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#14 African Penguin

African Penguin (760mm x 610mm acrylic on canvas)

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Anyone who describes penguins as flightless birds has perhaps not had the privilege of watching them underwater, for it is here that a somewhat ungainly bird transforms into something completely different, taking on a grace and agility comparable to the flight of an albatross as it skims above the surface of the sea before banking away, twisting and turning with the force of the wind. The small size of penguin flippers compared to the albatross wing points to the higher density of water than air, for they too show extraordinary control, banking and turning, and, with a few flicks of their flippers they are off, darting and dashing into the ocean depths. Technically this is called swimming, but combined with the power and grace of flight, it becomes something special, something completely unique.

An early morning visit to the Boulders penguin colony near Simons Town offers wonderful sightings of these enigmatic birds as they rise with the dawn and slowly make their way down to the edge of the sea, before slipping below the surface and taking flight towards their distant feeding grounds.

This painting is available as a limited edition signed print. To place an order, or for more information, visit The 52 Artworks Collection

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