This is watercolour in an old soft-cover book that was destined for the dustbin.

Every Spring this Bishop ( Euplectes orix) dons his vibrant red and black coat, providing bursts of colour as he flits through the trees, trying to catch the attention of a female, building nest after nest until one is accepted and the happy couple move in to raise their brood of 3 or four little Bishops.

I’ve developed this quirky habit of sketching in old books – happened quite by mistake. I was clearing out the bookshelf and took a couple of books destined for the dustbin outside to my deck, with a cup of tea, to browse before finally discarding them. (I’m a terrible hoarder, have trouble throwing anything away!)*

The Red Bishop was perched on a fence post in my garden, (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) and I just HAD to capture him before he flew off – this old book was the closest, and my pencil is always behind my ear, so I grabbed it, did a quick sketch before he flew off, rushed inside for my paints and returned to finish the colours off while he was flitting from tree to tree.

And so started a new hobby – no more books in the dustbin, many accompany me on my field trips for some quick little sketches of grasses, weeds and indigenous flowers – I’ll use the sketches that I do in these soft-covers as reference for larger paintings at a later stage.

  1. 26th June 2010 – FEATURED in Water Media
  2. 29th November 2010 – FEATURED in Inspirational Greeting Cards
  3. 10th June 2011 – FEATURED in Sketching and Drawings
  4. 10th June 2011 – FEATURED in Mozambique
  5. 25th September 2011 – FEATURED in Collage with Traditional Materials


animals, birds, bird, painted birds, maree clarkson, africa, red bishop, bishop, south africa, tarlton, krugersdorp, magaliesburg, gauteng, watercolour, watercolor, wildlife, nature, cards with words, red bishop in soft cover

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallabout 4 years ago

    You know I love this one…I think it’s the red feathers or the writing in the background or maybe the look in his eye. Just love it!

  • Thank you Liz! I’m looking forward to sketching him again as soon as Spring arrives!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • MissingYou
    MissingYouabout 4 years ago


  • Thank you Robin, and thanks for the fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • JaniceMachado
  • Thank you for accepting Janice!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Mariaan M Krog Fine Art Portfolio
    Mariaan M Krog...about 4 years ago

    Beautiful artwork!

  • Thanks Mariaan.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Marion Chapman
    Marion Chapmanabout 4 years ago

  • Aaaaw! I’m absolutely thrilled by this honour Marion!!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • vigor
    vigoralmost 4 years ago

    Great job, love the story!

  • Ah, pleased you like it Vigor, thank you!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Marie Sharp
    Marie Sharpover 3 years ago

  • Oh WOW Marie, this is GREAT news! Thank you for the feature, I’m really thrilled and it is much appreciated!!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • TSykes
    TSykesabout 3 years ago

    VERY NICE JOB >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    SEE YA


  • Thanks ever so much Troy!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • terezadelpilar~ art & architecture
    terezadelpilar...about 3 years ago


  • OMG Tereza! This is absolutely GREAT! Thank you for the feature, I’m really thrilled to bits!!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallabout 3 years ago

    Congrats on all previous features and also on the one in Sketching & Drawings Maree! Well done!

  • Thanks a lot Liz, much appreciated!!

    – Maree Clarkson

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