I’ve been a member of the Explorers Club for a few years now but this was the first time I had sketched at the headquarters – the Lowell Thomas Building in New York City. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before – its a beautiful old building full of amazing paintings, sculptures and, of course, it is a treasure trove of items relating to exploration. My friend and fellow sketch artist Hazel Jarvis accompanied me and we set up in the Trophy Room. I settled down to sketch the imposing fireplace, over which hangs a painting of Arctic Explorer Peter Freuchen, painted by fellow Explorers Club member Robert Brackman. During one of his expeditions Freuchen had to use a hammer to knock off the severely frostbitten toes on his left foot, just to make it out alive. His leg was later amputated but he continued with his Arctic explorations. Explorers Club members are made of tough stuff!
Hazel and I sketched for about 2 hours, barely noticing the muted sounds of New York City outside. Time flew by, we stopped for a quick break, then carried on. It wasn’t until I finished adding the watercolor to my sketch that the irony of the subject matter really struck me – even when I’m sketching indoors in New York City I manage to include African wildlife in my work – 2 sable antelope and a pair of African elephant tusks. Some of the drums you can see next to the fireplace are African too.
I guess that for me there is no escape from Africa!
Shown below is a page from Hazel’s sketchbook. We have very different styles but her work is great and its always so interesting to see another artist’s interpretation of the same place. We are already planning a return visit.
Learn more about the Explorers Club
The Explorers Club Monday lecture series is open to the public and you can hear from explorers, scientists and all sorts of other interesting speakers. I will be speaking there on the evening of September 29, 2014, about my conservation-themed art. More details will follow soon.
Until next time…
Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Nicholls Wildlife Art