Monday, December 19, 2011

MONGREL MONDAY MEOWS MENACINGLY: Introducing the Towering Tiger of Sumatra

Happy Mongrel Monday!

It looks to be another glorious week in the land of Earth - so filled with a myriad of mongrels! Today brings the distinct pleasure of presenting the next featured wild thing... The Sumatran Tiger!

"Striped Stalker Slinks Silently: The Sumatran Tiger En Route." Panthera tigris sumatrae. 2011. Marker.
Trained to Tread
Though the dainty devourers of deer and tapir are deemed the smallest of the bunch, these Indonesian island cats certainly live up to the reputation of power and strength that humans have bestowed upon this brilliant beast for centuries. Ablaze in the water yet camouflaged in the open, tigers are masters of the stalking in stalks. Once that pair of bejeweled irises sets its sights on you, it is likely wise to change your afternoon plans. And this specific subspecies has certain swimming strengths seldom seen in its mainland counterparts; With webbed toes, the treadworthy tiger prefers to take its predominantly land-based prey out to lunch on the water, on the predator's dime.

Friday, December 16, 2011

FEROCIOUS FRIDAY TAKES FLIGHT: Introducing The Haughty Hornbill

Happy Ferocious Friday!

This inaugural event is the first in a series of posts I plan to publish, tracking my latest painting projects as they progress! Currently, this so happens to be a series of animal portraits showcasing the Species of South East Asia. With many more to come (in the form of tri-weekly trackings), I present to you the first mongrel of the bunch...

Featuring Our Frolicking Feathered Friend, The Red-Knobbed Hornbill, Aceros cassidix.
"High On His Haunches: The Haughty Hornbill Reigns Supreme." Aceros cassidix. 2011. Marker.

Only walks in certain woods shall find such feathered frugivores;
Tis only South East Asian forests where the mighty hornbill soars.

Flying high above Indonesia's dense canopies
This crimson-crowned king loves to gaze upon the seas.

For stretching round in all four direction
Lie the oceans in deep blue perfection.

Bonding for life in a mated pair,
Hornbills live a life many species don't dare.

While the female holes up in a tree to egg-lay,
The male departs, off on a familial fruit foray.

Though berries may elude him he presses on,
Ending his search only once the sunset has gone.

But bright colored sunsets barely hold a candle
To this well-adorned bird's big bold mantle!

Hornbill fun fact: These casqued crooners have long lovely eyelashes that are actually modified feathers!  That sets me all aflutter. 
(This nibble of knowledge brought to you by the San Diego Zoo!) 

Be back Monday for the next equatorially-excellent species in the series.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Want of Water

Water. The source of all life on Earth, while gracious in its giving, is not always fair in its sharing. As some are flooded with its fortune, others are desiccated in its denial.  (But not the Nile)

"Vying for Vertical Growth: The Tall Tale of the Bromeliad."  Billbergia sp. 2011. Watercolor on Board.

Bathed in liquid life, the bromeliad is in a class all its own. In striving to become closer to its dihydrogenously oxygenated deity, it has forsaken the familiar forest floor and lives a nomadic existence up in the canopies of the jungle. It throws its green arms open wide to welcome the near constant rain. And what the bromeliad receives, it likes to pay forward; the water it retains in its cup of tightly-weaved waxy leaves acts as a micropond way up high for arboreal amphibians and arthropods to lay their eggs in. Safe and secure swathed in the fortified fronds, tenacious tadpoles and irresistible mosquito larvae grow big and strong.  Then metamorphosize to grow big and strong all over again. 

"A Stickler For Dunes: Carrying Capacity Of A Crotchety Cactus." Parodia mammulosa. 2011. Watercolor on Board.

In stark contrast to the jungle's decadent display of liquid lavishness, the desert is of the more humble tumbleweed type.  The charismatic cactus is the star of stark & starved soils. It is a sad sort of succulent, forever trapped in sway to the withholding ways of water. Expanding and contracting like an accordion, the cactus plays its melancholy tunes of the water blues.  Yet in times of plenty, cacti celebrate the bounty of water with symbols of beauty - unleashing bold yet delicate flowers upon the landscape, canvassing the country in rich sights, smells, and styles.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hornbills on the Horizon...

New ideas are taking flight in the Land of Jess... with upcoming projects in the works, and older pieces to storytell, there is likely to be a flurry of flora and fauna gracing these audacious archives any time now.
Sound the Horn: Bright Birds Boldly Beckon.