Monday, 19 March 2012


For longer than I can remember I have been fascinated by Afghanistan and find the country, its people and terrain absolutely beautiful and fascinating and think the country (from what I have seen from friends photos and footage) simply stunning!

This post is not in any means about the military and political pressure imposed by the west on this unique Asian country or about my views on the situation there but more about the stunning people and its wildlife of this intriguing part of the world.

The following documentary was a fascinating eye opener to the parts of Afghanistan very rarely shown during press coverage of the country and a place i would like to think I may get the chance to visit in my lifetime.

After watching this film I couldn't get over the happiness and the beauty found within the rural communities despite their living conditons and living in severe poverty. The children were especially gleeful and had a certain air of magic about them. I remember thinking I needed to find away of capturing this through art and thought of know one who could capture the colour and the smiles of the children better than Patrick Gildersleeves who is by far my favourite non avian artist!!!

The best way to sum up Patrick's work is to think of a Masai elder with paintbrushes for fingers!

Freshly inspired by this film I commissioned this true gent to produce a piece of work that encapsulates what I love about this place. Not only did he hit the nail on the head but he brought a small piece of Afghanistan into my living room with some gouache and a paint brush and I can't thank him enough...its simply beautiful!

Honestly Patrick Gildersleeves is a genius and please take the time to look at his website and his blog. I'm sure you will agree his art is beautiful!

I also asked if he could incorporate a picture of Afghan Snow finch (Montifringilla theresae) which as endemic found only in the Hindu Kush (the mountain range between Afghanistan and Pakistan)

Afghanistan's very own finch can be found in Afghanistan's very first national park known as Band-e-Amir that was only designated in 2009. The park aims to protect one of Afghanistan's best-known natural areas: the spectacular series of six deep blue lakes separated by natural dams made of travertine, a mineral deposit. Travertine systems are found in only a few places throughout the world, virtually all of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list and are major international tourist attractions.

It is these blue lakes and the colour of the mountain streams that I find so beautiful and I can only further my gratitude towards Patrick for bringing these colours to life in this illustration.

I just hope I can visit this place one day and be fortunate enough to see such beauty! What a shame the snow leopard was wiped out of this area, If those stunning cats still frequented this area it would be unsurpassed.

Thanks for taking the time for reading a not so usual blog entry and hope you enjoy the art posted.

Best Wishes