Feb 1 2012

#277 Awareness (1)

From a stranger in Michigan

Defenders of Wildlife:

“Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is one of the country’s leaders in science-based, results-oriented wildlife conservation. We stand out in our commitment to saving imperiled wildlife and championing the Endangered Species Act, the landmark law that protects them. Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. We work to protect and restore America’s native wildlife, safeguard habitat, resolve conflicts, work across international borders and educate and mobilize the public.”

Dec 26 2011

#240 “Cover Art”

From a stranger in Michigan

I have always been especially fascinated with this picture because it was the first I had received in which the artist actually wrote the words “Wolves by Strangers” as an accompaniment to his artwork. A few days later when I showed the picture to a friend of mine, he  said, “Wow! I think this guy is shooting for the cover of the “Wolves by Strangers” book!” We both had a good laugh at this. This incident happened many months ago, and at that time the idea of creating a book from all of the wonderful artwork that I have received seemed like a preposterous notion. Now, however, things have changed a bit. As this unusual project has progressed, the idea of producing a book has become more of a real possibility, and I have taken a few concrete steps towards accomplishing this goal. But overall, the creation of a WBS anthology is still a pipe dream of sorts. There are many hurtles that would have to be overcome, such as submitting proposals to publishers and formulating an overall vision. And then, of course, there is the issue of gaining permission from the individual artists to use their work(s). But as I said, all of this is probably a long ways off. Still… it’s nice to dream, to have a target in mind to shoot for, even if it is a bit of a fantasy. And in the end, who knows what may happen? When this all started, I never thought we would make it this far…

May 20 2011

#20 “You can’t keep a good wolf down”

From a stranger in Traverse City, Michigan.

After yesterday’s post, which featured a fearsome wolf on the brink of rage-filled madness, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a more optimistic and sanguine illustration to lift our spirits today. For although it is undeniable that in life we will all be assailed by unforeseeable troubles and strife, this doesn’t mean that life itself is a continual uphill battle. One merely has to adopt a more useful outlook, and I believe that deep within our hearts we all know that an air of positivity will always benefit us more than wallowing in the pits of despair. One of my favorite quotes goes as follows: “There are only two things in life you can control: your attitude and your effort.” I think that if we examine the masterful lupine work of art that is on display today, we will see this aphorism in action.

This wolf is certainly drawn with great skill, but if you’ll notice, the specific circumstances in which this lobo finds himself appear to be somewhat less than favorable. Observe the conifers in the background of the illustration, how they seem to be afflicted with some sort of blight that is causing their needles to disappear, leaving the trees somewhat barren. Now move your attention to the foreground. Notice how this beautiful wolf appears to be malnourished and slightly emaciated. His torso is lean and thin.

But now, ladies and gentlemen, direct your eyes to meet those of this animalistic wonder. What do you see there? If you are like me, you see hope, determination, passion, and fortitude. Notice also the unwavoring lupine grin. While there is so much in this world to cause dispair, especialy for the wolf, this creature knows the value of emotional fortitude; he understands the vital importance of optimism. What could cause that smile to fade? What could break the spirit of the wolf? Nothing, my friends. Nothing.

In the end we realize that while man is the very creature responsible for so much pain in the animal kingdom, he may also look to this world to gain valuable insight. So in conclusion, the next time you find yourself in troubled waters, think back to the wonderful wisdom of the wolf and be at peace.