Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lion the Dog (in watercolour)

In the suburb of Hout Bay there is an 'informal settlement' that goes by the name of Imizamo Yethu, which roughly translated means 'through collective struggle'.  The settlement is made up of shacks and the residents are primarily Xhosa speakers from the Eastern Cape who have made the trip to Cape Town looking for a job and a better life.  There are also immigrants (legal and illegal) from northern parts of Africa.

Imizamo Yethu is a hodge-podge of people and cultures and despite desperate hardship there are also little gems that can be unearthed.

Lion the Dog is one of them.  

He used to live on the dusty street even though his owner made sure he had fresh water and a meal of some sort.

But Lion the Dog was getting old and his joints were feeling stiff and sore, so Hilary Barclay*, a former nurse and animal lover, decided that he needed a kennel.  Through generous donations, Lion now has shelter and warmth and loves his kennel so much, he "only comes out of it to eat, pee and pooh!"


*Hilary Barclay, a registered nurse and dog trainer, started an animal sterlisation programme in Hout Bay's IY township in 2004 to uplift the animal welfare of pets in this community.  To date they have sterlised over 1000 pets and have thus gone a long way to curbing the animal population.  The original black and white photograph for this pic was taken by Mia Davila who is the publicity and liaison person at DARG.


23 comments:

Sheila said...

This painting is so precious! Wonderful job on the painting and giving tribute to a big hearted lady who sees the specialness in helping critters like Lion Dog. (((hugs)))

Shelley Ross said...

Hi Liz... wonderful job on this one! I love it. You did a great job on the doghouse and on the dog (who does look like a lion). We visited Hout Bay in 2007.

Shelley

Charlene Brown said...

Love your painting and delightful story about Lion and the wonderful lady who made sure he got a kennel he loves so much he hardly ever leaves it. Sure glad he put his head out long enough for this wonderful picture.

Ramesh Jhawar said...

Good job on the kennel, Liz and interesting story too!

AutumnLeaves said...

Lion is gorgeous, Liz! I am so happy to know that he has a home and one that he loves. Everyone needs some sort of roof over their head and I am so glad that Hillary Barclay cares so much and works towards helping man's truest friends. Thank YOU for sharing Lion's story and for such a beautiful testament to him and to Hillary and Mia.

Art with Liz said...

Thank you Sheila - you have been an inspiration to me with your love of animals and helping them.


Hi Shelley, thank you. Hout Bay is a great place isn't it - part of Cape Town and yet not. Guess that's why they call it the Republic of Hout Bay.

Art with Liz said...

Am watching the Olympic highlights and always think of you Charlene. Thank you - he has such a sweet face doesn't he!


Thank you Ramesh and thank goodness there are people like Hilary to always help distressed animals.

Art with Liz said...

Hi Sherry and thank you once again. You are so generous with your time and comments and I really love reading what you write. I wish we could every dog and cat a happy home (and horse and pig and cow and tortoise and and and...)

Carol Schiff Studio said...

This is an excellent work, Liz. It has a rather haunting quality about it. Bravo!

Shirley Peters said...

Hello, I have just found your blog and its wonderful. Great paintings. I will now have a browse around your web site.

Cheers
Shirley

Becky said...

He is such a sweet looking fellow. Love his name. Thank goodness for people like Hilary and the others that do such wonderful work to help out these animals. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story of Lion and your portrait of him. Happy Valentine's Day!

Watercolorist said...

A wonderful story and beautifully painted. He looks very happy looking out at the world from his kennel. Great work Liz.
Jean

Rosemary said...

Oh Liz, what a sweet story and your painting is the perfect way to illustrate it! The painting is beautiful - love the way you handled the base of the kennel. You did a great job keeping the focus on Lion the Dog even though the kennel is so well rendered! Great job!

Marian Fortunati said...

Wonderful Liz!!!!

The dog really does look lionish!!! He's probably living better than some of the other inhabitants of the areas, huh?

Art with Liz said...

Thank you Carol - watercolour is not my best medium, but sometimes it works.


Hi there Shirley and thanks for the visit - great to hear from someone from Down Under. Have visited your blog and will keep in touch - you do great stuff!

Art with Liz said...

Hello Becky - it is a great name for him isn't it! Thank you and hope you had a warm and loving Valentine's Day as well.


I loved the curiosity in his face Jean, and as you say, he really looks kind of happy peering out from his very own kennel!

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Rosemary. It's always nice when a story has a good ending!


Hello dear Marian, and thank you. Yes, he is definitely living a lot better than some of the other poor unfortunate inhabitants, both animal and human.

meera said...

Very interesting story to go along with a fitting painting :) I have visited your blog several times this past year but this is my first time commenting. I have enjoyed your stories and paintings!

Gary Keimig said...

a great story and your painting illustrates it perfectly.

kathleen.artkat.hebert said...

This is so sweet!!!!

James Parker said...

Oh, Liz...what a delightful story about Lion...and an excellent depiction of him. I can kinda identify with him...sometimes I just eat, pee and poo, too. And your delightful redheads are smiling, linked and posted on Windows to the Words Art. Thanks so much, Liz.

simoart said...

I love the painting and the story and specially yours with a happy ending. Keep up the good work.

L.Holm said...

What a fantastic story. Shows that everyone needs shelter and warmth. Beautiful painting, Liz, and thanks for sharing Lion the Dog's story and the great work that Hillary Barclay and others are doing.