Blog

Join me as I blog about art, Africa, conservation, field sketching, studio painting, wildlife, art safaris and life as an artist. And a few other topics as they grab me!

Recent Posts

Elephants in Brown Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2016

Endangered Species Day Donations

Today is Endangered Species Day.  This is not a day we should need on our calendars, but unfortunately it comes around every year, with more and more species falling into the ‘endangered’ bracket.

Restful Field Sketch © Alison Nicholls

Restful Field Sketch – 8×10″ original watercolor on paper, unframed, US$200. A donation of US$70 will be made to Cheetah Conservation Botswana from this sale.

 

We hear about the plight of charismatic species like lions, cheetahs and painted dogs, but habitat loss, the bushmeat trade, the pet trade and human-wildlife conflict are pushing a huge percentage of our Earth’s species towards ‘endangered’ status. It is downright depressing.

Lioness and Cubs Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2016

Lioness & Cubs Field Sketch – 11×14″ original watercolor on paper, unframed, US$300. A donation of US$105 will be made to African People & Wildlife in Tanzania from this sale.

So what can we do?
A lot.

Dog Pack Field Sketch © Alison Nicholls 2015

Painted Dogs in the Morning Field Sketch – 11×14″ original watercolor on paper, unframed, US$300. A donation of US$105 will be made to Painted Dog Research Trust in Zimbabwe from this sale.

Get involved, particularly in your own local area. Make sure your local politicians know how important the environment is to you. Stand against destructive development projects and stand up for sustainable long-term solutions. Protect invaluable wetlands, forests, plains and wild places, not just because they are beautiful and provide necessary habitat for numerous species, but because they provide us with recreation and employment opportunities, and because they are essential to our own well-being.

Elephants in Brown Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2016

Elephants in Brown Field Sketch – 11×14″ original watercolor on paper, unframed, US$300. A donation of US$105 will be made to African People & Wildlife in Tanzania from this sale.

It is not eliteist to stand up for our stunning planet and its inhabitants. It is absolutely necessary.

Cheetah Trio Field Sketch © Alison Nicholls

Cheetah Trio Field Sketch – 11×14″ limited edition reproduction, printed on watercolor paper, unframed, 25 copies only, US$120 each. A donation of US$36 will be made to Cheetah Conservation Botswana from this sale.

And if donating to African conservation organizations is important to you, you can take a look at some of my work and know that for today, and throughout the weekend, I will be making large donations from any sale. I will also be offering free shipping within the continental US and half-price shipping elsewhere in the world.
Lets make Endangered Species Day unnecessary.
Thank you.
Alison

Alison Nicholls
alison@artinspiredbyafrica.com

What Does Endangered Look Like?

Endangered looks like this… And this… and this… Endangered is losing 99% of your population in just over 100 years… And no longer being found in 25 of the 39 African countries you once roamed… The Painted Dog (also known as the African wild dog) is endangered. Approximately 500,000 of these never-domesticated wild canids existed […]

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New Elephant Field Work by Alison Nicholls

Yesterday I got back from my latest trip to South Africa and Botswana, where I had a number of great elephant sightings. One memorable morning included a herd of 40 elephants who spent time carefully touching and smelling the bones of a dead elephant cow (more about that coming soon). This new sketch shows a […]

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Sketching in Africa!

During my sketching trip to Botswana and South Africa I will be trying out some new painting surfaces, although I’ll still be using my trusty watercolor sketchbooks by Holbein. (Yes, the 14×11″ size sketchbook with the incredibly catchy and colorful name: Multi-Drawing Book 5F. I suppose the workhorse-like name and plain cover might help prevent me from spiraling dizzily out of control […]

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Do You Know These Hamerkop Facts?

First, the obvious – Hamerkop means ‘hammer-head’ in Africaans. Don’t think I need to explain why! Second – the Hamerkop is only a medium sized bird, but it builds huge nests, often 6-8 feet across, made of thousands of sticks usually wedged between the branches of a large tree. Third – the Hamerkop nest has […]

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A Different Kind of Desert

The deserts I usually frequent in Africa do contain a lot of thorny, spikey plants, and Namibia in particular does have some outlandishly beautiful flora, but recently I visited Arizona and was struck by the cacti. Not literally of course – I just thought I’d share some images! There was a mini heat-wave going on while I was there (117F […]

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2 New Spaces on 2016 Art Safari!

Someone’s change of plans could start your Artistic Flight of Fantasy… That’s right – we now have 2 spaces available on the 2nd sold out 2016 Art Safari in South Africa. The dates are September 14-18 and the venue is the Klaserie Game Reserve in South Africa on the edge of Kruger National Park. Its prime […]

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An Exhibition In Images: Children Sketching Animals!

Part III of an exhibition in images features Children Sketching Animals. Chris Evers from Animal Embassy brought scorpions, an African bullfrog, a monk parakeet, an emerald tree boa and a rabbit. 25 local children arrived to sketch and sculpt with tuition from artists Alison Nicholls, Karryl, David Rankin, Susan Fox and Sean Murtha. All in a […]

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An Exhibition in Images: Opening Reception

Part II of an exhibition in images features the Opening Reception. The exhibition is Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, which features field work and studio work from 7 Signature members of the Society of Animal Artists. Each artist works in a different region of the world: Alison Nicholls (Africa); David Rankin (India); […]

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An Exhibition in Images: Setup

This is the story of an exhibition…in images. The exhibition is Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, which features field work and studio work from 7 Signature members of the Society of Animal Artists. Each artist works in a different region of the world: Alison Nicholls (Africa); David Rankin (India); Karryl (Rocky […]

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Wildlife Art in the Flinn Gallery

Soon my paintings, including Zebra in Mopane, will be hanging in the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut. We have some great events scheduled around this exciting exhibition, so come and see the wildlife of Africa, Mongolia, Alaska, India, the Rocky Mountains, Central America and the Long Island Sound from the unique perspectives of a diverse […]

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Start the Weekend with Chittering Dogs!

Start the weekend with chittering painted dogs! Join me to hear Dr Greg Rasmussen of the Painted Dog Research Trust talk about the unique, endangered and beautiful Painted Dog (African wild dog). Dr Rasmussen will talk about the years he has spent with painted dogs and the challenges facing them, particularly in Zimbabwe. I recently […]

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Spot my New Cheetah Painting!

I’d like to show you my new cheetah painting, Strides, but I can’t – not yet! It will be revealed in late March when it hangs in the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, CT, as part of the exhibition Wildlife Art: Field to Studio. In the meantime, enjoy the preview! Flinn Gallery Greenwich Library, 101 West Putnam […]

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Painted Dog Playtime by Alison Nicholls

Playtime is based on my recent sketches and memories of painted dogs in Botswana playing around a tall clump of buffalo grass. So where is the grass, I hear you asking? Well the composition did originally contain the grass, but I removed it because I felt that the obvious playful energy of the 2 dogs was […]

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Painted Dogs AND Wolves – 1 Night Only!

Dr Greg Rasmussen of the Painted Dog Research Trust in Zimbabwe will be speaking at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY, about the challenges faced by painted dogs (African wild dogs) and how research can help conserve the species. After the lecture you will be able to see more charismatic canids in the shape […]

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Part 2: Fashionable Color Palettes – Artistic Smart Move or Sellout? An Artist’s Opinion.

Color is a very, very important part of my art and my color choices are carefully considered. I often use color to indicate a time of day – reds and oranges for the heat of midday; blues and purples for dusk. I also use combinations of colors to suggest a mood – limiting my palette of […]

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Fashionable Color Palettes – Artistic Smart Move or Sellout?

A while ago a good friend of mine pointed out that most of my paintings in a certain color palette were sold. At the end of each year I look at my sales and try to determine trends, including general color schemes, but I have never made a point of checking out the current season’s ‘fashionable’ colors and using them […]

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2016 Art Safaris Fully Booked!

There have been no flurries of snow here but there have been a flurry of bookings for the Art Safaris I teach for Africa Geographic! We advertised 1 safari in September 2016, then added a 2nd, also in September. And as of today, they are both fully booked! Its a great start to 2016, although I apologize to those of you […]

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Festive Fun!

Festive Fun! From my Home to Yours…   whether you have snow or not, have a fun-filled Festive Season! (I will try to console my dog with some stuffed toys until colder, more seasonal weather arrives!) Take care Alison 

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Oh No – I’m In An Elephant Sandwich!

On safari, its not generally a good sign when someone starts videoing your vehicle, because the chances are you are about to star in a viral YouTube video about a dangerous or scary incident. So when the people in a car in front of us turned around to video us and an elephant, I was not very happy! We were in Pilanesberg […]

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This Is Not A Drill – Art and Fire Alarms!

I’ve been working on my latest painted dog piece for over 2 weeks now. And something is definitely wrong. The composition and drawing are good, but I’m finding excuses to leave my studio. Every time I come back in, I try to evaluate the painting with fresh eyes, but in my head, alarm bells are […]

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Caption Competition!

An informal moment from my recent visit to Mana Pools with Dr Gregory Rasmussen of the Painted Dog Research Trust. I think this image deserves a caption competition. So…any ideas what is happening here…or any great captions…. I’m all ears… Until next time Alison www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

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Running to Catch Up on World Cheetah Day!

On this World Cheetah Day, I’m sprinting to get this out in time… and sharing a quick field sketch of 2 hunting cheetahs from my recent trip to Botswana. The sketch was created in pencil then the watercolor was added once I returned to camp (without reference to photos or video). In the spirit of […]

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Tigers, Manta Rays and Racing Extinction!

I have not seen a wild tiger 1. I have not been swimming in the ocean with sharks or manta rays. Although I have not seen these species in their wild habitats, I know that each one fills a unique niche and that the planet will be a poorer place without them. If you are reading this, clicking like, adding […]

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African Wildlife Sketch #21 – Elephant Bull (sold) by Alison Nicholls

This final sketch from my new series is another from Mana Pools. This was an elephant bull who definitely had right of way through our campsite, looking for delicious seed pods around our tents. Behind him you can see the Zambezi River and Zambian escarpment – a typical view of this beautiful park in northern Zimbabwe. I thought […]

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