Chameau

January 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

If the little prince was a camel with fatty reservoirs and oval-shaped red blood cells.

He’s got the capacity to be all set for a grand journey to some bigger place.

packed and ready

-Christie

Spread your wings to…

January 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

dry.

Great blue heron airing out wings

Drawn while waiting for my hair to dry after a swim with Galapagos creatures. Seemed appropriate!

-Christie

Fastest II

January 25th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

When we personify and identify with animals, we recognize and accept more about our own behaviour and condition. In my work, I strive to understand humans by finding parallels in our fellow animals.

nib ink and stamped ink

Here is a drawing/print that functions as a metaphor for the declining genetic stability of the cheetah species. The body of a cheetah is famously refined in its design. This cat’s seventy-pound body is tailored to reach its super mammalian speed of 120 km/h. However, although the cheetah is crowned the fastest land animal, the architecture of its kingdom is just as rapidly crumbling. Barely able to survive the ice age, the remaining fifteen hundred of this species now face looming extinction from its massively diminished population.  Extreme inbreeding has resulted in an alarming lack of genetic diversity, making them highly susceptible to extinction if there were to be an epidemic. Furthermore, these aerodynamic, light cats are usually unable to defend themselves, their cubs, and kills from their heavier relatives.

detail of the drawing

The cheetah has evolved to be an exceptional species, and yet, so specialised that its uniqueness is leading it to its elimination. The tragedy of one’s own nature and power being one’s biggest downfall is a sentiment that is not only felt by cheetahs. Humans, too, can empathise with the vicious cycle of the cheetah – of one’s greatest strength being one’s ultimate weakness. We build fantastic super technology, such as the Concorde, a turbojet-powered supersonic aircraft. When it lost its titanium part during lift off and caused a fire ignition, the Concorde had past its V1 speed and continued to attempt lift-off. The fire caused the plane to disintegrate in the air and reached extreme temperatures until it lost control and crashed. On a personal level, one can be so attractive one becomes only appreciated as such, or love another so intensely that one falls dependent and loses his or her individuality.

I express this sentiment by beginning with an original ink drawing of a cheetah. The unique drawing of the cheetah is replicated with a scanned image that is then laser etched into rubber. Then, the cheetah’s image was inked once and printed around the original drawing multiple times. Eventually, the copied image of that cheetah deteriorated because of the material nature of the printing technique. The final appearance initially resembles a mass of cheetahs. Upon closer investigation, however, the viewer will realise that there is just one cheetah and he is surrounded by himself, gradually degrading.

detail of first stamped image from the laser etched rubber

-Christie

Fastest I

January 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The African cheetahs were almost wiped out after the ice age. I hope you all survived this miserably cold weekend!! I was up on Mt. Tremblant trying to ski, and it was -33 degrees celsius.

BBC’s Earth News just published an article about a unique subspecies of cheetahs! These are Asiatic cheetahs, which split from their African friends 30 000 years ago. The cheetah population crash, however, was around 10 000 years ago so these Asian cheetahs have a very different lineage.  Therefore, to conserve biodiversity, these Asian cheetahs shouldn’t breed with the African ones, even though cheetahs as a species are critically endangered.

To read more: Iran’s endangered cheetahs are a unique subspecies

I did a piece on the declining genetic stability of the cheetah this past summer. I will post it after this post!

-Christie

I’m exotic

January 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Unlike some of the deities in Ancient Egypt, eclectus parrots exhibit clear sexual dimorphism. In New Guinea, her red colouration camouflages well in her nest, while he lives near the green treetops to forage. In Egypt, perhaps they are the mortals of animals.

An Egyptian New Guinea Species, 9x12"

(This is the first of a series I am working on! There’s more of ’em coming!)

Simply Beastly

January 13th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hi hi! Here is something I did in September, but actually I had been dreaming about this sleepy girlie with the human limbs since April. She’s some kind of beast! As in a person turned wild cat. On the other hand*, a lioness turned human. I don’t really know what makes her a monster. That’s the thing about beasts… they’re unpredictable.

Perhaps I am merely a suggestion for evolution

The woof woof likes to help...marginally. He's proposing a pose!

-Christie

*har har

Happy 2011

January 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Back from vacation!

Something very special happened on this vacation, and I’ll share it with you soon!

In the meantime, here is a warthog with beautiful long legs. When I was on Safari in East Africa, our guide told us that warthogs run with their tails up. This is advantageous for the piglets that need to follow their mama in long grassed fields, and also advantageous for lions, who are partial to warthog dinners.

Girls in ponytails, beware!

I look like a rhino horse

Have a safe day!

-Christie