The title of this post is a little misleading--I am always working, it seems, but not always on artwork. I probably spend less time making art than I do running the business and getting ready for shows. But this year I have managed to get into a few shows that do not allow you to hang framed prints in your booth, so I need to make sure I have plenty of originals!.
I failed to post any pics of my last piece, "Piggyback" while it was "in production", but you can go to my website to see it completed. My latest piece takes me back to my passion, big cats. This is as yet untitled but is of a snow leopard.
There are two of these beautiful creatures at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, and I got some great shots a few summers ago. Right across from their enclosure is the pen for the red panda (which may be my next piece). One of the leopards was up out of sight, sleeping, but the other was pacing and kept jumping up on this rock outcrop and watching with great interest the panda on the other side. I could almost hear it thinking, "If I could only get out of here...."
Snow leopards are exquisit animals and are highly endangered. They live in the higher altitudes of central Asia and are well adapted to the climate with thick fur, a stocky build and large, furry feet that aid in walking across snow. Their tails are nearly as long as their bodies which probably helps them keep their balance as they chase prey across the mountains, and may also serve as a blanket of sorts.
Because of their carnivorous nature and their dwindling habitat, they are increasingly targeting livestock, and are frequently killed for this. The loss of even one goat can be a tragedy for herders living in these unforgiving regions so the killings are understandable if not regrettable. The loss of one breeding leopard can be devistating for the species, so conservationists are working with herders to devise ways to keep their livestock safe and to deter further attacks.