Vervet Monkey

360 mm x 260 mm • Oil on Linen

Original image by Chris Martin wildlife photography. The moment I saw this image of Chris’s I had to paint it. Vervets are common bushveld residents as well as common residents in and around our suburbs in KZN. They are often misunderstood and sometimes even despised in our residential areas, seen as dangerous pests who sneak into homes and raid our food supplies. The truth is however that they are highly intelligent opportunistic creatures that inhabited these areas long before we did, habitat destruction as well as opportunistic behavioural patterns cause our paths to cross on a daily basis and careless behaviour on our parts can lead to vicious behaviour on theirs. All of this aside they are an absolute joy to watch when they are in their natural environment and engrossed by day to day troop dynamics. I adore this image; Chris has managed to capture an extremely pensive expression on this little primate’s face. I am always drawn to catch light in the eyes of a subject and it doesn’t get much better than this. I love the rich tones in the background and the fine fur detail around the face. This is a beautiful representation of the more ‘intellectual’ side that all primates’ possess

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