Environment/conservation

Mongolia Monday: We Interrupt Our Regular Programming For Three Special Announcements

But there is a Mongolia connection with all three.

When It Rains It Pours Department: The first two announcements are somewhat related since they both involve very special invitations to travel to “interesting” locations and work with fellow artists.

Update Jan. 2011: Guy and I both bailed on this one when it became clear that it wasn’t very well organized, but who knows, I may still make it to India sometime.

The first invitation has been extended to me thanks to my good friend and colleague, Guy Combes. Even though I’ve bought the plane tickets, I’m still pinching myself about this incredible opportunity. I’ll be departing on January 18, 2011 for Nairobi, from where Guy and I will fly to…..India! We will be part of an international group of artists from the UK, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Peru, the USA and Australia who have been invited to the Kanha Tiger Reserve for an Artist’s Week. We will be exploring the park, shooting reference and sketching in order to be able to produce art for a show which will tour internationally and then be auctioned to raise funds for tiger conservation. All expenses except airfare are being covered by our hosts, who own the luxurious lodge where we will be staying.

This is the place that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories. It is home to 22 mammal species and over 200 species of birds and is one of the remaining strongholds of the Bengal tiger.

And the Mongolia Connection? Babar, who conquered part of India, was a descendant of Tammerlane, who claimed descent from Chinggis Khan. Maybe or maybe not. But he did come from Central Asia and the part of India that Babar ruled became known as “Mughulistan” or “Land of the Mongols”. We know it as the  Mughal Empire, which lasted from the 1500s until the British took over India in the 1800s. The most famous artifact of the Mughals is the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Kanha Tiger Reserve is near Nagpur

After our week in India, we’ll go back to Kenya, where I will stay, visiting and animal watching until I come home on the February 15.

The second invitation came via an email from Dr. David Wagner, who specializes in curating shows of animal art, including the Society of Animal Artists annual exhibtion “Art and the Animal”. He has invited me to join him and a number of my colleagues on the Sea of Cortez at the end of March, 2011. We will be accompanied by a scientist familiar with the Sonoran desert and Sea of Cortez ecosystems. Our mission is to learn about them, shoot reference, sketch and paint, hang out on the beach and eat great Mexican food while talking art shop. The end result will be a show at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in 2013. More details and who else will be going soon.

The Mongolia connection? I will be able to compare the Gobi with the Sonoran Desert ecosystem to see what the similarities and differences are of climate, plant and animal life. I already know that the far-western edge of the Sonoran Desert extends to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where there are desert bighorns and that there are argali sheep in mountain areas of the Gobi.

We will be based outside of Guaymas

Last but not least, I am pleased to announce that Plaza Design, with stores in Eureka, Arcata and McKinleyville, is now offering a large selection of my small, original oil paintings! There’s a little bit of everything, including landscapes and American wildlife. They will be offering a selection of my greeting cards, too.

The Mongolia Connection? There are currently a couple of takhi (Przewalski’s horse) paintings available, with more Mongolia subjects to come.

Here’s a look at the display in the Arcata store:

Next week I’ll wrap up The Best Camping Trip Ever.

3 replies »

  1. Happens to a GREAT artist! Congratulations!

    Hey – any chance someone at a lower level can participate by paying their own way in any of these???!!! I was thinking I would NOT mind paying to go to India if I could be a part of that. Savings account be damned!

    Again, these opportunities are well deserved! Keep us posted on these adventures! I look forward to reading about them!

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  2. Thanks!

    Unfortunately, Angeline, no. Both are by invitation only.

    I’ve been working away since 1997 to get my work up to an acceptable level, joining juried art organizations, getting accepted into important juried shows and getting to know my professional peer group…in other words, building up my resume so that when my name came up for these opportunities the people who decided who would be invited could go to my website and see that I’m “for real”, as reflected in my professional accomplishments and the quality of my work.

    One of my goals has been, in fact, to position myself as someone who might start to get these kinds of invitations at some point and now it’s finally starting to happen.

    Contacts always play a part in getting on the radar for things. People need to know who you are (in a good way). Attending workshops and visiting top wildlife art festivals are two ways to start to get to know people in our field.

    I would recommend that you look into attending a Susan K. Black Foundation art conference. They are held in Sept. every year and, as far as I know, will continue to be in Dubois, Wyoming. They offer scholarships that cover the cost of the conference, which includes lodging and food. Attendees have to pay the cost of getting to Jackson, Wyoming. There are even shuttle buses out to Dubois, which is around 2 hours east. An artist friend of mine went on a scholarship in Sept. and came back raving about it. I’ve gone three times myself and found it well worthwhile. Here’s the url: http://www.susankblackfoundation.org/

    It’s an opportunity to work with nationally known artists in a friendly, informal environment and to get critiques from them.

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  3. Susan,
    Your hard work is evident in the blog, paintings, and websites you maintain. Very glad that they are paying off for you!

    I will look at the conference…! I had not heard of it until here. Next September is a good month…perhaps it will take the place of my original plans….

    Thank you VERY much for your encouragement!

    Like

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