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As far back as I can remember, I have always had a profound love and respect for nature, and all of her creatures. Of course, it goes without saying that my love and respect extend also to the environment and ecosystems in which these creatures live. I am passionate about animals and have a particular affection for wildlife.
Chief Dan George, born Geswanouth Slahoot (July 24, 1899 - September 23, 1981) an indigenous Canadian, was a man who had an intense respect and a reverence for nature. He wrote much during his lifetime, but it is these words which I find most inspiring:
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys".
Humans are, to a large degree, masters of their own destiny. While animals, and the rest of the natural world, have sadly been deprived of this privilege, and must rely on the whims of the human race for their very survival. To quote Chief Dan again, "We are as much alive as we keep the Earth alive". In other words, without nature, in all her diversity, the human race will not survive.
I have always been interested in sketching and painting, but never took it too seriously. Then, a few years before retirement, I discovered pyrography. I found the incongruity between the destructive power of fire (heat), and the creation of beautiful images, absolutely fascinating. The ability to control this force and then use it creatively on a natural medium like wood, immediately appealed to me.
Upon retiring, several years ago, I was fortunate enough to find a home in the bush, where I can experience and interact with many of nature's miracles on a daily basis. With this unending source of inspiration, and enough time on my hands, I began spending more and more time learning and practising the art of pyrography. In addition, I am learning how to paint with acrylics, which I also find stimulating and satisfying. My first love, however, will always be pyrography.
I am self-taught and examples of my work are to be found in private collections in England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I hope that my work will, in some small way, focus attention on the plight of animals and the natural environment, and, perhaps, help to engender a change in outlook. If I may, a last quote from Chief Dan: "Where no one intrudes, many can live in harmony".