely in these places allows one the opportunity to capture moments in time and create impressions that hopefully will be of interest and depict rural life in Africa, a traditional way of life slowly disappearing.
Zambezi Sunset Impression Original Painted By Julie A M Edwards
Medium: Windsor Newton Professional Acrylique on cotton canvas
The Zambezi is one of the most beautiful rivers in Africa, well known for its prolific wildlife and the traditional homes of many indigenous tribes who reside along it s banks.
I have traversed this river on foot, horseback and by 4×4, including working as a safari guide for alot of my life and know it well, including some good fishing spots alongs its banks.
The inspiration for this painting came from a photograph from my special cousins Kingsley and Ria Edwards, who kindly gave me permission to use for reference, as they lived and worked on the Zambezi. This picture really inspired me. Thank you so much.
I like to go exploring normally on foot and take photographs with my eyes and camera, make sketches of things or to paint in situ. It’s good though to paint in your studio away from the wind and dust.
This region of the world has endless beautiful sunsets and every single one is always different never the same.
Historical Impression Original Painted By Julie A M Edwards
Title: “The Groot Trek” The Great Journey
Medium: Windsor Newton Professional Acrylique on cotton canvas, framed
The pioneering treks into the remotest parts of the African continent by ox wagon and horseback, historically, always inspired me to set off on my own adventure and learn a little of the experience of what it was like in those early days to travel through the bush.
The history and old stories passed down through the generations creates a nostalgia for those early days. The challenge to walk with only what you carry and survive with what is around you in the veldt.
The Great Trek is a true story of adventure when in the early days pioneers set off from the Cape of Good Hope to venture into the interior of Africa in search of a better life. This was an enormous undertaking by brave folks who wanted an individual life.
Historical Impression Created By Julie A M Edwards
Title: “Forging Ahead”
Medium: Acylic on canvas
These old stories and bravery of these extraordinary adventures that continue to live on in our own personal families. My ancestors trekked by ox wagon and horseback across the great vastness of this incredible continent.
The painting impressions I created above are dedicated to those brave folk who went out where no one else would venture to start a new life.
Medium: Windsor Newton Professional Acrylique on cotton canvas
The African Continent is a diverse and beautiful wild place to explore, especially on foot or horseback.
World Heritage Sites claim a number of places along the Zambezi including the Victoria Falls, “Mosi Oa Tunya”, The Smoke That Thunders!
This commissioned impression was a challenging painting for me in the sense that water study had to be in great detail…. and how to capture the values and textures of the water falling. I enjoyed this painting experience and have spent many moments observing the falls in their great mighty flow, as the Zambezi River thunders into the basalt chasm below.
I invite you to follow my personal journey as I walk and paint