Why do you paint animals?
After previously answering this question and dissatisfaction with the answers I gave over the years, I thought I'd share my reasons with you here having procrastinated over it for quite some time now.
Am I an animal lover? Surprisingly my answer is, not particularly. I don't believe I feel the same way about animals as a vet might for example.
I get very excited when I see an animal in the wild, in it's natural habitat, but do I go all gooey when someones pet is rubbing itself all over me? No, I can't say I do.
So why paint animals?
"animals are universal"
Animals are universal. It doesn't matter where you're from, what your background is, your language, how intelligent you are, what your hobbies are, your demographic, etc. Everyone can relate to animals.
And I love that.
"accepted as they are"
They are not judged and are without judgement, they are accepted as they are, warts and all. Isn't that something we are all striving for?
To me, animals are also mysterious and who doesn't love a mystery? Sure, through the very melodious and fabulous voice of David Attenborough and the Planet Earth Series, we have learnt a lot about the creatures around us, but they still retain that element of mystery to me.
There are so many stories about animals in so many cultures. They often represent spirit and greater concepts or lessons. I enjoy trying to capture spirit and mystery in all my pieces and animals are a great vehicle for this.
"spirit and mystery"
Their lives are much more simple, which can only be appealing compared to our ram packed days, expectations of ourselves and each other, and our complex needs and relationships. They are at one with everything around them and they generally live in the moment.
So with all this inconsideration, I'm trying to remind viewers of the wonders and beauty of the world and connect them to it, the mystery of it all, spirit and energy, of all the amazing qualities that can be found outside of ourselves and within us if we look carefully enough, through the depiction of animals.
And that, my friends, is why I paint animals.