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Acrylic on Acrylic Gesso primed un-stretched acrylic canvas sheet 12″ × 8″
The original is not available.
African Elephant – Elephantidae Loxodonta

“Keep five yards from a carriage, ten yards from a horse, and a hundred yards from an elephant; but the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured.”
~Indian Proverb ~

With a height of just over 3 – 4m (measured at the shoulder), a length of between 6 to 7.5m (that’s the length of an average motor car garage!) and weighing in at 6 tonnes, these mostly gentle giants of the African bush are highly intelligent with a strong sense of family and herd, and a complex social structure.

Elephants are incredibly social animals: they form strong, long-lasting bonds within their herd. They adopt orphaned calves, help injured elephants and work together. They have surprisingly complicated behavioural patterns and interactions. An injured member may be helped to its feet and supported by other herd members: if it is badly wounded, it may be vigorously defended by the herd, with even the calves taking part. Although elephants are normally peaceful individuals, they can be aggressive and extremely dangerous, especially if they are sick or injured. Females in groups with young are particularly unpredictable, as are males in musth.

Here in Africa they are native to a wide variety of habitats including semi-desert scrub, open Savannah’s and dense forest regions. Besides its greater size, it differs from the Asian elephant in having larger ears and tusks, a sloping forehead, and two “fingers” at the tip of its trunk, compared to only one in the Asian species.

For this sketch, I looked at many different photographs from a great many angles, and developed this stance from all the ‘information’ I had gathered in my mind.


20th Feb 2011 – SOLD 1 x Greeting card to RB member Thank you!
4th June 2013 – SOLD 1 x Canvas print – thank you to the buyer!
14th May 2014 – SOLD 1 x Photographic Print – thank you to the buyer!
28th June 2014 – SOLD 1 x Throw Pillow – thank you to the buyer!
13th August 2014 – SOLD 1 x Poster – thank you to the buyer!

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acrylic, africa, animals, elephant, elephants, loxodonta, wildlife, maree clarkson, magaliesburg, tarlton, krugersdorp, gauteng, south africa, masai, maasai, kruger park, nature, earth, gentle giant

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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  • MikiFonv
    MikiFonvalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful, Maree, and what a wonderful title!
    My parents lived many years in West Africa (Congo) and I went to visit them there, but i never saw these gentle giants… but unfortunately immense quantities of stuff made out of their ivory!

  • Ah yes, the Ivory trade – this morning’s news is full of two more Rhinos that were hacked to death for their horns yesterday – a total of 180 Rhinos killed this year…

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Ken Powers
    Ken Powersalmost 4 years ago

    Great work Maree! I love the way the subject interacts with the background!

  • Thank you Ken, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • PS : Thanks for adding it to your favs!!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 4 years ago

    I love the words of your Indian proverb!! Lovely painting of an impressive animal!!

  • Yea, sound advice! Thank you very much Liz!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful work, Maree.

  • Many thanks Dottie!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottalmost 4 years ago

    This is soooo nice! I love the elephant’s stance.

  • thank you soooo much Marshal, pleased you like it!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • shazart
    shazartalmost 4 years ago

    Amazing words – this is amazing artwork Maree. I may have mentioned before – grew up in Rhodesia close to a Game Park, wasn’t I lucky to see elephants in the wild. A Fav – look forward to reading all about them!

  • So pleased you like it Shaz, thank you very much!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizma Knowles
    Elizma Knowlesalmost 4 years ago

    Stunning Maree! Takes me back to all the hours hubby and I spent in Pilanesberg National Park watching them.

  • What a wonderful experience that must have been Elizma! They are truly beautiful to see in real life! Thanks for your lovely remark!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Susan van Zyl
    Susan van Zylalmost 4 years ago
  • Thank you so much Susan!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • MIchelle Thompson
    MIchelle Thompsonalmost 4 years ago

    Stunning work

  • Many thanks Michelle

    – Maree Clarkson

  • BigCatPhotos
    BigCatPhotosalmost 4 years ago

    This is excellent, such brilliant artwork.

  • Thank you very much BC, pleased you like it!

    – Maree Clarkson

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