Sonje and Sweet Sally

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This week 99elephantsaday sent the funds to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for fostering two elephant orphans – Sonju and Sweet Sally. You can look them up if you’d like – I’m so excited to have reached this point in the project where I can begin to send money to the elephant orphans and the people who are helping them to thrive. And, I want to thank all the people who are supporting this project!

I initially became aware of the DSWT through Facebook and have been following them for years trying to figure out how to help. If you’d like to purchase one of my original ‘paint prints’ like the one at the top of this page, you can find them on etsy.

5316, 5317, 5318

 

 

 

 

The other day I was reading the blog of wildlife filmmaker Mark Deeble describing a ‘great tusker’ in Tsavo, approaching a waterhole – it took him an hour to cover a kilometer, zigzagging across the terrain, stopping to hide his tusks in this bush and then the next bush and while he listened for poachers. The elephants know exactly what is going on!

I’d hoped I’d be able to write more in this blog – I’m learning so much! But so far, I’ve had just enough time to alert readers to some of the well written words of others. By the end of this week I will have completed 6000 paint prints – 1/6th of the 36,000 elephants. They are taking over my studio – a 4’x8′ wall that holds three days worth of elephants, and a suitcase full, also a drafting table covered with some of my favorites for people who stop in the studio and a basket or two, plus a 3′ round wire cage I’m calling the elephant containment system. It should be full in another 8 or 9 weeks.

DSC_0487 In this studio shot my artist friend Nancey is helping me paint the paper (prior to cutting and printing). Behind her is the wall of 300 elephants.

 

2874 #2874 – available at www.etsy.com/shop/99elephantsaday

2802, 2803, 2804…

I made it through the first four weeks. Last week I ran out of paper and by the time it got here I was behind by a couple of days. I can’t let that happen again – it was so hard to get caught up!

I’m mostly using 130 lb. Arches En-Tout-Cas Watercolor Paper Roll which is hot press on one side and cold press on the other. I paint the backgrounds with a variety of waterbased paints and inks and print the elephants with gouache – Winsor Newton, Graham’s and Holbein – because of the brilliant saturated color. Some are also ’embellished’ with markers before being stamped on the back and numbered.

There are so many incredible elephant stories but my current favorite is the story of Lawrence Anthony who rescued a herd of elephants in KwaZulu-Natal and wrote The Elephant Whisperer. In this youtube video, his widow tells of the herd’s awareness that Anthony had died and traveled to his home to mourn his passing.