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The Leopard Sun by balaa The Leopard Sun by balaa

The road was straight, long and uneventful and with the morning energy waning from our group, each person fell to their own private thoughts.

I wondered if the stars would be as magnificent over the Kalahari, whether I might glimpse a brown hyena, and that I couldn’t wait to peel my socks off and have them laundered. 

It was appropriate then that when we least expected it, when our exuberance for this magical place was somewhat dulled by exhaustion, that it should remind us that wonder stalks around the corner.

Lelobu, our new vehicle, slowed with a lurch and B-man whispered, “Leopard”.

And there he was, trotting on the roadside ahead, not 40 feet away.  My heart clenched in disbelief as he swerved and dove into the swaddle of ochre painted brush. Our vehicle pulled up beside him and I became acutely aware of the awkward prattling din of our vehicle’s engine.

A fierce effulgent gaze that rivaled the brilliance of the sun commanded us to the fall of awe.

And then he was gone.” --Excerpt from “Dry Season Only”</em>

This is a piece I completed sometime last year for our Expanding Horizons Kickstarter and the book that would later be called "Dry Season Only" (for REASONS).

This painting is a coalescence of many moments from our trip to Botswana. It all sped by so fast, a tangle of moments with indeterminable beginnings and ends. It was all hard to process in the moment, so it makes sense, I suppose, that through art these memories found their place and the poignancy of emotion that I did not have a chance to experience in the moment itself.


This piece is dedicated to my husband, Lorien, and to Hawa, The Leopard Sun.


There are so many more words I could use in this description to talk about this piece, what it means to me and how it came to be but I feel I’d just be regurgitating passages of the book.


If you are interested, there are still some limited number of books available through the artists that I was blessed enough to share this journey with.  This is an extremely limited run and unlikely that it will be published again due to prohibitive costs.  But if you would like to have one of your own and share in our story and support it’s creators, you may purchase a copy from myself or one of the other incredible artists that went.


You can buy one of my copies from:…


Or Laura Garabedian’s shop at:…


Or Foxfeather’s shop at:…

As always, thank you for looking folks, your support is what made this book, this piece, and just about all the work I do possible. Thank you for being a source of encouragement and inspiration!

Add a Comment:
Kelshray Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
My God, It's just so amazing, I can's describe how much...
Cexxloc Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2017
very nice
Ka-Rei Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2017
The image is sad and depressive, like telling: "The death approaches."
And it has a shape of leopard, yay ^_^
shekiahjoy Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
Love the colours in this! :love:
Joannamation Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Gorgeous work. :)
I love the surreal element with the burning sunflowers.
DM7 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Wow so beautiful. I love how you managed to put tiny lights shimmering through there and there. Epic piece! :thumbsup:
Valentina-Remenar Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2016  Professional General Artist
Another simply gorgeous artwork by you... love the contrast between the darkness which you have on the left and more peaceful scene on the right Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
jennystokes Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2016  Professional General Artist
Excellent 'surreal' look about this.
Derbella Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
asdfghjkl0440 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016
This looks super cool! <3.
the writing and the picture itself give off so much emotion and I love it!
dingo-murci Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
annewipf Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2016
So beautiful, great artwork! :love:
RNDave Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Probably my fav deviation of yours. Congratulations, it's amazing :clap: :+fav:
MomokoShinzoArts Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
DragoRoku Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2016
mecengineer Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2016
bonbon3272 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
YasminFoster Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Woa... :o (Eek) 
Trunchbull Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016   General Artist
It is nice to see this image in its actual colours, and the details are remarkable. It's kind of surreal being able to see all of it, as the print itself appears to be darker and the details kind of melt away in colour.

It was a nice thing to be able to read that book, the adventures you had with your group are very captivating, and the entire thing has made me long to travel to Africa as well. One visit is not enough, as with any country, to truly take in everything there is to offer, but it looks like you all made the most of your time there, and I'm really happy to see how well the Dry Season Only book turned out to be. Your works are inspiration, and I look forward to seeing more in the future
VonZeitZuZeit Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist

Absolutely stunning work! I like the colors and the depiction of the fire, it’s really fascinating.

FrostedCanid Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't think I've ever actually screamed on seeing a piece before
Holy cow well done QwQ :heart:
Lhuin Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Saw some wips of this earlier, so great to see the full painting! It's so gorgeous :love:
TamberElla Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
This is so incredibly gorgeous. Your work always amazes me :heart:
UDtheAesir Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016  Student General Artist
lilwyverngirl Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely lovely~! I love the colors and the sunflowers - how they are even warped and shaped by the fire behind the leopard. All of the piece comes together in a natural yet powerful way~ <3
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Submitted on
October 11, 2016
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