I just got the latest issue of Artist magazine, and, as always, it’s filled with great articles and useful information. The cover illustration caught my eye at once. It’s from an oil painting by Robert Louis Caldwell called Before and After. The subject is two zebras. Caldwell was one of nine artists who spent time in Tanzania creating art with a cause — to raise money for the protection of African elephants.
The article, penned by John Agnew is filled with beautiful images from this African Art Safari along with fascinating glimpses into the experience. Imagine having an armed guard at your side while you paint! Just planning for the trip proved daunting. How do you take the art supplies you’ll need when you’re traveling half a world away?
Perhaps the most educational fact in the article for me has nothing to do with art, however. I’ve known that poaching is a problem, but I wasn’t aware of the actual numbers. Poachers, I’ve now learned, kill about 30 elephants each day. Agnew tells us:
At this rate, the only elephants left in about five years will be in zoos.
I’ve always considered elephants to be very special creatures, and I enjoyed drawing one as part of a Sketchbook Nation project.
My little sketch won’t do anything to help raise money for these magnificent animals, but through this blog I can help raise awareness.
I hope you’ll take a moment to visit Artist Ambassadors Against Poaching and the related website, African Wildlife Trust to show support for the cause.
The expedition to Tanzania took place during October and November, 2013. The nine artists who participated were:
If you visit these artists’ sites, you’ll see their inspiring works and learn more about their African adventure. Although I’ll probably never have the opportunity to visit Tanzania, I can enjoy its natural beauty through the eyes of these talented men and women.
I’d like to thank them for sharing the natural world and for their dedicated efforts to preserving wildlife.