Meet Paul Rose, the wildlife a

Meet Paul Rose, the wildlife artist Danie Craven trusted to design the Springbok badge

Now living in Britain, Paul Rose’s heart lives in South Africa. He’s selling his remaining 60 paintings to raise funds for Save the Rhino

Meet Paul Rose, the wildlife a

It’s 1977. I’m sitting on the couch in my grandparents’ lounge looking up at a large painting of an African veld scene — springbok grazing on little tufts of grass sprouting from the hard, dry earth. Slowly the room dissolves and I am transported to that place. I can feel the sun on my face, smell the dust and hear the birdsong. This is not overblown childish nonsense; such is the artist’s mastery of light and the Southern African bush that it requires no great effort on my part to be transported through the portal of the painting.

“It’s a Paul Rose,” my grandfather says as he comes back into the lounge, “can you see the tortoise?”

The tortoise — a signature Paul employed, partly as a treat to engage his children in his work – always hidden, sometimes infuriatingly so. I find it, dangerously close to the hooves of the largest antelope.

Baobab Country

Fast-forward to 2014: 37 years later I am sitting on a rocking chair in Paul Rose’s Camberley Cottage. It is cluttered with the sixty artworks he brought over with him when he left South Africa to join his children in Britain. I’m here at the behest of The South African and it’s all about those sixty works of art, apparently the last pieces Paul will ever paint of Africa. I ask him if that is true and he tells me:

“My eyes are going. I’m flogging these last sixty and giving fifty percent of the proceeds to Save the Rhino.” He laughs as he registers the shock on my face, “I’m mad I know; but they’re going to be gone sooner than you think if we don’t do something.”

The portraits of his three children on the wall offer clear evidence that his talent could have taken a different path, but his love of African wildlife meant that there was only ever going to be one focus for him. That focus brought him significant success, financial and otherwise, in a career that has spanned over forty years. His work has been exhibited all over the world and can be found in galleries in America, Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Japan and Taiwan. Most significantly for the rugby lover, the Springboks ‘bok was designed by Paul.  The late, great, Danie Craven, unhappy with the slightly scared-looking spronking springbok on the Springbok jersey, commissioned Paul to design a new Springbok badge, which he did. His version has remained, virtually unchanged, on the green and gold ever since.


Just before I leave I have one last look around his lounge. “Doesn’t it make you sad?” I ask, pointing at the work on the walls and piled up against the furniture.

“No it makes me happy. It allows me to remember.”

And that’s when I realise why I enjoy his art so much: beyond its incredible verisimilitude and attention to detail — and the mastery of light — it allows me to remember an Africa that I have lost, but can recapture every time I look at my latest acquisition: a painting of a loose-limbed cheetah striding purposefully into the teeth of an approaching thunderstorm, eyes firmly fixed on its prey.

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If you want to buy one of the sixty last remaining works you can contact Paul directly on: 01276 423509 or check out his website: