A Wolf by any other name…

Lyceon Pictus, literally meaning “painted, wolf like animal”, is an apt name for the graceful and spectacularly colored wild dog, also known as painted dog, painted wolf, or African hunting dog. Many similarities can be found between African wild dogs and the wolf of northern climes, especially in the social structures of the packs.

They care extremely well for their young, all co-operating to protect and feed the youngsters. Team work is vital for their survival as hunters, we as humans could learn a lot by watching their teamwork…

The wild dog’s coat, thick and soft in these southern areas of Africa, is a gaily splashed tricolor combination. Black, gold and pure white vie for the precedence and each dog is uniquely marked, no two alike save for the ends of their lush tails, which are nearly always white. Tall, lean and long legged, with astonishingly large, round black ears and elegant black mask like faces, these animals are a painter’s dream of movement and colour.

My dream….. In the years that I have been writing about, watching, sketching and painting these wild dogs, I have never wearied of my passion for these graceful and seriously endangered animals.

The Save Valley Conservancy is where I am privileged to live with Clive Stockil and this is where the wild dog population has slowly been gaining strength after many years of persecution and misunderstanding. Prior to the establishment of the Conservancy in 1991, wild dogs were seldom seen in this area.

We also live part time at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge near Gonarezhou National Park, part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, GLTFCA, which comprises of Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, Limpopo Park in Mozambique and Kruger Park in South Africa. Gonarezhou is managed by the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, and is supporting a healthy and growing population of wild dogs.

Even so, due to various human pressures and attitudes, domestic diseases and natural predation by other predators, African wild dogs are highly vulnerable and endangered in all the areas where they exist, and deserve our continued protection.

My mission for their survival is to increase awareness of their wonderful social structure and beauty firstly, by the use of my brush on canvas to create art, and secondly by supporting education of rural school children by African Wildlife Conservation Fund (AWCF) and Painted Dogs Conservation (PDC)

Thirdly, anti-poaching efforts by the Save Valley Conservancy, are assisted by funding raised from sales of some of my paintings.

I have also collaborated with Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines to create wine labels:

Lin Barrie wine label for Painted Wolf Wines…

Sales of Painted Wolf Wines help to raise funds for Wild dogs in Zimbabwe, donating to African Wildlife Conservation Fund (AWCF) and Painted Dogs Conservation (PDC).

Plus, yearly, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge holds a “Wine and Wild Dog Weekend” in association with Painted Wolf Wines and the African Wildlife Conservation Fund to increase awareness and funding for wild dogs…this flyer is for the event which will be held in 2018:


Plus they can enjoy drinking Painted Wolf Wines, who help to raise funds for Wild dogs in Zimbabwe,


“I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and I love travelling to the wilderness outposts of our world. From my field sketches I create works on canvas, using oils and acrylics. I enjoy the immediacy and abstract quality of my preferred tool-a treasured old palette knife inherited from my father, to create expressive strokes. In the field, pencil, oil pastel or charcoal sketches are my first step. I prefer softer pencils and charcoal, which are more expressive.

I love the intense color, the smell and the sumptuous texture of oil paint, but I often use acrylic, oil bar and mixed media as I find these are perfect mediums to do quick sketches in situ, in the field. When I have to travel with my paintings, between bush camps, acrylic is practical as it dries fast.”

Biology was a passion for me school years. Plans to enter the world of science were superseded only by the radical decision to pursue the lonely path of an artistic career!

Now I can combine my two loves, painting and biology!!!

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