Monday, November 16, 2015


This is possibly the most action-packed painting I've ever done. It's taken a long time but its been a satisfying study.

"Duel" - progress.
My art is first and foremost a practice to satisfy my soul. It's my own vicarious connection with the natural world, and I hope in some ways that it also illustrates to a wider audience, the breath-taking beauty of the wilderness and its inhabitants.

But sometimes I fear (especially in the light of recent horrific reports of the continuing hunting and poaching of some of the world's most threatened species) that to paint a pretty picture might just lull my audience into a false sense of security.

Its easy for beauty to gloss over brutality...

Perhaps I should be painting the harsher realities of the 21st Century wilderness instead... the butchered elephant, the decapitated rhino, the skinned tiger. That would make 'em sit up and pay attention wouldn't it? But I bet those paintings wouldn't be going up on anyone's walls either...

There's little artists can do but paint with as much emotion and conviction as they can, and hope that at least some of that is conveyed in the final rendering.

And so I leave you with these duelling Arabian Oryx, declared extinct in the wild in 1972, and now up to a 1,000 living wild and free after concerted breeding and reintroduction programmes.

Maybe we can still turn things around...

"Duel", Charith Pelpola, 2015.
56x38cm, Pastel and Pencil.
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