An Artist's Journeys in Nature

Africa

The Plains Of Africa 2

Moreover, this journey has its own unstoppable momentum. Days flow into nights and nights flow into days.

There are no ‘sleep stopovers’, no hotel rooms. no packing and unpacking bags, no break in the inevitable flow of the steady heartbeat of this mighty continent, transmitted through these shining, silver rails.

When night falls, living space is transformed into sleeping space: bunks let down that rock the traveler into slumber almost before his head hits the pillows. And the journey goes on.

Up ahead, the loco still puffs its way through the darkness, slowly gaining altitude as it heads towards the central plateau lying beyond the Highveld. Final destination altitude is over 4500′ (1500m) above sea level: a long, slow climb of over 1100 miles (1800 km) from Cape Town, and that’s as the crow flies.

The route passes through the South African diamond town of Kimberley – viewed only as a skyline during a short station stop – and then heads more directly north. After Kimberley, no major towns are in evidence as the loco strikes out across the eastern plains of Botswana, with the Kalahari Desert lying further over to the west.

All around the train the open canopy of trees – mopani, msasa, acacias – drift past the traveler like ghostly sentinels under the moon, illuminated by the glow from the carriage windows. Wildlife goes about its night business, probably with barely a glance at the familiar string of passing lights and muffled sound, soon to vanish again intp the vast spaces of the dark.

Digital – vector art. For more details, click on images.

Patricia

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The Plains of Africa

To travel north from Cape Town via railway into the wilds of Central Africa is to discover mile upon mile of veld stretching interminably as far as the eye can see – a vast ocean of grasses and trees that goes on for days.

Traveling by air can’t even compare – what can you see from 40,000 feet?  That kind of journey doesn’t make much of an impression on the mind, let alone the soul.

But train travel is a different story.  The slow rocking of the carriage on the rails brings a sense of peace and timelessness: three days of suspended animation in which the demands of the modern world are laid aside.  Back to the era of Burton and Speke – and Rhodes?  Not quite that far – but far enough to realize we have seriously compromised ourselves with the modern fads of ‘fast’ and ‘instant’.

This land teems with wildlife, rarely visible in quick glimpses from the train – and much less so today than formerly. But the wildlife is there, as it has been for centuries – living out its own dance on the hot, shimmering plains that would swallow us up if we were to step away from the lifeline of the two slim, steel rails beneath us.

africa-plains

Digital – vector art.  For more details, click on images.

Patricia

http://patriciahowitt.com/


The Artist Under the Hood

Genesis - Patricia HowittI guess this Blog in itself is pretty much a description of a life’s journey – but with a purpose.

Briefly, I was born an Army child in Derby, England, traveled about, and now live in New Zealand.  Having trained and worked as a lawyer, I’m at last refocusing my life on what I’ve been secretly doing all along – art.

The journey so far has taken me from England to Scotland, to Africa, and now New Zealand.  Through it all, art underpinned and sustained me through a heap of stuff – I’ve been grateful for that.

Now, this exercise of putting down on ‘cyberpaper’ the journey that brought me to where I am as a person and an artist is helping me rediscover myself after ‘losing’ ten years of my life caring for my elderly mom with Alzheimers.  I’ve come away with no regrets for giving that time, and at last it is being returned to me.  Here, if you care to check out some of the struggles of being a carer, is my account of the process written while in the thick of it – The Alzheimers Carer.

This blog is in a sense its own fulfilment, though like my art it does have a definite message of love and respect for our wonderful planet and the creatures that inhabit it with us – we have severely misused both.

If anyone cares to join me in this journey, I shall be truly honored.  For my main Home Page that links and knits together all my websites, click HERE.

For a time warp journey to my last project, visit Taketakerau.com which features the 36 major paintings I created for a recently-published book about the nature and history of New Zealand.

Peace!
Patricia

Showcasing the Paintings, Sculpture and Jewelry of a multi-talented New Zealander with a love of nature and a background in – of all things – the law.