Man alive – what a privilege to be the father of these two little critters! Never did I imagine that life would take such a serious turn… ha ha! Actually, they are like two little magnets. As fast as I run away to work, just as fast I start missing them.
Anna and Lily recently went on their first flight when Rena, the twins and I boarded a plane to visit my dad. I remember I used to be terrified when I saw babies boarding the same flight as me. My biggest fear was that I might be sitting next to them! This time I was at the other end of the scale – trying to keep my cool and praying that all goes without drama. We survived, and had a huge amount of fun!
Anna and Lily found this verdite carving of a family of elephants fascinating
De Mond Estuary
It’s not all about catching fish… or is it?
My fishing time has become something of a pipe-dream, or so it feels! The little critters that have entered our lives have hijacked most of my previous ‘free’ time. So when an opportunity comes along and I have half a chance to get away with it, I grab it with gusto.
Last weekend we had a braai at a friend’s house. There were a couple of fly fishermen in the mix, and having a keen ear for anything fishy I soon picked up that the boys were planning a session out to one of my favourite fishing spots – De Mond estuary in the southern Cape. De Mond means the Mouth, and that’s exactly what it is. This estuary in the Overberg lies close to the southern-most tip of Africa.
We fished pretty hard on the day, but the only action I saw was a classic ‘off the surface’ take on a floating fly that failed to connect. No fish were caught, but what an amazing day out in Mother Nature with a couple of good friends in one of the most beautiful spots in South Africa.
I just had to whip out the camera and take a few shots… The lines of water and sand especially caught my attention.
Flamingoes pondering on a landing spot
Scanning the waters
Work in progress: Spotted Grunter
Often referred to as South Africa’s own permit, physiologically they have absolute nothing in common – except that both enjoy a diet of crustaceans and are extremely difficult to persuade to eat an artificial fly, no matter how accurate your offerings and presentation might be!
I have a love-hate relationship with the Spotted Grunter, so I thought it fitting to make a sculpture of one to show respect.
Spotted Grunter in the making
I believe if you’re looking for subject matter to sculpt, it’s often what surrounds you on a daily basis that make the best subjects. I went on a raptor ringing trip not too long ago and had the rare opportunity to catch wild birds of prey, document and ring them, have a serious good look, take a few quick photos and then release them. On that trip we encountered an astonishing amount of steppe buzzards. Since then I’ve noticed these birds all over the place – on recent fishing trips, sitting on telephone posts, and locally in vineyards scanning the allies for possible prey. I’ve been wanting to sculpt a raptor for some time, so the Steppe Buzzard presented itself as the logical choice.
The Steppe Buzzard
Edition of 15
21cm x 24cm x 60cm
In summer, these stunning little birds are abundant in the fynbos of the southern Cape. With their long tails flapping whilst in playful flight, they are a joy to watch… and sculpt!
Female Cape Sugarbird
Edition of 25
Bronze on Crystal
19.5cm x 11cm x 17cm
In breeding season male Malachite Sunbirds have a strikingly bright green metallic plumage and are abundant in the wild and gardens in the Cape region. I’ve been keen to do one for ages, so here goes. This Sunbird’s base is a sugarbush protea, one of their favourite flora for collecting nectar.
Malachite Sunbird on a sugarbush
Edition of 25
Bronze on Granite
24cm x 10cm x 38cm
Charles Greig Sculpture Exhibition
In October I’ll be taking part in a wildlife group sculpture exhibition hosted by Christopher Greig in Hyde Park Corner Centre in Johannesburg.
Among some of the birds featured in this newsletter, there’ll be handful of fish sculptures on exhibit as well. Here are a couple of examples…
Life-size Leaping Sailfish
Detail of a Giant Trevally
That's it for me for now, I'm back to the study to carry on working and hope you have a fantastic day!