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Gary Thornton | Photography

Rita and I first traveled to Africa to photograph the wildlife in 2000. This was to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Africa was an experience that defied description.  East Africa instantly was in our blood, creating a feeling of yes, this is where life started.  How could it not be? No where else can so much diversity be observed in it’s natural state.

Friends who had always called Africa home told their stories by the campfires and I would listen with amazement but did not have the foresight to record.  No one recorded them before the stories were lost forever.  Stories about the wildlife over 50 years ago when as children they told of the vast numbers of wildlife, unimagined today by the casual visits of tourist to these East Africa reserves.

We returned many times over the next decade to see dramatic changes in wildlife populations and habitat quality.  We are aware that these amazing sites are quickly shrinking, many now gone and others will be gone in our life time without drastic action being taken.  As photographers we can help provide awareness to others which may help slow the loss of the world heritage we have had the priviledge to be a part of.


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Link to The Art of Rita Thornton

The unique and detailed watercolor style of Rita Thornton comes from being self taught. Throughout her career the detail and layering of color on color brings out the emotion in her work, the emotion she feels when on location whether observing the big cats in Africa or the wildlife in her back yard. When painting wildlife she will start with the eyes, the windows of their soul, thus setting the feeling for the finished art and for the viewer. Rita’s media of preference is transparent watercolor because of it’s vibrance, but also works with acrylics, pen and ink, pencil, and occasionally pastels.

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