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Archive for February, 2012

The Old Shop Bike

February 27th, 2012 47 comments

The company where I work is so big that there are fleets of bicycles for employees to get around on. Sadly, in many parts of the company, most of the bikes have been replaced with motor vehicles; but in nooks and crannies and in storage yards bikes can be found in various stages of returning to the elements. This bike, although it is rusty all over, continues to be a beautiful thing. Sitting like a jewel surrounded by all sorts of other industrial doodads, this bike still makes me want to hop on and go for a ride.

This original watercolor painting is SOLD.

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The most endangered cat in North and South America – The Andes Cat

February 14th, 2012 22 comments

This little cat is called locally “Gato Andino” its fur is greyish with brownish yellow blotches that are distributed as vertical lines at both sides of the body, giving the appearance of continuous stripes. The tail of the Andean cat is very long (66 – 75% of the head and body length), thick and cylindrical, with a fluffy aspect and with 6 to 9 wide rings of dark brown to black colour. Their legs also have dark and narrower blotches or stripes, but they don’t form complete rings. They weigh somewhere between 9 and 12 pounds.

The Andean cat lives in rocky areas at high elevations of the Andean region of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Perú, adapted to an arid inhospitable climate. Little is known about this elusive cat, but it is considered sacred by the locals, unfortunately, its skin is used to bless Llama herds and the like; so a Andean cat unfortunate enough to be spotted by a person is usually a dead one, since they are not afraid of humans and their skins are prized by locals.

There are some conservation and education programs right now that are focusing on the plight of this cat. They are bringing it into the schools and teaching children about them.

This painting is 16″ x 20″ and was done with watercolors on fine Arches paper. It is for sale for $350.00 all proceeds of the sale of this painting will go to the organizations that are trying to preserve this cat. If you love this painting, but can’t buy it, please share it with your friends. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be part of the effort to save this cat?
I’m sorry that I don’t have a better photo of the painting, it is much too big for my scanner, but it is absolutely beautiful. I am very pleased with this painting.

here are a couple useful links to learn more about this cat:

http://smallcats.org/ContactSCCA.html
http://www.gatoandino.org

photo reference credit goes to Jim Sanderson, who has actually seen four of these cats, more than any one else in the world.

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The Black-footed cat

February 6th, 2012 6 comments


Now we must delve into the realm of incredibly cute. It is hard to imagine that something as little and as cute as these cats are could be so fierce and wild. But they are. They are also extremely energetic, unlike our house cats, they hunt all night leaving sleep for the daytime where they hide in termite mounds or hare burrows. They are tenacious as well, the natives have a legend claiming the ‘Anthill Tiger’ can bring down giraffes. While this is untrue, it pays homage to the fierce determination of these feisty little felines. They have been observed stealing prey away from polecats and chasing off jackals.
The black footed cat lives in the South African Deserts, and a large male can get up to 5 1/2 pounds; now that’s smaller than my smallest house cat.
According to The International Society For Endangered Cats, one of these little guys eats about 3000 rodents every year. Their habitat is threatened in many ways; by dogs, by encroachment, and by poisoning. The poison is not meant for them, but it kills just the same. They are extremely difficult to breed in captivity, but the Wuppertal Zoo in Germany has been breeding them with some success.
Thanks to the cat researcher, Dr Brian Sliwa, there exist a whole set of wonderful photos of these little creatures; they are tracking them, taking their photos, and learning about how they live. And it was Dr Sliwa’s photo that I used as a reference for this painting.
Please visit the International Society for Endangered Cat‘s website to learn more about the black footed cat and see Dr Sliwa’s photographs.

This little painting is SOLD!!! A donation has been made to the research and conservation of these little cats.

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The Art chairs debut – Beacon Hill

February 4th, 2012 17 comments

Some time in November, I joined a local community project that involved painting a lot of boring looking folding chairs. I shared the story with a lot of people, and many wanted to see all the chairs together.
Today they had their debut at the Beacon Hill Public Library, so I took photos of some of them. They had been arranged inside and outside of the library, and in 3 rooms, so I was not able to take pictures of all of them. But you get the idea.
You can read about the day I painted here
You can click on each photo to see a bigger version.

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