On the restaurant terrace of Spier, wine estate outside Stellenbosch….. 


“So what are you hanging around here for, Mrs duck? You belong on the beautiful lake out there, not here with the people, this isn’t your place…”

“Well, I’m fed here, all kinds of goodies and I like it, so why not? You enjoy it out here on the terrace with your cheesecake, why can’t I…. and don’t be so selfish with it by the way, share some!  See the German tourists over there? No selfishness at that table!”

“No, you can’t have cheesecake. I’m a human, this is what we humans do. You’re an animal, a duck, you don’t eat cheesecake and you don’t belong on a terrace. And by the way, where are your ducklings?”

“Oh, smarten up! We’re not in the Middle Ages any more! And my ducklings are fine, they’re in good hands.  They’re with the nanny. I need my own space too, you know!”

At Dassiesfontein roadstall, in the Cape Overberg


“Oeehh! Fancy tools you have there! I hope you know how to use it? I’m so tired of all these tourists showing up here, wanting to take my picture with their little phones and their little instamatics , clicking away with one hand and waving the other at me, like I’m some kind of dumn ass….and then they expect me to come closer and pose and smi…..wowieee, what’s that? A carrot!! OK, here you have it, Sweetie, my good side just for you!  Wanna smile too? Happy?  Now, about that carrot…??”

 On the farm at Vredenheim wine estate, outside Stellenbosch….


“Hellooo there…! Haven’t I seen you here before? Aha, now I remember, you were here last year. Actually, you’re here every year! Don’t you have a home? Mmm…, come to think of it, you bring back bad memories. You were standing here last year, watching as they took away my baby and you just did nothing! Now you’re expecting  me to be welcoming? Well, inshort, you’re disturbing me right now! As you can see, it’s lunchtime around here. So, make an appointment for later, I’ll consider seeing you then…” 

In the large living room of Vredenheim’s farmhouse….


“These humans can really eat! And just look at them!! Gmf…you would never see a fat gemsbok!”

“Yeah, unfortunately we can only watch from up here now, we’ve had our chips, should’ve stayed with the pack that day! ”

” Well, I don’t complain too much. I have a nice spot on the wall and since my horns are spectacular, I’m constantly admired. And I deserve it too, I’ve worked very hard keeping these horns in tip-top shape!”

“Aargh, shut up! Just because you’re the famous kudu doesn’t mean you’re better than us!”

“Oh, don’t mind him. He’s just arrogant, so typical of the youth today…! I may only be an ugly old wildebeest, but boy, when we’re on a stampede, there’s no stopping us! We’re famous for it in the Serengeti! Ohh, how I remember those carefree years…..sigh!”

Sketches done on site in pen or pencil and watercolour added later, sketchbook 19x25cm.

….to be continued.

18 thoughts on “SA chronicles 3 – animal small talk

  1. Amazing, with your loose, free style you achieve such essence and delicate detail of each animal/bird – I can never get enough of your posts!! I am enjoying your trip very much!

  2. So glad to find that you are home again. It looks as though you had a great time. I love reading about your trip and seeing your sketches. It really brings all to life.

  3. Great stuff Ronell! I laughed so much at your “stories” -“comments” with each sketch ,and I can just imagine how you enjoyed doing these!- they are really so good and so “true”!! The way you used your colours are admirable –

  4. These are fabulous! Wonderful loose style as always – but I’m really attracted (ALWAYS) to mutliple sketches. I especially love the ducks!

  5. Ronell, so nice that you are back! And with such w o n d e r f u l sketches! I’m very impressed! And I read your blog entries with a smile on my face.

    P.S. Thank you so much for your kind comment!

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your SA chronicles!

  6. OMG! ROFLOL!! These conversations of the animals are just a hoot! And your paintings of them are wonderful. I am so smiling here!

  7. Oh, Ronell! These are too funny! I love the donkeys they look just perfect for the conversation. All of the animals are just great! Glad to see you back!

  8. a belated Welcome Back Ronell! I’m blown away by everything you’ve seen and done while you were gone. Your posts are a delight to read, and the sketches are ALL simply stunning. I couldn’t pick a favorite if I tried. Can’t wait to hear about the rest of your adventures! and especially looking forward to seeing them thru your eyes and hands.

  9. Ronell, I love your animal sketches and the accompanying stories. Your imagination is great! You also must have a fabulous memory if you were able to apply the watercolor later. As always, I love your loose style.

  10. We were only discussing last night what sort of inner thoughts animals have. I’ve always believed they are far smarter than assumed and as times goes by, hopefully, we will realise they deserve much more from us.

    Most amused by your ducks and donkeys, Ronell and touched by your cows and trophies. The beautiful cows in particular are given life by your brush.

  11. When I saw the ducks first I thought oh how cute what a great little watercolor. And then I kept on scrolling and they kept on getting better and cuter. What a great loose style. It’s easy to see you were having a great time painting these.

  12. Oh I just love these collections of critters! I know how hard it is to get anything from those creatures that won’t hold still. You’ve done a magnificent and charming job of it!

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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