1. Simon Combes Imminent Pursuit, Limited Edition Print $775.00
Lower your field glasses, kill the engine of your jeep — there’s a pair of cheetahs, male and female, under the acacia thornbush ahead. As the fierce sun beats down upon the grasslands beyond, patches of light and shadow play upon the coats of these great cats.... You’re as good as there at Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve, and celebrated wildlife artist Simon Combes is your personal tour guide. As Simon points out, “Cheetahs don‘t normally hunt in the middle of the day due to the intense heat. This pair is probably having a mental battle over whether to remain in the cool shade or sprint across the searing plains, but the sighting of prey is surely a great temptation....”
2. Simon Combes The Solitary Hunter ANNIVERSARY EDITION ON $595.00
“Leopards are among the most adaptable animals in Africa,” related artist Simon Combes. “They are found at sea level in the humid coastal strip, in dry, arid, semi-desert country and in the highland forests well over 10,000 feet in altitude. The frozen remains of one were discovered preserved in a glacier on Mt. Kilimanjaro. A friend was sitting on the veranda of Samburu Lodge having a late night drink after the hordes of tourists had retired to bed, when a leopard calmly walked through the tables and chairs picking up scraps of food from the floor. In my house in suburban Nairobi I sometimes found characteristic pugmarks round my garbage cans. I would equate them to the raccoons in America and fox in Europe in this respect.”
“When the obscene height of fashion was to wear a leopard-skin coat, it was feared that these beautiful cats were in danger of grave depletion. Numerous research programs were initiated to ascertain the true situation and I believe the investigators were pleasantly surprised by their results, which generally proved that many more existed than previously thought.”
A jumbled mass of densely forested peaks and ridges rise to more than 9,000 feet at the edge of Kenya’s Rift Valley. Stalking from the trees of the Ngurman Mountains, this leopard, with his arrogant independence, ruthless hunting skills and beautiful coat epitomizes all that is feline. Moody and ethereal, The Solitary Hunter provides us with an awe-inspiring image of one of the most elusive and secretive predators found on the continent of Africa.
3. Simon Combes Confrontation ANNIVERSARY EDITION ON $595.00
“The location is the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya, a few miles north of the Tanzania border and the vast Serengeti. Small herds of elephants cross into this game reserve from the south, where poaching is prevalent. When humans approach they will immediately bunch together with the mature cows facing outward, ears outspread to catch every sound, trunks questing the air for danger and the youngsters hidden and protected behind their elders,” related Simon Combes.
“This fine tusker before the herd is one that lost patience with my persistent presence. It chose the moment when I was half-way out of the roof hatch with the engine turned off to suddenly throw out his ears and blast his way towards the car. Sketch book, pencil and camera went flying as instinctively I performed half a dozen escape actions in the space of a split second. Pulling up short, he shook his head in disgust, dislodged a large cloud of dust and stalked away with his dignity intact.”
The dramatic color combinations of the Masai Mara and the wild spirit of Africa come alive in this Anniversary Edition Fine Art Canvas. Confrontation, set in an edition of only 35, is as rare as the wild elephant encounter it depicts and is as excellent an example of the Simon Combes’ African Experience as you could hope to own.
4. Simon Combes Cheetah Pair $395.00
These two male cheetahs were in their absolute prime and probably full brothers. Nothing is more exciting to watch than cheetah hunting. Within a few paces it will reach a speed of 40 mph and can cover a hundred yards in three seconds. The powerful hind legs reach far forward crossing beyond the forelegs as the animal’s back hunches; then a mighty thrust, the forelegs reaching far forward, the body elongates and changes from convex to concave thanks to specially adapted “hinges” in the vertebral column which allow maximum reach. As the cheetah closes, its prey zigzags frantically in its desperation to escape. The cat follows, using its tail for a counterbalance as it negotiates each change of direction. Finally, the cheetah’s front paws shoots forward in a skillful feat of balance, tripping its prey into a tangle of legs and bodies, wrapped in a cloud of dust. In seconds, it’s all over.
Unlike their ill-mannered cousins, the lions, they will hunt together and amicably share a kill. This stunning Simon Combes captures the regal nature of these Plains princes set in the majesty of their African domain.
5. Simon Combes The Guardian ANNIVERSARY EDITION ON $595.00
Simon Combes could always be counted on to bring us the most dazzling visions of Africa. With The Guardian, an unfamiliar sound has drawn this 450 pound male to his full height as he seeks its source. The group may be taking a rest from foraging to relax, groom one another and allow the young to play. But this Silverback, ever mindful of his responsibilities as the family protector, is suddenly concerned.
The rare mountain gorilla is found in small family groups in the high mountains which straddle the joint borders of Rwanda, Zaire and Uganda. This painting depicts one such group comprised of an adult male (Silverback), three females of varying ages and three youngsters. Most often, a gorilla group would be somewhat larger than this. The vegetation is typical of the Virunga Mountains showing bamboo in the background and a tangled mass of undergrowth from which the gorillas collect their favored plants.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to own a magnificent piece of African wildlife art. Released in an edition of only 25, this 32 x 24 Anniversary Fine Art Canvas will be owned by only a select few. This work of art is as majestic, bold and inspiring as the Silverback itself. Order your canvas of The Guardian today because this edition is sure to disappear as quickly as gorillas in the mist.
6. Simon Combes Chui $595.00
“Only a cat could look so comfortably relaxed and yet the half-closed eyes miss nothing,” said Simon Combes. “The slightest sound or movement will trigger an instant reaction from the apparently comatose leopard. I found this particular animal in the Aberdare National Park in the Kenya highlands. He was draped over the branch of a wild fig tree, perfectly posed for this painting.”
Unlike lions, leopards are solitary. They often hunt at night to avoid competing with the much larger lion, and a leopard will usually drag its kill into a tree to protect it from scavengers like the hyena. Chui is the Swahili word for leopard.
7. Simon Combes The Survivors $725.00
A pair of eastern black rhinos make their way across the floor Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater in the late-afternoon African sun. Weighing in at one to one and a half tons and over 60” tall at the shoulder, this ill-tempered prehistoric throwback roams the savanna at will. Black rhino have a tendency to be less social than their cousins, the white rhino, but a mother and calf do remain quite bonded for up to four years.
At one time, over 30 species of rhino could be found around the planet. Now there are only five. Two, the black and the white, are found in East Africa, both have two horns. A rhino’s poor eyesight is augmented by a strong sense of smell and good hearing (and the above mentioned bad attitude). Left unharmed by man, a rhino can live 30 to 40 years in the wild.
Simon loved rhinoceros, but painted surprisingly few. The Survivors was a personal favorite of his.
8. Simon Combes Lion Cub and Butterfly SMALLWORK EDITION ON $225.00
9. Simon Combes Midday Siesta $625.00
Lions are not preyed upon by any other animal which probably explains their arrogance and any disregard for other species. Apparently, this also explains why they have no stripes or spotsůno need for camouflageůalthough they do have spots when they are young. Resting during the day, they display strong family ties with much mutual rubbing, licking and body contact. Their uninterrupted life of sleeping, eating and breeding would suggest a population explosion but the illusion of peaceful cooperation disappears a soon as food is available. Then, survival of the fittest is the maxim. Recent apparent soul-mates spit and snarl and swipe at each other and any lion not in top condition will go hungry without pricking the conscience of its fellow.
10. Simon Combes The Last Elephants MUSEUM EDITION ON $1950.00
Years ago, Simon Combes wrote in his diary: “‘Africa’s Elephants in Danger of Extinction!’ I was stunned by the cataclysmic headlines in 1989. With the elephants’ plight uppermost in my mind, I decided to paint as large a canvas as my small studio would accommodate. Visually, the painting would ask the question,‘Where are the elephants going?’ There must be uncertainty and bleakness to symbolize the imminent tragedy. “The line of elephants winds its way over the ridge, perhaps traveling from a lush valley into a dry, inhospitable environment epitomized by a tree’s skeleton and sparse tufts of sun- bleached grass struggling for survival in the infertile ground. Perhaps only in such a stark wilderness can the last of the elephants survive the predations of man. ”Twenty years later, elephants are still at risk for extinction, but there have been some steps in the right direction: shortly after Simon Combes read those alarming headlines, the United States government imposed a ban on commercial import of elephant ivory and many other countries followed suit.Unfortunately, the elephants are not safe as yet and it is up to us to protect them and their habitat.
11. Simon Combes Eyes of Warning MASTERWORK ANNIVERSARY EDITION $1250.00
Simon Combes is best known for his paintings of African wildlife, but his deepest passion was the great cats of the world. In 1994 Combes, along with Greenwich Workshop founder Dave Usher, circled the globe to find and paint ten of the world’s most magnificent felines. The jaguar of South America proved to be the most elusive of the collection, and the resulting portrait became one of Combes’most celebrated works.
“I spent time with Reina, a thirteen-year-old female jaguar, at a 125,000-acre ranch in Venezuela called Hato El Frio where wildlife is protected,” wrote Simon Combes in his journal of the trip. “Previously, I had been concerned about how to show in my paintings the difference between jaguar and leopard. Having seen Reina, I will never forget. A jaguar is a bigger and more thickset animal, with powerful legs and a heavy head and jaw. Her coat was very short, shiny and a rich russet-gold that made her invisible in dappled sunlight, only ten yards away. The spots are bold and those on the flanks are large rough circles with several black dots insideůvery different from a leopard’s rosettes.”
12. Simon Combes The Crossing MASTERWORK ANNIVERSARY EDITION $1850.00
The art of Simon Combes brings the thrilling wildlife adventure of his African home to scores of loyal collectors. This awe-inspiring Anniversary Edition of Combes’ The Crossing reveals one of the great wonders of the animal worldůthe annual wildebeest migration in East Africa.
“Crossing this river is the single most dangerous undertaking in a wildebeest’s turbulent year,” Combes explains. “In August, when the Serengeti shimmers with heat, the vast herds of wildebeest are desperate to reach the fertile grazing lands of southern Kenya. When the enormous hordes reach the crocodile-infested Mara River, tragedy can strike as some drown in crossing. Nothing can stop the animals in mid-crossing from trampling, jostling and panicking in their efforts to reach the safety of the far bank. This is not always the case, as in The Crossing, which shows its herd making a comparatively smooth passage.
“I attempted to create a contrast between the struggling, tension-packed chaos of the left bank and the peaceful greenness of new pastures on the right. The inclusion of a stark dead tree, vultures, marabou storks, swirling dust and the ominous interest of two hungry lions hopefully emphasized the frantic atmosphere of the thousands still waiting to crossŕ while in the background, a pride of lions keeps watch.”
13. Simon Combes Arrogance $725.00
“I enjoy relating animals to human equivalents,” said artist Simon Combes. “I always think of cheetahs, for example, as very serious animals. A lion may grin and a leopard may leer or sneer but a cheetah would only frown. A cheetah might be a dedicated professional athlete whereas a lion would be an amateur rugby player.”
Simultaneously relaxed and vigilant, the cheetah at the center of Arrogance seems very somber indeed. This is, in part, attributable to the cheetah’s “tear marks,” black markings that run from the cheetah’s eyes to its mouth. The markings help block sunlight, as well as aid in hunting and seeing over long distances. They also make the cheetah appear incurably grave.
Simon Combes’ gorgeous rendering of one of nature’s fastest animals at rest was created as part of his “Great Cats of the World” series. Arrogance is a captivating portrait that will become the focal point of any room.
14. Simon Combes In His Prime $895.00
A young lion leads his family from a muted, shadowy landscape onto the sunny plain. As the lionesses catch up, he stands at attention and scans the horizon for signs of trouble. A dry, hot breeze ruffles his mane but still the young lion stands in the dry grass, unblinking, unmoved and utterly In His Prime. Artist Simon Combes spent the majority of his adult life painting wildlife in his homeland, Africa. His dynamic animal portraits and sweeping landscapes earned him honors from The Society of Animal Artists, the Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show and the Florida Wildlife Expo. In the early 1990s, Combes set out to paint a series of the world's largest cats (his favorite subject) for The Greenwich Workshop, a project which eventually resulted in the trade book Great Cats: Stories and Art from a World Traveller and a collector's portfolio of limited edition prints.
15. Simon Combes Ripples and Reflections $695.00
To own a Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Edition of Simon Combes is to be present in the wilds of his beloved Africa surrounded by animals and an environment alive and in motion. It is a precious moment in a never-ending safari, with Combes as our trusted guide. In Ripples and Reflections, we are observing reticulated giraffes only found in the arid north of Kenya. The Uaso Nyiro River flows through this area until its dwindling waters disappear altogether in the shifting hot sands. As the dry season drops the river level even lower, sand spits divide the shallow flow of water. The newly reticulated landscape mirrors the giraffes’ unique coats and protective markings radiating the incomparable sense of being that is Africa.
16. Simon Combes An African Experience MASTERWORK EDITION ON $975.00
Artist, adventurer and conservationist Simon Combes called Africa home. His art portrays the grace, power and mystery of the wild with an exacting technique and attention to detail. Best known for his stunning images of African landscapes and wildlife, Combes’ paintings would be mistaken for photographs, except for life and warmth no Nikon can capture. In An African Experience, Simon’s focus is on the pride of the Serengeti. “Little outcrops of rock stand out like islands in the grassy sea of the Serengeti,” Simon said.“Formed millions of years ago during the cataclysmic upheavals and volcanic eruptions of Africa's birth, these rock groups form fantastic shapes. For Serengeti lions, rock garden oases are more than watering holes. They provide lairs where cubs can be born, and havens to escape the heat of the day. They are also vantage points from which lions can watch the parade of life go by.”
17. Simon Combes KEEPING DISTANCE $595.00
Every September, nearly 2 million migrating wildebeest arrive at the verdant plains of the Masai Mara game reserve in southwest Kenya. The great herds will stay for two to three months, eating the grass flat and reducing much of it dust, before heading back south towards the Serengeti plains.
Wildebeest can sense the intentions of predators-lions, hyenas and cheetahs-simple by watching their body language. They know if a big cat is hungry and ready to hunt or if he as a full belly and just wants to lie there and sleep. As long as the predator is in view, they feel relatively safe and will often approach quite close in morbid curiousity.
The cheetah lay in the short grass, eyes half closed and tail twitching, as it gazed lazily at its restless, mesmerized audience of wildebeest bulls.
18. Simon Combes Papyrus Swamp Monarchs Master Works $695.00
Once part of the Great Southern Game Reserve, Amboseli National Park was one of Kenyaâ€™s earliest game sanctuaries and is now its most visited park. Towering above Amboseli is Africaâ€™s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro whose snow melt feeds underground springs which provide permanent water sources in an otherwise dry landscape. As any wildlife observer knows, a permanent water source attracts large concentrations of birds and animals. The springs support huge fields of papyrus swamps where herds of elephants can often be found half-submerged enjoying the liquid refreshment as well as the chance to lower their body temperatures. Artist Simon Combes knew this territory better than most and "Papyrus Swamp Monarchs" is a portrait of much that he loved and worked to preserve. The acacia tree completes the perfect composition in an elegant horizontal format.
19. Simon Combes Simba Anniversary Edition $595.00
Indiana Jones was greasy kid-stuff compared to Simon Combes. Africa was Simonâ€™s Ark of the Covenant and saving it and sharing it with mankind was his lifeâ€™s passion. Simon was the liveliest, most fun artist ever. And, man, this guy could paint! Like no other artist, he introduced us to the scope, marvel and beauty of the African Experience. This December marks the tenth anniversary of Simon Combesâ€™ death. We miss his personality but we are thankful that we can still collect and enjoy his art. It is fitting that "Simba" be released as an Anniversary Fine Art Canvas at this time. This is as fine a specimen of a lion as youâ€™ll see and it is how we would like to remember Simon. Maybe Simon lacked the great shaggy mane, but lean, fit and absolutely in the prime of his life fits the bill. This canvasâ€™ presence is as regal, splendid and magnificent as the man himself. "Simba" is one of the finest examples of African wildlife art created by one of the finest African artists ever.
20. Simon Combes First Light $395.00
â€śCheetahs are enigmatic and perhaps the most intriguing of all the big cats to me,â€ť says artist Simon Combes of the subject of "First Light." â€śMy encounters with cheetahs have been like meeting a person who has poise, elegance, class, fleeting moments of warmth and yet tantalizingly aloof. The challenge of painting cheetahs is two-fold: firstly, the chest is so pronounced in comparison to the head that in certain positions the animal can look positively grotesque. Secondly, I am often stumped at portraying the catâ€™s mood . . . what is it thinking behind that mask of haughty distain? So serious, so intent, so reserved, does this animal ever relax and have fun? This painting was as much an indulgence in design as it was an attempt to capture that magical, early-morning, golden mistiness surrounding the surreal silhouettes of distant arcadia trees. I loved the elegant, s-shaped line from the cheetahâ€™s nose to the tip of its tail.â€ť
21. Simon Combes FROM THE SHADOWS $395.00
From the world-renowned wildlife artist whose Great Cats Adventure was a landmark artistic event, comes another landmark - his first canvas print, specially sized and published in an exclusive edition to give collectors the true look and feel of one of Combes' sought-after originals.