Monday, July 21, 2014

Animals as our Artistic Inspiration

 I often tell people how similar the Verde Valley is to the savannas of east Africa, without the baobab trees.This photo was taken in the  theme park named
" Out of Africa", not far from my home here in Sedona, Arizona.
 I spent six months  travelling by bus and by thumb around east Africa back when.It was always my dream to see the animals that were usually in zoos, in their real habitat.
I did take two " official"  safaris, one in  Kenya and the other in Tanzania. There I was able to  photograph the animals in close proximity. For me, it felt like coming home. While that was years ago, I don't think the wild animals have changed their life style too much, except to accommodate we humans. 
Here I am with a 17 foot python, which is actually from South America. Still, it is a wild animal. The audience  gets to touch the snake. I think that fear of  animals may be  an acquired trait. It is not that we do not have to protect ourselves, but we are all part of the planet.Besides, they are so beautiful.
I have been drawing snakes in the abstract on my ceramic platters,and I always put at least one of those creatures on each porcelain pueblo. I also like "critters", as I call them, such as cats, birds, and horses on my clay work.
 I like our connection with animals. I believe they inspire us to be creative as we include them, not only as symbols, but as our fellow creatures on this precious planet we all call home. 

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