Gemsbok by Jon Ciarletta
My first experience of seeing the majestic Gemsbok antelope occurred in 2017 while on safari near Douglas, Northern Cape, South Africa. Although most active during daybreak and sunset hours; Gemsbok were seen moving in groups of 10 to 30 animals throughout the day. I was struck by their curiosity; when they first observed me in the area, in unison they all stopped and looked directly at me without fear or hostility. Their black and white faces appeared vibrant against the dense vegetation. Male and female alike bore a pair of long spear-shaped horns atop their heads. Their bodies were thickly muscled and trimmed with a wide black horizontal stripe running the length of their bodies along the belly line. Each sported a long black tail similar to a horse. The view of these magnificent creatures backlit by the most colorful sunsets one could ever imagine was the inspiration for my painting.
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