In 2008 I took a life changing trip to South Africa with Pat Walker with The Cultural Explorer and fell in love with the people and their country. I experienced new situations that stretched me, opened my eyes, and made me evaluate how I impact the world.

When I returned home I was haunted by a photograph I had taken of a woman who had simply said 衮ks䯠me for sitting with her. Her eyes spoke of deep unnamed sorrows. I wanted so much to give something back to her and as I painted her portrait I felt the universe connected us again. I have continued painting portraits and scenes from my photographs. I feel a tremendous responsibility to portray South Africans in a respectful and dignified way. My hope is that the world grows in appreciation for all humanity through my documentation.

I returned to South Africa in 2010 to teach art projects to rural women in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Their joy in experiencing and learning something new is inspirational to me. I returned again in 2011 and spent time camping in Kruger National Park observing wildlife.

Original art and prints are available for purchase by contacting me at artist@reneekingartist.com  or 804-514-0904.

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