A lion rolls onto his back & yawns. A cheetah surveys the morning horizon. Alerted impala cock their ears & an elephant raises his trunk to the scent on the wind –
these are the moments I wait for – this is why I paint.
South Africa is my home & theirs. We are warmed by the same earth-baking sun,
cooled by the same dust-soaking rains & united by our love of the grass, trees, rivers
& skies of this land. My hand seems guided to draw attention to the gift we have in
these creatures and to represent them.
My intimate knowledge of African wildlife & their magnificent detail is the result of
many hours spent amongst them, photographing them & observing their
behaviour. This time not only connects me to them, but obligates me to honour
their natures by correctly & sincerely portraying them.
In my Sepia series, my intent is always to focus on the character of the animal which
is conveyed through the eyes & body language. This is achieved through thoughtful
composition, omission of background & a limited colour palette. Working in acrylic
paint allows me to create highly detailed texture, accentuating posture &
movement while keeping focal points, such as eyes, soft & life-like.
In my Sun series, I specifically use colour to convey the mood of the animal & it’s
relationship with the African sun in all its’ vibrant hues. As it washes wildlife in colour
– burning outlines & blending them with their surroundings, I single out the most
intense hue of any given scene & amplify it. I use liquid acrylic for its vibrant
pigment & unpredictable nature – which seems aptly comparable to that of wildlife,
and in a loser, more spontaneous application, sun & mood become one.
All artwork and content on this website is the copyright of Michelle Decker. No commercial use of any image or artwork on this website is permitted without the prior written authorisation of Michelle Decker.