Timbuctoo has been in drought for a long time now. Whereas in the 1970s most of the area surrounding the Niger River was vegetated, today there is only desert. The winds that sweep through the area form these interesting diagonal ridges across the landscape.
I wanted to capture the flow of the river without resorting to straight needle painting, which I feel would have "deadened" the image somewhat.
Seed beads add a bit of texture and intensifies the "yellowness" of certain areas of the work without having to resort to using blocks of colour, which would have been too heavy.
I'm not sure what these discrete areas of blue within the dessert are, smaller water holes perhaps?
The areas in red are some sort of obstructions around which the river flows - mud flats or rock formations perhaps? (The source image provided only sketchy written information).