This painting is pretty big. It had to be to convey the overall mood and subtleties of the participants. It is often the case that subject matter determines the size of my work.
Elephants and particularly big bull elephants are very possessive over any water source. I have seen it many times – an old bull racing around dramatically to shoo away buffalo, zebra, hippo, crocodile and of course lion. Apart from the obvious drama, there is also a sense of comical humour to the scene. The participants have come to know each other pretty well. They understand the boundaries and how far they can push their luck. Egos are affected too. In scenarios like this, the elephant bull scoots around kicking up dust with his head held high bellowing who’s in charge. The male lions try to preserve a measure of composure and adopt a nonchalant attitude. If there were females around, they would often put them in the line of fire and stand back a bit.
In this painting I have tried to capture the drama, but also the intrinsic natures of all the characters involved.
Description: Elephant and three lions
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 2m x 1.5m