Can a virtual four-day art class come anywhere close to visiting the famous archipelago? Maybe not, but for our writer it turns out to offer something far more valuable
The creature comes into view quite slowly. It’s like staring into the bushes, realising there is something there, then picking out its parts, assembling the whole that, suddenly, magically, comes alive and steps gently forward. A giant tortoise. Mary-Anne, our guide, laughs: “A tortoise’s mouth always remind me of my grandmother.” As if hearing this, the animal’s wrinkled lip curls slightly, into a sad old grin. The panels on its shell catch the light and the shadows under the leading edge deepen, catching subtle flashes of magenta and ultramarine. I would never have noticed such details without Mary-Anne pointing them out.
“There,” she says, “I think we’re finished.” And puts down her brush.