I haven’t done a painting from my trips to beloved Africa for awhile so I decided that the time has come! The Cheetah has the distinction of being my favorite of all the big cats. What an amazing specialist they are. They are poetry and grace in motion. And even when lounging on a rock pile or termite mound, they still exude a fragile, perfectly designed power. This Cheetah only seconds before was lounging on rocks, dozing in what is left of the late-day sun. But a hunter can never fully sleep. A sound in the distance interests the cheetah enough to sit up and take notice. Is it time to stretch those long lean muscles in preparation for a 60 mph dash for dinner? Or is the sound insignificant, warranting one to go back to napping again?
“Spots on the Rocks” Acrylic on masonite (12″ x 18″)
My husband and I made a visit to beautiful Powell Gardens (just east of Kansas City) last weekend. We went to see the fall flowers and amazing landscaping that Powell is known for. We had no idea what a WONDERFUL surprise awaited us there.
I have had a life long passion for primitive, abstract and contemporary sculpture. I feel that some of the most beautiful sculpture of all is done by indigenous cultures from around the world.
Powell Gardens is currently featuring a FABULOUS collection of stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. This sculpture style is called Chapungu (cha-POON-goo). Chapungu is a metaphor for the Bateleur eagle. This powerful bird can fly up to 300 miles in a day at up to 50 mph. It lives in the semi-deserts of central and southern Africa. The Shona people of Zimbabwe believe the Chapungu is a good omen, bringing protection and good fortune. These massive stone masterpieces are carved from opal stone, cobalt and springstone.
(Above) A captive Bateleur eagle.
I will share with you some of my favorite pieces in this collection:
Like many of the Chapungu sculptures, this one (above) towered over our heads. It is easy to see how important family is to the Shona people.
An expectant mother (below).
The family below almost seems to be bracing themselves against a hostile world.
A family of quail (below).
This next artist gives a contemporary twist to their Chapungu carving.
A little group of singers. I loved the quirky nature of this piece.