Original Oil on Belgian linen
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A perfect fusion of stealth, strength and beauty make the elusive leopard one of the most successful of the great cats and one of the most challenging to paint. I admire the leopard's adaptability, mastering both the savannah grassland and the tree canopy. I have spent hours observing and photographing these wild cats of astonishing beauty and grace.
Inspiration for "Always Aware" came from an experience during an incredible visit to the jungles of Mahale Mountains,NP in Tanzinia. The camp was located on a narrow strip of beach nestled on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the longest lake in Africa, surrounded by steep jungle covered mountains. We stayed in a cleverly constructed "castaway" style hut. Near the entrance of each "hut", the camp staff placed a large basin of water for washing off sandy feet. Early one morning we noticed large cat tracks in the sand , stopping at the water basin. A guide confirmed the tracks were leopard. Imagine a leopard drinking from the basin, only yards away from where we slept, slipping silently across the starlit beach, climbing and resting on a high limb in the jungle mists.