Chattering Monkeys


Wash out all those ghosts cobwebs worrywarts black cloud critters

chattering like monkeys in your swollen brain

swollen brain filled with piston-like repetiton

it’s wrong it’s wrong it’s wrong

not good enough for who? for tin man looking for his heart?

wash out all those ghosts cobwebs worrywarts and black cloud critters

chattering like monkeys in your swollen brain

quickly lay your thoughts out on the page

protect those tender shoots

close the book

walk away

No Easy Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela


I open the graffiti marked door and walk into to the studio building.  I walk by storage spaces for our stuff. I walk past Rigo’s studio and  the blackboard where messages are placed. I walk down the hallway past bikes, ladders, big paintings leaning against the walls. I walk by studio doors, the dog greeting me and I stop, and I look at a print that I’ve walked past for years without really seeing.  I stop and look at No Easy Walk To Freedom, a print by Rigo.

World Lion Day


In 2007 my husband and I went on Safari to Botswana. Sitting in an open Toyota Land Cruiser, we were searching for animals. Cameras out, binoculars scanning the landscape, we were ready to go! We sat there for about 5 minutes. Then I looked down at the side of the road and right there  was a lion looking up at me! No worries with either of us. I started clicking and she just blinked her eyes in the sunlight. You can alway click on the image to enlarge photograph.

You can see more photographs and drawings from this trip in categories under Africa.

Marina’s blog today brought my attention to World Lion Day. Check out her blog, too.

Happy World Lion Day.

Painting with Oils Makes me sick but …

May 18th painting using interactive acrylics about 4 x 5 feet. click on painting to see detail

My sinuses and oils are not friends. I read this from a blogger in Namibia AfricaSILKEBERENS art, life, and africa.

In my studio I have a note scrawled on a piece of paper tacked up on my wall. Oils make me sick. Every time I painted my nose would run. I knew the solvents were toxic. Oh, but I loved to paint with oils. They were so buttery. Acrylic was so hard, so plastic. It’s was just not me.

Well, I have discovered a new love. Interactive acrylics by Chroma.

  • you can  reblend and rework all day.
  • a week later you can erase the paint or soften it in order to blend colors with new paint.
  • there is no plastic look or feel.
  •  Paint dries satin, not plastic looking.
  • I can control the drying process.
  • The paints are water soluble – not toxic.

The First “wild animal” I Saw

click on image

Actually, the first animal I saw on our safari was a warthog. He was right at my feet as I walked down the path to our hotel room when  we arrived in Botswana. I stopped to take a picture. He stopped grazing and lunged his stocky body at me, made some kind of grunt and walked off. My heart was in my throat as I timidly followed the path to my room.

Quick Sketch Done Outside my Tent – South Africa

It was hot. I sat under the shade of a tree and watched the red Lechwe watch me.

This is one of six drawings I made while on safari. I find I can only concentrate on one medium. After these drawings, I chose my Canon with a telephoto lens. In my pocket I had a little Canon Elph. This way in a minute I could take photographs when I wanted a more normal perspective.

Have You Seen a Giraffe’s Tongue?

To show you how big a giraffe is that wildebeest is about 50″ to 58 ” to his shoulder and can weigh up to 600 pounds. They hang out with zebras, both being grass eaters.

Despite its long neck, the giraffe has only seven vertebrae, exactly the same number as man and most other mammals. Click on the bottom image to see his long tongue reaching for the green leaf.

Elephant Charging at Me!

Speaking of elephants and shadows last week, an elephant and I scared each other. We were in Botswana in 2007, on safari. Our driver had stopped his vehicle close to thick brush. The elephant came out on the other side, saw us  and  immediately spread his ears and charged. For a split second I wondered whether I should take a picture or scramble over to the other side of the Toyota Land cruiser.  I took the picture. Thank goodness the elephant stopped. The image was in focus which is kinda amazing, too. (You can see him close-up, too. Just click and double click on the image.)