They are tiny, possibly our smallest cetacean. They were our second most endangered dolphin until the baiji were written off as extinct. Now they are THE rarest and on the verge of being lost for ever.
On the latest count there are only 30 left. I can paint all the vaquita that are on this planet and that blows my mind.
Gill nets are the biggest known culprits and hopefully if the Mexican government will halt the use of these nets the vaquita may have a chance.
I’m trying something new today with this abc stuff. My goal is to communicate through images and my last entries are so wordy! I’m going to work out a style to present these amazing facts in a more fun way. More like how I would have taken notes in University lectures (those were the days…)
So here is H… fo Hoatzin
I always had hoatzin pegged for H since I found out about the wing claws! It’s like seeing a dinosaur! And I know birds are descendants… but this is stuff that I thought as lost in the sands/fossil beds of time.
If you know of any good H animals that can compete with the hoatzin then comment below 🙂
Frigate birds are quite slender streamlined birds, like a giant swallow with a forked tail and pointy wings. In fact the wings are so long (up to 2.3 meters) they have the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.
When the males are attracting females to their nests in breeding season however they transform into red balloons. They have one of the most dazzling courtship of the seabirds. The males inflate a throat pouch and call up to the females flying above. The red seems to glow surrounded by the glossy black feathers.
Other Fantastic Fs:
Frigate birds on things can be found on redbubble.
If you would like prints made available on etsy please comment below 🙂
It’s said that when a stuffed platypus was put on display in victorian britain it was thought to be a hoax. To draw it did feel I was drawing an otter’s body with a beak and surprised me that I had to get my head around the abstractness of this animal.
It is one in 5 existing mammals that lay eggs (and produces milk… so you can platypus custard – it’s a joke but it makes my insides curdle with the thought) existing in the wonderful world of eastern Australia.
It’s also venomous! Also a rare trait for a mammal. If you’re destined to be weird, be as weird as you can be and roll with it.
B had to be for blue whale, they are the largest known animal to have ever existed on this planet. I promise not all my letters are “the biggest this” or “largest that” but the large whales have always rocked my soul. I feel humbled by them.
The blue whale can reach 30 meters in length and are surprisingly slender, until they take in a big gulp of krill and wea water and then their throat balloon out. The head is shaped like a shovel with a ridge to the blow hole. They are quite pale and look blue underwater.
Other contenders for B:
Bowhead whale – Can live for over 200 years and are one of the longest living mammals.
Boxer crab – Have living anemone boxing gloves which the wave around to keep predators away or face the sting of its anemone pal.
Bowerbird – Build elaborate shelters and collect colourful objects to attract a mate.
SO you may know that I studied Zoology at University. It filled my brain with all these extraordinary facts about the animals on our planet and since my reincarnation as an artist I’ve wanted to capture the things which make me go “wow!”
Four years ago I had the idea of putting together an alphabet of crazy creatures. It’s taken four years for me to get confident in my skills and, most importantly, deciding what should be in it.
Get a print on etsy soon!
Atlas moth on leggins and other things at Redbubble
A is for Atlas Moth
I saw this amazing photo yeeeeears ago and it really hit me.
It was a moth with guts. I had never imagined a moth looking so threatening.
It’s an Atlas moth, the largest moth in the world the article told me but there seems a lot of debate on that. Regardless the Atlas moth got my A because it never left me. Also the wing tips kind of` look like snakes heads!
Other contenders were:
Axolotl (don’t worry I squeezed this guy in with a massive cheat)
Albatross – with the longest wings of existing birds these guys can soar around the planet for years.
Bees are brilliant. At some point all those tasty things we eat is thanks to a busy bee somewhere.
Yet we’re not being great to the bee. Pesticides and loss of flowery meadows seem to be causing bee numbers to decrease.
The first step to know for sure is by counting them. The more we know the more likely we can figure out a way to help. Friends of the Earth have made a great app for making it as easy as possible to tick off your bees on your phone and helps you identify them to.
For me the best way to learn is to draw! I started with the top 5 most spotted bees in Britain from the 2015 bee count.
Lemony yellow stripes and a nice clean white bottom (it’s all about the base when it comes to bumblebees). Males have yellow head fuzz. Very similar to the buff-tailed bumblebee which has more of a buff coloured tail and orangy-yellow stripes.
The odd ones out. Smaller and a lot less fuzzy. Oh, also makes honey.
Teeny bees. Two yellow bands though the workers appear to only have one. Males have yellow face fluff. The tail starts dark orange-red but over times fades.
Smart looking black bees with distinctive fiery bottoms. Males have that yellow fuzz which seems to be all the rage. Black and red are the colours of the rare red-shanked carder bee, but any confusion can be solved by checking out the legs. Bumblebees have hairy legs – but good luck trying to spot them as they whiz by.
Wears a brown jumper and white pants. Lives in trees rather than in holes in the ground, sometimes taking other bird boxes. They turned up in the UK in 2001 but has now spread across England and Wales.
There are many more gorgeous bees to paint and one day I hope I will and make a sexy poster 🙂
There has been a lot of jetlag, love, friends, weddings, walks and easter eggs (+ a feast of New Zealand chocolate which I am regretting gobbling up so quickly!) but less drawing 😦
Partly because I need a new sketchbook. I can’t randomly change the subject of a sketchbook to wet and windy Wales after the wonders of New Zealand, the book would get a complex and lead an unhappy double life and I just can’t do that to it.
So I got a new Moleskine Sketch 🙂 just like the one I lost. I painted in it and it’s just as good as I remembered!
I haven’t forgotten New Zealand though. I want to create a personal wildlife map and been working on a few birds which for various reasons I didn’t get round to.
Fantails completely charmed me with their flitty, wafty flight and beeping calls. They munch on flying insects and like to follow people hoping they will disturb their next snack. I miss them!