All I have to do is start reading my journal…look at my sketches and pore over the thousands of photographs and I feel a spark…my memory travels to…somewhere in Nambia, Africa. The music in my studio may be Geoffrey Oryema, from Uganda or Joni Mitchell and I’m traveling…in my mind and heart. I guess that is part of the richness…the value of travel…the “aliveness” that I carry with me even when I return home.
These four paintings are small acrylic paintings on gessoed paper. I had them displayed in my show in June, but they were not a part of the official “Namibian Portfolio project” so I did not talk about them much. Having not posted them before, here they are! I have added them to my Available Work page.
I will post one each of the next three days and tell you about that moment’s adventure!
They were painted as ideas for larger paintings, but they stand on their own as studies… bits of the story…of travel, of immersion in another place. Decisive sketches and faster brushstrokes…moments that allowed me to release a feeling or a moment in a small painting. These are memories that hit me from my travels in the vast, strange landscape of Namibia. If you’ve traveled in arid, desert country, on any continent, you can probably understand the words, “the land of lost horizons,” as Namibia is described in an older Spectrum travel guide.
Tucked away, many times out of sight of ‘we road travelers,’ were tiny kraals, or villages, where families lived and herded goats or cattle for a meager living. They were groupings of thatched huts with a fence made of thatch surrounding the kraal. The scraped, dry ground inside and out were the result of the constant padding of feet, both human and animal. Fallen branches from nearby trees or thatch were fuel for their cookfires. Sometimes, the kraal fence was made only with wood, depending on the region. Thatch was plentiful in the areas near rivers where the papyrus and reeds grew tall.
The bright orange buildings in this kraal caught my eye as we drove north from Etosha National Park to the town of Tsumeb. John was taking a turn, driving the Toyota 4×4 truck that we had rented. I asked him to turn around and go back so that I could make some photographs. The building materials on this stretch of road, on Namibia’s landscape, were mud and wood…so the kraal was painted brilliant orange over the smooth mud walls. The fence was a spare form made with skinny sticks. Art in life.
Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! Let me know if you have questions or comments or have interest in my work.
©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved