Monday, June 14, 2010

Wild Thing

Tiger's Eyes
Pastel, 8 x 10

Another in my the series inspired by the song When I Look in Your Eyes, from the original Dr. Doolittle musical. I have always been fascinated by eyes, both human and animal. They speak volumes, more than I can ever explain with words. The eyes of a dog are loving and loyal, the eyes of a cat are somewhat mysterious, a horse's eyes have a certain dignity and nobility.  But the eyes of a tiger are simply amazing.  They are fierce and watchful,  sometimes described as "amber colored," sometimes "topaz," they seem to reflect the colors of the sky and the landscape - a little orange, some yellow, some brown and just a touch of green. Always a challenge.  The sight of a tiger always causes my jaw to drop in awe of this magnificent creature. How did God think to do that? I would never have thought of  that! 

In the book Wild Goose Chase,  Mark Batterson briefly describes a trip to the Galapagos and relates it to Adam in the Garden.
Scripture tells us that one of the first jobs God gave Adam was naming the animals. And we read right past it. But it must have taken years of research and exploration to complete the project. I don't think God paraded the animals past Adam to a single-file line. I'm guessing God let Adam discover them in their natural habitat. Imagine how thrilling it must have been for Adam to catch his first glimpse of wildebeests stampeding, mountain goats climbing, or rhinos charging...Few things compare to the thrill of seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat.  There is something so inspiring about a wild animal doing what it was created to do. Uncivilized. Untamed, Uncaged.
He goes on to describe a subsequent visit to the zoo. It was disappointing to him, it was just not the same to see a caged animal. "It is too safe. It is too tame. It is too predictable." He makes the case that in many ways we are like the caged animals, content to live "safe" lives rather than doing what we were intended to do. Unlike the animals, many of our cages are of our own making.

While I have always dreamed of going on one of those photographic safaris to see wildlife in their natural habitat, most of my models have been in zoos. Except for the occasional deer, bunny, or red fox.  Many modern zoos no longer display animals in cages and do make an effort to simulate a "natural habitat" for them.  I am not certain if that is for the benefit of the animals or the people who come to see them, but  zoos have done research in protecting wildlife, especially those considered endangered.  Zoos have helped me as an artist because at this point I do not have the resources for a trip to Africa or India to visit wildlife.  I don't know what I would do without digital cameras and Photoshop although, according to Batterson, I am missing out on the best part of life. So that one will go into my bucket to await a time of fewer responsibilities. Or should I say, "cages."

This painting will be listed on Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals on Tuesday. It is matted and ready to frame. Image size is 8 x 10.
10% of the sale will be donated to Tabby's Place because inside every kitty is the heart of a tiger.
An additional 10% of the sale will be donated to Children's Cup International.


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Della, your painting of this tiger is absolutely have captured so much of the spirit, energy, power and ferocity of this beast. I cannot tell you nearly enough how much I admire you, your art, your thoughts about your art! You have such depth...and I am truly in awe...I know I've said that before...but I really, really mean it. Words are insufficient! Love you! Janine XO

V Bridges Hoyt said...

Della, I am enjoying your writings as much as I am your paintings ... and that's saying quite a lot! I love how you said that inside every kitty is the heart of a tiger. That one phrase speaks worlds for all of us.

L. D. Burgus said...

This is a powerful painting. You captured the color, life and texture of this creature. Good work, no great work!

Vera Dennen said...

Darn I love your big cats, Della. Wildthings are my weakness!

dellartist said...

Thanks. I love painting big cats and wild animals.

Graceful Moments said...

Della, this is such a beautiful painting. I love all of your work but the animals are absolutely amazing. You seem to capture their spirit and I guess it's because their eyes are so perfectly painted!
I am also thankful for zoos because without them, I would not be able to see these wonderful creatures up close. I do hate the idea of them being kept in captivity but in some cases, it is to protect them from their own environments, which are becoming increasingly dangerous for them.
Wonderful post!