Wilderness pencil art

Bowen Boshier is a wilderness pencil artist. He has been exhibiting since 1990. His work is in a number of private and bank collections. His originals are sold through the Everard Read Gallery, and limited edition reproductions are in selected galleries across Southern Africa, as well in London, New York and Vancouver. His home is the wilds of Southern Africa, but he has base camps in Cape Town and Klein Karoo.

Bowen Boshier describes his art:

“What I strive for in my work

The planet we live on is blessed with spectacular landscapes and exquisite life forms. Each of these holds an opportunity for us to understand the dynamics and complexities of existence. Through my works I intend to portray the beauty of our living system and the profoundness of its volume. "The planet we live on is blessed with spectacular landscapes and exquisite life forms. "

Africa is particularly blessed with its vast open spaces and secret places, dramatic seasons and variety of life forms. Africa combines harshness with delicate detail, danger with delight, sunlight with storm.

As evolving beings, we need to interact with nature, rather than just observe it. Through my drawings, I hope to inspire appreciation and a desire to explore the details and texture of life’s fabric.


I find that pencil is well suited to capturing contrasts and textures. It holds the expectant silence that our African wilderness contains.

Pencil, with its large range of tones, like black and white photography, can carry the essence of a subject. It is slightly abstract in that it shows forms or landscapes that we are familiar with, but without their colour. Our imaginations are compelled to step in and become involved with the image and imbue the work with the colour of our own feelings and experiences.

How I do my drawings

I love to draw pristine wilderness; to lose myself in an unmarred landscape is to immerse my self in endless time. Through my travels, I discover and get to know places. I spend time on location, sometimes months in one place; walking and watching, sketching and sculpting. I am fascinated by detail so each drawing takes a long time to complete. Creatures get used to my presence and carry on their life around me. I watch birds build their nests, hear them court, witness the first flight of the fledglings.

It is a challenge to isolate a subject or encapsulate a portion of a landscape. By confining it to the boundaries of the paper, it is separated off from its relationship to the rest of the world. Now it has to hold the viewer’s eye; it has to have its own life.

For the cropped-off window to resonate with the essence of the subject, it must also harmonise with the inner landscape of our minds.

I use nature to advise me on aesthetics and balance. The piece must hold a moment in place, a mood or atmosphere that can sing out through time.

Each drawing feels like an expedition, with its preparation, endurance, lessons and satisfaction.”