When I first moved to Silvermere way back in 1978, I never thought I would get used to the vast treeless nature of the karoo landscape. It was such a dramatic change after all the wonderful woodlands of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) where I grew up. As my father was particularly interested in botanical research and the trees in particular, we travelled extensively around the country to collect leaf specimens of tree varieties for the Herbarium in Salisbury (Harare). It was such an all consuming interest that our whole family became familiar with identifying the tree species with ease. My brother,(John Burrows) was particularly inspired, and has made a career out of this passion for plants. He has written several botanical books and continues to travel widely throughout southern Africa collecting, recording and photographing various plant species for his research.
However, despite this heritage, the vast, barren and expansive nature of the karoo has inadvertently crept into my heart. It has become one of my most stirring and favourite painting inspirations. I never tire of photographing it as we crisscross the karoo on every available little holiday adventure. We have travelled so many of the little dirt tracks & farm roads to find new vistas and quaint treasures that would make good painting subjects. We avoid the main tar roads as often as possible, and have covered most of the central & eastern Karoo, as well as Namaqualand, the Northern Cape and the Freestate. But there is always something new over the next horizon, and I doubt that my appetite for these beautiful arid landscapes will ever be exhausted.