Thursday, 2 August 2012

Keeping Wildlife in Your Heart...

Seeing your sketch or painting turn into an exhibit panel to help educate children and adults about taking care of wildlife is a magical experience!
You have to use a lot of imagination to envision two separate paintings of disproportional size becoming united into one large image.  That's the fun of working with two additional artists, one that conceives the exhibit panel idea, the other who transforms that vision into the final result.  What a delight for me as an artist!
This has been my recent experience in a joint project with a local nature center.  I created "muddy water" with bubbles (below) on a 22 x 30 sheet of watercolor paper and a more detailed rendition of a red-eared slider (above) for an exhibit panel designed to help educate children and adults about respecting wildlife and the need to keep the wild in their habitat--to hold them in your heart and not take them home.
For example, did you know that wild animals rarely survive when returned to the wild?  We have native red-eared sliders in Tennessee and it is illegal to possess a native wild species in our state.  Why?  Because the removal of a wild animal not only threatens the species but disrupts the delicate ecosystem.  Additionally, non-native red-eared sliders released in Tennessee do not know how to survive in a strange environment and can spread disease to native species.  These and other important facts are the messages displayed in the new exhibit panel at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, TN.
Another one of the joys of sketching nature--being able to give something back!

To see more about this exhibit panel and how it was made visit:  Keeping the Wild in Your Heart at Vickie's Sketchbook

Links and resources:
Video about buying wild turtles
Ijams Nature Center
Red-eared sliders

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