You can't deny the attraction. Depending on the animal, it could be love or maybe admiration for their strength or courage. Perhaps it's pure beauty, comical antics or their intelligence. Whatever the reason, as humans, we find ourselves fascinated with the creatures who share our planet and rightfully so.
My love of animals goes back to childhood where my pets, plus photos from a set of animal encyclopedia books became my first painting subjects. Though I grew up in suburbia, my heart yearned for nature. Thankfully, as an adult, I've been able to fulfill that wish. Living on a heavily-treed, natural waterway, I have a variety of animals that I encounter regularly, a lot of different waterfowl, roadrunners, turkeys, black vultures and songbirds, but also grey fox, coyotes, bobcats and a rare cougar sighting a couple miles away. I can't forget the snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles too. I have more stories than you can imagine centering around these encounters.
Watching the wildlife brings me such joy, but my cats and dogs are just as entertaining. I currently have five large dogs, nine cats and two small parrots. They frequently turn up in paintings. All are rescues that had been dumped (far too common in my area) or adopted from local shelters.
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