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Looking forward thinking back  African Leopard
Looking forward thinking back  African Leopard
Looking forward thinking back  African Leopard

Looking forward, thinking back - African Leopard

Artwork Type: Print,Original Piece

Pastel on Supertooth paper

42 X 49 cm

I like to tell people I never paint an animal I haven't met. My reasons for that are many but chiefly one needs to ask just how can anyone paint something they have never personally experienced at first hand. I really don't believe you can though even if you could fool yourself, the public have great B.S. metres and I reckon if you are spinning them a line they will pick up on it.

So, to that end.... yes.... I have met this beautiful leopard in person.... not wild but at a private game park in South Africa.    He was quite young and had that irrepressible spirit and spark of curiosity the young of so many species exhibit.

When I sat on the ground next to the wire mesh fence, he did what so many creatures do if they are not threatened by a tall, upright human and immediately came running over to say hello. Some big cats greet each other by chuffling (sometimes called prusten) ... making repeated gentle puffing sounds as they expel short breaths through their nose.... bringing their whiskers forward to feel and sniff out their newfound friend. Although some authorities claim leopards do not chuffle this fella most certainly did and responded to my friendly overtures by puffing very happily in my face all the while pressing his nose gently to mine.

What a treat and what a joyous lifetime memory for me. Hopefully his spirit shows through in the final artwork. Done in a blend of soft pastels and pastel pencil I loved exploring the colour and depth that helped this fella to spring forward off the paper. And oh, those beautiful leopard eyes.... unlike any other big cat with that luminous green.

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“My art is of nature,
 for nature


Steve Morvell

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