Last December, I trekked out to South Africa with my partner, Jonathan. Jonathan was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, through his college years. So we got to ditch the Lonely Planet books and followed the compass of his memory and adventure!
One of the places we stayed was Mabula Game Lodge, a near-14,000 acre wildlife reserve for indigenous game and plants. We saw cheetahs, toucans, zebras, warthogs, hippos, elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, antelope, baboons, rhinos, all in their natural habitats.
One of the best ways to see the wild animals was by horseback riding. Riding a horse allows you to get close to the animals without scaring them, as they can feel threatened by headlights or hearing a car engine. That's when I was able to get on foot with my tour guide and hear the story about a flower in the savannah called a morning glory.
Most morning glory flowers unravel into full bloom in the early morning. The flowers usually start to fade a few hours before the petals start curling inward, sort of like they are sleeping. Some morning glory flowers are night-blooming.
Of course, since my passion is capturing nature, I had to paint this flower! As soon as I made it back to the US, I pulled out a huge 22.5 x 30" sheet of paper painted away. I wanted to catch the bright violet tones of the flower and contrast them with something dark. I went with shades of blue and accents of yellow to symbolize nightfall and daylight, when the morning glories bloom and shrivel. I also added some curling flowers in the mix too.
Check out the slideshow below on how I made this piece! The original "What's the Story, Morning Glory?" piece is for sale in my storefront, along with print copies!