Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Artists With a Difference!

Would you be surprised if I told you that the artists who created the paintings above didn't paint them with their hands? In fact, would you be surprised if I told you that the artists didn't even have hands!

The pictures above are the result of an initiative in Asia who's goal is the protection and preservation of elephants. The paintings above were in fact created by elephants who have been taught how to paint!

Elephants are my favourite animal, I think I fell in love with them years ago when I found out that they are the only animal (apart from humans) that will cry from sadness or pain! That's why I was so excited about this project The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project.

30% of the profits from the paintings goes directly to the elephant's manhout (owner) or the camp where the elephant resides, with the condition that the money is used to provide the elephants with additional food, proper veterinary care, and improved shelter. The remainder of the profits goes towards other initiatives set out in the Mission Statement.

Here is some info. on a few of the artists and an sample of their work!

Lucky was found orphaned, wandering the bush near Mornambrae, Cambodia. She was brought to the Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center near Phnom Penh in 1999.

Lucky began painting in 2003. From the beginning Lucky demonstrated great artistic talent. Lucky's strokes are loose and gestural. She often creates circular patterns combined with striking beats of the brush on the canvas. Once she starts on a painting it is hard to stop her. If she ever happens to drop the brush while she is working, she immediately picks it back up and finishes the work with a smile and a twinkle in her eye. She would also hand over a brush after finishing with a colour and immediately grab the next brush so as to begin painting again with a different colour. Lucky is extremely enthusiastic about painting and always has a smile on her face.

Wanpen was born at the Maesa Elaphant Camp in 1998 to coe Noy and bull Sidor. Wanpen means "full moon night" in Thai as she was born on a full moon. She began painting in 2000 along with the other elephants from the Maesa camp.

It was one fateful day a few years ago now that a traditional Chinese artise by the name of Chaowalit began teaching Wanpen and another elephant, Gongkam, how to paint in a realistic Chinese style. In the six months since their introduction, Chaowalit has been working closely with Wanpen and her Manhout, Khun Chien. With much patience and perseverance, Wanpen was soon painting beautiful landscapes, trees and flowers. The works are truly astounding. Wanpen has amazing control of the brush and will carefully create a variety of brushstrokes upon the canvas and keeps her eyes fixed in front of her the entire time, whether she is making the downward stroke of a tree trunk or the single dot of a flower bud. The expression in her face reveals a deep wisdom despite her young age. We are looking forward to the unimaginable possibilities that the future may hold for Wanpen.

The paintings start around $350. Ok I can't afford that right now but I would love to own one some day, what a talking point it would be in your home! They have a calendar for $14. which will do me for the time being!

Visit the website to learn more about the project.


Deborah said...

How cool is that. I showed my three year old who said "that's silly - eleph-en-nants can't paint!" :-_

MT said...

Ha ha that's so cute, you'll just have to buy her one to prove her wrong!

maz said...

I think they look great. Mary T, I wonder if you could train your cats to paint, they might make you a fortune!!!

MT said...

If I could train them to stop bringing mice into the house I'd be doing well!