Some of you may recall my recent post of a lilac-breasted roller we spotted in Kenya. If you don’t, refresh your memory. This bird was at the top of my to-see list in Kenya, not despite and in fact because it was so common there. Satisfaction guaranteed. (I also had a second, non-official list, which essentially consisted of the entire Birds of East Africa field guide.)
In addition to the blog post, I also posted the photograph on Project Noah. In case I haven’t fangirled about it before, this site is the best thing ever. (It’s also what got me started on this craziness. In case you can’t tell.) It’s essentially a social media for wildlife spottings. Think Instagram, animal-style. Through it I’ve met so many fellow ‘crazy nature people’ and learned so much about – well, everything. It was a distinct high point for me last year when my spotting of a black rhinoceros received Spotting of the Day, something I’ve been wanting ever since I got started. (Also, on the main page, in the header where all the spottings are featured, click on the fungi icon and scroll a little to the right. You might spot a familiar photograph. STILL NOT OVER IT.) If you love wildlife, and photography, Project Noah is the thing.
I’m not paid by them. Promise.
Anyways, back to the roller. I got a comment on my spotting from Karen Lockyear, a biologist-turned artist, asking if she could paint the photograph, and possibly sell prints of it.
My first reaction: what.
Seriously, I consider my photography to be mediocre at best. I enjoy it, yes, but someone wanting to paint it?
So, yesterday I get an email from Karen with the completed painting. And I’m still in a little shock of how beautiful the thing is.
I MEAN, LOOK AT IT. She has taken my photograph and transformed into something way, way beyond. All things bad about it have disappeared. I do not know this witchcraft.
She hasn’t yet set up her Etsy store, but when that’s up I will definitely link that here. Because. I mean. The above.
So: thank you, Karen. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
If you want to read about snakes instead of paintings, check out my recent post on my other blog, Saving MacRitchie, and learn about some of the fantastic wildlife in the Central Catchment Reserve.