After receiving another Nguni painting order a few months ago, I was determined to find a new herd to use for this composition. Although I have loads of pictures of Ngunis from various sources, and Nguni stud books going back almost 10 years; the animals in all the various sketches I made, did not relate to each other. This sounds like an insignificant detail. But in order to throw a good measure of life and enthusiasm into the painting, I felt the need to find a fresh new herd. I subsequently heard about a renowned Nguni breeder not far away on the farm ‘Gelykfontein’ between Venterstad and Colesburg.
When John and I paid him a visit, we were totally captivated by all the wonderful Ngunis that we saw and photographed. As a result there were loads of inspiring photos available for this composition.
I then went ahead enthusiastically, and printed up a small batch of photos to start with some new sketches; but as often happens when things go so well, my computer crashed and all my photos were trapped and inaccessible!
The computer went off to Johannesburg for repairs etc, and I was left with only that initial batch of photos that had been printed. How fortunate that I had those at least; and it was enough to get going and build up a satisfactory composition, and at least I had the fresh inspiration in my mind to launch into the project.
I naturally enjoyed using a karoo landscape and background for this painting as it is the countryside we live in, and love ; and the cattle seemed quite at home where they were placed in the scene. Getting the composition right, is always challenging, with considerations like the direction of the light and the way the eye travels in and on towards the distance. There were several times when I wished I had access to all those other lovely photos on my computer (still in Johannesburg). However, it is amazing that it worked out quite adequately in the end, and I have a faithful Lord to thank for that.