I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
Art & Creativity - Maree Clarkson
💕 I savour the treasures around me with camera, pencil, pen and paint.
is Hedgie, a male Southern African Hedgehog (Atelerix frontalis) that I
was lucky enough to have in my life for almost six years after I found
him wandering on our previous smallholding. A couple of months after
finding him, I also found Sethlong, a female, who joined Hedgie in the
large enclosure I had made for them and together they raised a lovely
brood of eight little babies.
Ink sketch and watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – Kei Apple tree and a
Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae – (Chameleo dilepis)
The Kei-apple, Dovyalis caffra, is well known all over the
eastern parts South Africa, common in open bush and wooded grassland,
and often near termite mounds. It is a thick, shiny, spiny shrub up to three metres in height. The branches are armed with straight, robust spines up to 7 cm long. Fresh, ripe fruits are rich in Vitamin C and pectin and, following the
example of the Pedi people who squeeze the juice onto their pap
(porridge), they make an excellent addition to a fruit salad and to
muesli and yoghurt. Nature seems to know best when to give us the right
foods to boost our immune systems in preparation for the onslaught of
winter colds and ‘flu.
Last year my trees also bore an abundance of fruit for the first time
ever and I ascribe this to the fact that we get heavy frost here in
Tarlton (South Africa). It has taken almost seven years for my trees to
reach just over three meters tall and I was absolutely thrilled to have
the fruit. Of course I had to try them but they really are too acidic,
with a slight hint of sweetness, to enjoy on a full-time basis. And I’m
therefore also not surprised at all that Torti, my Leopard Tortoise, did
not touch any that had fallen on the floor. But they look really
beautiful displayed in a dish!
And the Chameleon didn't seem to have any problem with the huge thorns! I was really thrilled to see him in my garden as these lovely creatures seem to be getting scarcer and scarcer.
W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm (135lb) Smooth heavy-weight
sketching paper, from my imagination, no preliminary sketching.
“One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four
tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” —U.S. Department of Agriculture
for the planet, plant for the people. Planting trees is a simple way to
protect and support the local environment, agriculture, water supplies,
community development and health, as well as the world’s climate.
Many visitors to Karoo
National Park in South Africa access the Park by car as this allows
them the freedom to explore the park at their own leisure. Instead of
heading to your destination on the main tar roads, try something
different – like a drive along the gravel. But be warned – there are
many gates to open en route!
The Park is a convenient stopover
on the N1 route between Cape Town and the interior of the country. Cape
Town is situated about 500km south of the Park. Johannesburg is situated
about 1 000km north of the Park.
Euphorbia cooperi (or Lesser Candelabra Tree, Transvaal Candelabra Tree, Bushveld candelabra euphorbia), is indigenous to South Africa. Found in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Swaziland up to Messina in the Limpopo Province, prefers well-drained soils and is mostly found in rockier places, often on granite outcrops and in rock cracks or in wooded grassland and thorny scrubland, in planes and in steep hillsides on north-facing slopes. This spiny succulent grows 4-7 m tall and produces small yellowish-green flowers in spring and summer.
I had this one in a pot in my garden, but unfortunately it succumbed to frost one severe winter.
Artline200 Fine-point Black ink pen and W&N watercolour in my Moleskine 200gsm Nature Journal
Limpopo river, the second largest river in Africa, flows in a great
arc, first zig-zagging north and then north-east, then turning east and
finally south-east. Then it serves as a border for about 640 kilometers
(398 mi), separating South Africa to the south-east from Botswana to the
north-west and Zimbabwe to the north. There are several rapids as the
river falls off Southern Africa’s inland escarpment. In fact where the
Marico River and the Crocodile River join the name changes to Limpopo
River. The waters of the Limpopo flow sluggishly, with considerable silt
content. Rainfall is seasonal and unreliable: in dry years, the upper
parts of the river flow for 40 days or less. - Info Wikipedia
associated with beauty and perfection, red roses are a time-honoured
way to say express love and affection. Whether it’s for a birthday or
just to express appreciation for someone, there’s no better way than a
red rose to express your feelings.