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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Phoenix and Chimera at Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle, England ~ February 17, 2010

Designs of phoenix and chimera adorn this bold leaded glass window in an upper hallway of Warwick Castle.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Tiger in a Roman Villa

Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina, Sicily ~
April 28, 2004
Please click the photo to enlarge

Here a tiger strides through one of the rooms in the Villa Romana del Casale. Visitors tread on raised walkways under the watchful eye of a guide. All of the floors were covered in a thin layer of mud on the day we visited, so I imagine the colors of all of the mosaics are actually brighter than you see here. I've also posted a few photos of this Roman ruin on my Tapirgal's Daily Image blog.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Animal Baskets of the Embera People

Panama ~ January 7, 2006

These beautiful baskets using animal designs are made by the Embera people of Panama. See this post on Tapirgal's Daily Image for a photo of an Embera woman selling some of her village's jewelry and baskets. There is also a longer explanation about the Embera people, who live along the Chagres River and in the Darien area of Panama.

Oops. I see I posted this photo on Animal Art last June, but it was cropped differently. I love the colors and the artwork, and I'm going to leave it. I started a system once of re-naming photos to indicated that I'd used them on blog posts, but I only used it for a few days because it required going back to the original photo after I'd saved the copy elsewhere and I'd simply forget to do it. Does anyone have a great system to share for avoiding duplicate postings?

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"The Dragon of Sant'Elia"


I painted this dragon in about 1978. It's probably the largest canvas I've ever done. Through a number of moves and lack of care, it is gone now, but I photographed it before it disappeared. I'm guessing it was about five feet tall. The dragon, the street sign, and the doorway come from a photo I took of the Town Hall (Rathaus) in Munich. I would have to hunt for that photo, so I'll link to photos that someone else put online. Here is one of the dragon sculpture, and here is one showing the dragon showing more of the Rathaus.

I didn't like the way the painting was going when I tried to paint it to look like the original building and sculpture, so I changed the color of the dragon and obliterated the setting except for the street sign. So, what to use for a background? I took the design from a drawing of by Antonio Sant'Elia for building in the Futurist style. Somewhat modified, but not much, I thought it was the perfect setting for my dragon. Although realistic street sign was now totally out of place, I liked the balance and couldn't think of anything I'd prefer to put there, so I left it. It's the tail end of "Weinstrasse" with a German double "s."

Since the sign has a story behind it, I thought I'd link with "Signs, Signs" today.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Three Painted Greek Fish

Chicago ~ April 21, 2005

This is the third and last post of my ancient Greek "fish bowl" series. You can see the first two here and here.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Greyhound in Stone

London ~ February 20, 2010

Greyhound or whippet, I don't know, but this this artful dog on the wide end of a banister was one of the beautifully-carved animals that caught my attention inside the Natural History Museum in London. Here is another carving from one of the banisters.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mr. Cool

Lion Country Safari ~ January 13, 2008
Near Miami, Florida

Zebra on a vending trailer. Here's the giraffe from the same location.

For more very nice animal art today, see "Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo."


This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, January 28, 2011

At the Capybara Bar

Gamboa, Panama ~ January 8, 2006

It's rare to find a capybara image anywhere, but it seems this capybara is the mascot of its namesake bar and disco. The lighting was poor in the lower passageways of the hotel, so the sign is out of focus, but I'm happy to have a memory of it anyway. It's carved out of very nice wood, too.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birds and Beasts at Monreale

Monreale, Sicily, Italy ~ April 29, 2004
Click the image and click again for full detail.

I seem to be having "Monreale Day" here in Tapirgal's blog world. Please visit two more blogs for more of marvelous Monreale. You can also follow this link to see other posts about Monreale on Animal Art Along the Way.


This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tall Octopus in Mexico

Near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico ~ February 3, 2007

I snapped this picture quickly, and it's not very good, but I was interested in the tall octopus logo on the sign. I began to wonder if there is a species of octopus with an extra tall body, or does it depend completely on how the octopus's egg-yolk-like body is moving and the angle it's seen from? I have a "tall" octopus in my online animal store, but I thought maybe it had been made strangely. After looking at pictures on a Google search, I'm still not sure. Notice there is also a sealife mural in the "blind arcade" window.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bird Mural, Part 4


Guadalupe, Panama ~ January 12, 2006

These two birds are the last in my series. Both come from the right-hand panel of the painted doors. Below are links to the first three posts:


Click on the "los quetzales" keywords below to see two delightful bird mosaics from the lodge.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birds on a Mural, Panama

Guadalupe, Panama ~ January 12, 2006


Here is a close-up of the owl.


And here is the right-hand door of the outbuilding showing the half of the mural containing the birds pictured above. Tomorrow I'll show you the last two painted birds for which I have detail close-ups. Yesterday I showed the left-hand door and the quetzal, and two days ago, I showed the entire mural. Click on the "los quetzales" keywords below to see two delightful bird mosaics from the lodge.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quetzal on a Mural, Panama

Guadalupe, Panama ~ January 12, 2006

Above is a quetzal, painted on the mural shown below. This is the bird for which the resort is named, and lucky visitors may get to see this bird in the wild.


Here is the left-hand door of the outbuilding with the mural containing the quetzal. Tomorrow I'll show you the right-hand door along with several of its painted birds. Yesterday's post showed the entire mural. Click on the "los quetzales" label below to see other murals and two delightful bird mosaics from the lodge.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bird Mural, Part 1

Guadalupe, Panama ~ January 12, 2006
Los Quetzales Ecolodge and Spa

Someone painted this bird mural on a locked outbuilding at Los Quetzales Ecolodge and Spa in Guadalupe, Panama. In the next few posts, I'll show you more of the mural. It was fun to walk past it every day going from our room to the lodge building where meals were served, or when leaving the premises to explore.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Sea Turtle on The High Street

Oxford, England ~ February 18, 2010

In the middle of rainy Oxford, a tropical sea turtle was just the thing.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Woodpecker on the Tiles

Guadalupe, Panama ~ January 11, 2006

Check out this gorgeous crimson-headed woodpecker mosaic on the back deck of one of the suites at the artistically rustic Los Quetzales Ecolodge and Spa in the mountains of western Panama. On the front steps of the building is another beautiful bird mosaic.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Crocodile and Two Gibnuts on Belize Stamps

Click the photo for a larger image

The tiny country of Belize on the Caribbean, nestled between southern Mexico and Guatemala, has produced some the best animals stamps you will see anywhere. I have been privileged to receive a number of these stamps on mail from Sharon Matola, ultimate conservationist and founding Director of the Belize Zoo. It's always a delight because of the contents of the packet and also because of the animal stamps! On the left is Morelets's Crocodile and on the right a couple of "gibnuts," which is the Belizean name for pacas. You can read more about gibnuts on this page of the Belize Zoo's web site and here you can read about the crocodile.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Manatee Mailbox

Near Kona, Hawaii ~ September 24, 2009

It seems that people who have manatee mailboxes like to dress them up for holidays or maybe just for everyday fun. There might be some competition here for lawn geese.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Amur Leopards

Portland, Oregon ~ September 15, 2001

Someone carved a nice image of the extremely rare Amur leopard for the outside of the leopard's enclosure. Can you find the real leopard? Hint: It's sleeping.

This animal is so near extinction, it's scary. To quote Wikipedia, "It is one of the rarest felids in the world with an estimated 30 to 35 individuals remaining in the wild." To quote the IUCN Red List, "The Amur leopard is a very rare subspecies, with a 2007 census counting only 14-20 adults and 5-6 cubs in the southwestern Primorye region of Russia. It faces numerous threats, including encroaching civilization, new roads, poaching, exploitation of forests and climate change. Numbers have fluctuated over recent years - a 2003 census counted 20-21 adults and 4-5 cubs, and a 2000 census counted 13-16 adults with 1-3 cubs (Anonymous 2007). Prior to this, the population had been declining (Pikunov et al. 2000). Its range is estimated at just 2,500 km² (Pikunov et al. 2000). The Amur leopard is extinct in China and the Korean Peninsula (Anonymous 2007)." Giant pandas get the attention, but we need to realize that many species are on the verge of disappearing in our lifetimes. Aside from the wealth we will lose in biodiversity (a survival issue for the planet), we also lose a weath of beauty, fascination, and subjects to delight our eyes, minds, and hearts. We lose something that makes life worth living.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cacomistle

San Diego, California ~ November 6, 2009

Like any other human-created image or sculpture, the art depicting animals in museums can be good, bad, or mediocre. I found that the displays at the San Diego Natural History Musem were beyond good, they were notably inspiring. Not only were these animal depictions realistic-looking, but also the poses made them come to life and their placement was artistic and unexpected. Here's another post on this fabulous museum.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pit Bears from Old England

Warwick, England ~ February 17, 2010

Bears used in the miserable "sport" of bear baiting can be seen in at least two locations at Warwick Castle. This post shows another of the bear depictions at Warwick and describes the bear-related activities at the castle. For more animals at Warwick castle, click on Warwick Castle in the keywords below. Unfortunately, when I ended this blog and then started it again, the Google search failed to pick up on earlier posts, so the keyword link is the best option. In spite of the sport's cruelty, this lovely ornate piece of carving resulted and can be seen in the castle's great hall. The date carved into the back of it is 1515.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Camel Parking?

San Diego ~ November 15, 2009
San Diego Zoo Parking Lot

I've always liked camel images, and this one caught my eye. Back in the 1960s and early 70s, I collected Camel packages. It helped that I knew someone who smoked that brand. I thought I would do a big collage with them someday, but I never did. I think a few have ended up in one collage or another, but at any rate, I always feel the need to collect when I see a camel image. These days I collect mainly with photos.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.