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Safari USA

Painting Across the United States
Sponsored by The Greenwich Workshop

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During the months of August, September and October Simon was working on the painting "Forest Waterhole". This page is devoted to the research, development and progression of the painting throughout the tour.

The Research

Aberdare Mountains This painting, Forest Waterhole, depicts a waterhole in the Aberdare Mountains Conservation Area in Kenya. The area covers some 480 square miles. It rises to a height of 14,000 feet and is home to many rare species of animals and birds. It is an important watershed. One in three Kenyan's livelihood is dependent upon the rainfall, rivers, forest and wildlife of the Aberdares

Simon at waterhole This waterhole I am painting actually exists at an altitude of 7,500 feet. The many different varieties of trees include mountain olive, wild fig (ficus), podo carpus, cedar and cape chestnut. It is unusual to see so many different species of animal visiting a waterhole at the same time but during my research there, I found tracks in the mud of all of them; all except the bongo, which has become very rare.

The Painting

First, I start with a sketch of the location. Then I draw in the animals and birds from other sources . Then I transfer the whole drawing to the canvas using a grid system and then cover it with a very rough first coat. Finally I work on the detailed final coat starting from the the top and working downwards

first drawing on canvas
animals roughed in
starting background
half roughed in

at Heritage Gallery

This oil painting on canvas measures 28 x 84 inches.

It is for sale.


The Completed Painting

Helping to save the Forest

remarque on Elephant Dung paper
When completed, this painting will be released as a limited edition canvas and limited edition paper print. Each commission for the Canvas Edition of Forest Waterhole taken during Safari USA 2002 will be accompanied by this "down to earth" original art collaboration between the endangered elephants of Kenya and myself. The paper on which this 6" x 8" remarque is painted is made from elephant dung. Yes, no kidding, elephant dung.

The Greenwich Workshop will contribute the value of this remarque, $100, to Rhino Ark. This organization is engaged in building a protective fence around the perimiter of the park in which Forest Waterhole can be found. If you would like to order the paper print, we would still like to offer you the chance to contribute $100 to Rhino Ark and receive this one of a kind piece of art.

Ten years ago, my brother started an annual off road rally known as the Rhino Charge to help raise money to build the fence. Every year since then the event has raised ever increasing amounts and this year was the first in which I was able to compete. The fence has reached the 150 mile mark- roughly half way.

Click here to visit Rhino Ark.

To order a print, click here and go to one of the galleries sponsoring the painting tour.




Simon and car 32


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© 2002 Simon Combes
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