I started this one over two months ago. Before the holiday season and all its frantic business. Suffice to say, work went slowly over the holidays and only in January have I been able to speed up again. We’ve had a brutal winter so far in PA so I’ve had plenty of days to sequester myself in the studio. With the snow storm that just passed and my husband being home to help with our son, I’ve finally completed this one. It’s been a long process.
Elephants are hard animals to put in art. They are imposing and a little impersonal for being so very different from us. Big cats are easy, we feel like they already know them because we recognize the house cat in the behavior of a lion. We don’t have a similar relationship with elephants. But I wanted to create something more personal than just a picture of a large animal so I choose a composition that would de-emphasize the elephant’s size and allow some focus on it’s face. And so this subject is making eye contact with the viewer.
Elephant herds are mult-generational, matriarchal family units. Lead by an older female whose knowledge was passed down to her by her mother and her grandmother. That knowledge can mean the difference between life and death for every individual in the herd. And so this piece is titled “Wisdom of the Ages” as a nod to the shared life experience and complexity of these creatures.