Friday, August 31, 2007

Kunga, The Peacemaker by Skye Ryan-Evans

(Silver-back Mountain Gorilla & Red-eyed Tree-frog)
Copyright Skye Ryan-Evans 2007

Kunga is a Rwandan name meaning "Peacemaker". The symbolism of this brand new digital painting, represents a Silver-back (mature) Mountain Gorilla befriending a Tree-Frog, thus showing that diverse species can co-exist in a friendly way. A rich African sunset over a Rwandan rainforest forms a moody backdrop.
All that is needed for the nearly extinct Mountain Gorilla's survival is for Man to respect him and to cease waging war against this rare and precious species.

(Below)Two Close-up views of this print. (Available as both ACEO and 11 x 16 inch giclee prints.)

The plight of the few remaining Mountain Gorillas in African countries like Rwanda, the Congo and Uganda has this beautiful species precariously balancing on the brink of extinction. Poaching, War and human encroachment on Gorilla habitats via farming and village expansion have decimated the population of these powerful yet innoffensive creatures. Highly intelligent and social, they are not unlike humans in their community life. They feel pain, fear, joy and love just as we do.
In our capacity as artists, the "Art for Critters" and "Art Helping Mountain Gorillas (WDGP)" groups on eBay, have dedicated our artwork to raising funds to go directly towards the protection of these incredible animals. Donations made from the sales of our work will aid the Rangers who provide a valuable protection against the activities of illegal poaching that is so common in these countries.

~Skye Ryan-Evans (rusticmooncrafts)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dr. Richard Leakey for WildlifeDIRECT

Here's some background information about WildlifeDirect. They do truly amazing work. They're administrative costs are paid by a grant from the European Union, so 100% of the money they raise goes directly to those in the field protecting African wildlife.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Here is a recent video from WildlifeDirect of Bilali and her new baby boy born just 2 days ago. She is such a wonderful and caring mother. It gives one hope for the future to see her and her little one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Senkewe, a Tribute to a Leader

Senkewe by Robin J. Andreae
11" x 14" Acrylics on stretched canvas
I finally finished this painting for the auction. It's a tribute to Senkewe, the silverback leader of the Rugendo family. He was one of the victims in the last attack on the gorillas. It's painted from a composite from several photos that I could find of this majestic leader. I only hope that it does him justice. It's kind of strange, I unintentially put what looks like a scar on his upper lip, like the one Crazy Horse has. They say Crazy Horse's spirit lives on in those who remember. He was the defefender of the Lakota people. ~ Robin J. Andreae

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gravy and the Elephant by Sandy Byers

Gravy and the Elephant by Sandy Byers
11" x 14", dry pastel on Sennelier paper
The Story:

They met under the strangest of circumstances. It is not impossible. Gravy The Cat had never met an Elephant, even though he had heard from other cats what great and strong creatures they are. Being The King, Gravy felt it was important for him to meet all creatures. And so began his journey far and wide. Along the way, Gravy The Cat gave much thought to the stories he had heard about Elephants being trained by humans. Being a Cat, Gravy could not comprehend how anyone would allow himself to be trained. How then, could it be that someone so large and so strong as The Elephant would allow such a thing? This is a question that kept Gravy The Cat searching endlessly for The Elephant. Day after day he would set out in his search.

Because Gravy The Cat was relentless, and had only one thing on his mind, it is easy to understand how he was finally successful in finding The Elephant. The day was perfect. The sun shone on them as they sat for hours and talked as if they had known each other all their lives. They had A Bond. They were Friends. Now that they knew each other they both knew they would know each other Forever.

Gravy The Cat felt at ease with The Elephant and so he saw no harm in asking her what he longed to know, “Why would you allow yourself to be trained by a human?” The answer was really quite simple. The Elephant was actually the kindest animal in all the land. She allowed the human to train her because she knew how much the human wanted to think he could.

Gravy The Cat and The Elephant remained friends Forever and they shared many stories about life and the importance of liberty for all animals.

This amazing artwork and story, by artist Sandy Byers (biscuitgravy), is copyright protected and will be part of our eBay auction ~ September 8 -18, 2007

I thank her for her generousity and dedication. It truly amazes me to be in the company of these great artists with such heart! ~ Robin Andreae

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Eye Contact

They look up at you from their wrinkled, black leather faces and it's . . . it's . . . well, it's awfully difficult writing about mountain gorillas. Words are unable to convey the emotional impact of the experience. When one first locks onto your gaze with its beautiful, wise, chocolaty-brown eyes your brain explodes. It thwacks you in some ancient corner of your medulla oblongata and comes out as tears. When the gorilla looks away you feel instantly lonely.

As George Schaller famously stated "No one who looks into a gorilla's eyes – intelligent, gentle, vulnerable – can remain unchanged, for the gap between ape and human vanishes, we know that the gorilla still lives with in us."

I am also one of the artists contributing some of my work to this enormously worthwhile endeavor. It is a cause very, very close to my heart as I've been lucky enough to have been to the staggeringly beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

Located at the crest of the mountainous backbone of Africa, at the very center of the continent, the Virunga Mountain Range is the embodiment of western fantasies about "Darkest Africa." The Virungas are in the heart of the legendary land of King Solomon's mines, the long-sought source of the Nile, and the rumored lair of giant crocodiles, man-eating plants, and the brothers of King Kong. And here, in this mysterious and exotic place, juxtapositioned along the boarders of the DR Congo and Rwanda, lies Bwindi. This is the place where the 320 mountain gorillas of Uganda reign supreme. As long as we care enough, that is.

But I think it’s important, too, to recognise the work of some exceptional men. The rangers who lead small groups of visitors up from the community base camps to see the mountain gorilla families are truly the unsung heroes of the Virunga range in all three countries. They are exceptionally knowledgeable, unwaveringly dedicated and, above all, so brave to tackle a job like this where the dangers that lie in wait for them are not the animals that live in the rainforests, but human beings loaded with guns and avarice.

Every single one of us, whether we’ve encountered these extraordinary creatures or not, should be honor bound to acknowledge David Attenborough’s message –

The fate of the creatures which share our planet lies entirely at the hand of mankind - it is within our power to protect them or watch them become extinct. Let us choose the first route.”

- Tessa Edwards (mazoommzee)

Gorilla Art - It Begins!

I'm one of the artists in this great group that has rallied to Robin's call for help. I wasn't aware of the slaughter of members of the Rugendo gorilla family until I saw Robin's post in one of the eBay artists' groups. I'm saddened by the loss of these wonderful animals and the impact it must have upon the remaining members of the family.

Just thought I'd check in and post one of the drawings I've created for the upcoming auction. Although this is not one of the Rugendo gorillas, it's a portrait that I hope captures the intelligence and beauty of these apes that so desperately need our help.

Gorilla Gaze #1 - ACEO scratchboard drawing by Ann Ranlett
The drawing is on black scratchboard and it's ACEO format (a standard miniature art size that's always 2.5" x 3.5").

Thanks for reading our blog and for any support you can offer!

-Ann Ranlett (eBay id: drawdog5)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Exciting Things are Starting to Happen!

Here it is not quite a week since our group formed and we now have 24 artists, a webpage, a blog and a flyer for promotions. William Deed of Wildlife direct has taken time out of his especially hectic schedule to post reference photos of the Rugendo family for our artists to use as reference. We also have few new pieces of art for the auction. I'm so impressed with the drive and enthusiasm of all of our members!

It really amazes me to think about the tremendous outpouring of support ever since Paulin Ngobobo first posted about the horrible slayings. We have artists from as remote as the Mojave Desert of California to the continent of Australia. And we're still growing. If you would like to participate as an artist, please sign up here. Our eBay art auction is scheduled for September 8 - 18, 2007. You may donate anywhere from 10% to 100%.

Please check back regularly for updates on our artwork and the gorillas. ~ Robin Andreae

Friday, August 10, 2007

This is a photo of Ndeze being fed by one of the rangers. She is one of the surviving members of Rugendo family of mountain gorillas. She was found being cared for by her brother after her mother, Safari, was murdered. This photo is very profound. It depicts hope and care. It shows the the care the rangers give. With our art we hope to help those who protect and care for the less than 700 mountain gorillas left in the world. Please join us by spreading the word or donating to Wildlife Direct or by bidding on our art.