W & N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm.

“Real loss only occurs when you lose something that you love more than yourself.”

Gina, a white domestic goose, was born to a large clutch of goslings, but right from the beginning I could see something wasn’t kosher. He couldn’t keep up with the rest of the crowd and upon closer investigation I noticed that he had a slight ‘hump-back’ which impaired his walking a bit. So of course, straight into the basket with a hot water bottle and 2-hourly feeds at night. quite unnecessary, as goslings can fend for themselves from day one, but Gina was special, and he got special treatment!

It wasn’t long before he started following me all over the house, running with a peculiar little limp, as if his one leg was shorter than the other and he soon graduated to following me around in the garden.

Gina was the perfect companion, following when I walked, and sitting at my feet when I sat down. He loved being held and cuddled and would hiss sweet little nothings in my ear as we sat on the lawn, staring up at me with those beautiful blue eyes. His feathers were sparkly white and the down on his tummy was exquisitely soft, no wonder they use Goose Down to make duvets!

Then he started taking little explorations into the garden on his own, making a couple of friends among the other geese, most of whom would have nothing to do with him and he steered well clear of them. One thing about geese, they can be utterly ruthless. Domestic geese have been used for centuries as watch animals and guards, and are among the most aggressive of all poultry. There’s not a thief or anybody with less than honest (or honest!) intentions that can approach your house without a huge racket ensuing! Visiting friends and family were well advised to hoot and call before getting out of their vehicles!

Gina spent many beautiful years with us on our smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa), but unfortunately he came to an untimely demise, and I was totally heart-broken.

  1. 19th June 2011 – FEATURED in Shameless Self-Promotion
  2. 19th June 2011 – FEATURED in The Best of Anything & Everything
  3. 20th June 2011 – FEATURED in Playful Photogenic or Color-Painted Animals
  4. 21st June 2011 – FEATURED in Sketching and Drawings
  5. 23rd June – FEATURED in A Place to Start
  6. 11th December 2011 – FEATURED in Sketching and Drawings
  7. 25th February 2014 – FEATURED by RedBubble in EXPLORE
  8. 27th February 2014 – FEATURED in Love these Creatures
  9. 27th February 2014 – FEATURED in Everyday Women

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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  • Sue Nichol
    Sue Nicholover 3 years ago

    lovely painting and a really good tribute to your gander friend.

  • Thank you Sue, and the fav is much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 3 years ago

    I enjoyed the story in spite of the so sad ending. I also feel honored that my photo was the inspiration for this lovely painting Maree! What a good friend you had in Gina! ;-)

  • It seems there is SO much sadness in nature Liz and one certainly opens yourself to it when you get involved. But I certainly have a lot of beautiful memories for my efforts! Thank you for adding it to your favs, I feel honoured!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 3 years ago

    I never thought of a goose as someone’s pet. You have opened my eyes to so much about birds of all kinds, Maree!

  • Aaaah Dot! Geese make WONDERFUL pets, as do chickens! I’ll still get round to sketching Kiep (my pet hen) and telling her story… She sits in the drawer of my desk every day as I paint or work on my PC and is a great companion! Hugs

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Linda Jackson
    Linda Jacksonover 3 years ago

    Poor Gina! At least he had a happy life! Great painting, Maree.
    I guess I have never posted Mr. Goose, I’ll have to look for him.
    Mr. Goose lives in a small pond not too far from here.
    Mr. Goose thinks he is a mallard duck! He protects all the ducks from the big, bad Canadian geese that dare to invade his pond! Great fun to watch!
    But the female mallard ducks are always wary of him, because he wants a wife DESPERATELY!!!! ;O)))
    We’ve caught him more than once trying to have his way with them!
    what a hoot!
    Have a great day/nite, Maree! Linda

  • Thank you Linda! That’s what’s so wonderful about RB, it inspires us in so many ways! Gorgeous story about Mr. Goose, and that behaviour is so TYPICAL of them, you certainly must post it and tell the story! And thank you for the fav, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelover 3 years ago

    Beautiful painting, and tribute; so heartbreaking that his life ended this way. :(

  • Thanks ever so much Cindy. Sorry you’re sad, but the reality of nature is sometimes more than we can bear. But the years we spent together was absolutely amazing and makes up for any sadness.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgerover 3 years ago

    OMG…you must have been devastated, what a sad story! BUT, what a beautiful piece of work and tribute, Maree!! He is gorgeous, cherish the memories with him!

  • Oh Gail, I certainly was, but as you say, the memories will always stay! Thank you for your lovely comment and the fav, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Sarah Couzens
    Sarah Couzensover 3 years ago


  • Thank you so much Sarah!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • CaDra
    CaDraover 3 years ago

    This is very sweet love the colours Maree

  • Thanks for that Carolyn, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsover 3 years ago

    Excellent work Maree, love the contrast.

  • Thanks Mr. Jim, appreciate that!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • shanghaiwu
    shanghaiwuover 3 years ago
  • Aaah, thank you for this feature Shanghaiwu, this is absolutely grand!!

    – Maree Clarkson

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