For as long as man has walked the earth, artists like myself have been drawing from our wild adventures afield. Through our gift, we convey the raw spirit of nature, immortalize the thrill of the hunt, and reveal the circle of life. And while the tools of the modern artist are much different than that of our cave dwelling predecessors, the inspiration that we draw from has always been the same.
Like most of America, I've followed the story of Cecil the Lion and have my own thoughts on the matter. Amid the death threats, finger pointing and social media rants, I've been moved to make a difference. And so I did what I always do when I'm inspired - I painted.
I decided to immortalize Cecil in an original work of art. But the warm, fuzzy, lethargic image of Cecil didn't appeal to me. You know the image I'm talking about - the indifferent cat, basking underneath a lone shade tree on the African savanna, staring back at the camera lens of a tourist as they're carted through on a jeep safari. A glorified zoo animal.
But that's not the way I see Cecil, and I don't believe any lion would want to be remembered that way. Cecil was wild. Cecil was a beast. Cecil was a hunter. He pursued kudu and gazelle — animals much more fleet of feet than himself. He tasted blood. He killed for food, for territory, and for conquest. And so I chose to paint him this way - the way God created him to be. As Africa's greatest hunter.
But the story doesn't end there. You see, as hunters engage in this debate, we're quick to spout off how much hunting does for the African economy and it's people. And it does tremendous good. But rather than simply talk and type about it, I want us to put our money where our mouth is. I want to give back to the land that gave us Cecil; to the land that continues to give us so much more with it's wilderness, it's wildlife, and it's people.
Right now, this painting is available for purchase. And I'm donating the proceeds of the winning bid to Wine To Water, a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to remote areas of the world and whose founder, Doc Hendley, was featured as a CNN hero in 2009. The proceeds from the auction of “Cecil The Hunter” will be used by Wine To Water to directly benefit the people of rural Africa.
Your purchase not only brings an iconic, original work of art into your home, but can literally save lives in Africa. Together, we can change the world.