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Three more Theme Week entries

ACEO TW Endangered Species Snow Leopard went up around seven or eight at night. I napped from noon till six, not expecting to sleep that long. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do five TW entries the way I wanted to, but I jumped right in and drew this one with Derwent Drawing Pencils as soon as I got up. It took me a while.

Then I decided I liked the reference so much that I'd do a second one focusing on the snow leopard's face in detail:

ACEO TW Endangered Species Snow Leopard the second is watercolor.

Then I thought I was done for the night, since it was 1:00 am by the time I posted the foregoing to all my eBay groups. But Kitten came downstairs for a break in her gruelling copywriting all-nighter and suggested I do one more in my Conte sketch pencils -- so I did. This wasn't a five minute drawing but it was more like about a half hour instead of painting and letting paint dry, painting and letting paint dry, I could work on it continuously.

ACEO TW Endangered Species Sea Otter came out well. I did the background very loose so that the details of the animal would be the most prominent thing in the drawing. It was a sad surprise for me to find out these animals are on the endangered list. I thought of them as so numerous that wasn't a problem... but they're not, they are endangered.

There's a fund being organized at my eBay group this month to donate to a foundation that purchases acreage of rainforest for conservation -- $50 for a half acre, $100 for an acre. One member already just bought an acre, and another member is organizing a kitty to buy some rainforest for the entire group of artists. I'm going to do some endangered species and wildlife art later on this month dedicated to this rainforest fund, to see if I can put in a bit more than the buck or two donation that we're likely to get at large from individuals. I have a couple of immediate expenses -- Ari's vet bill needs to be reimbursed -- but after that's taken care of (and I do have it coming in already, just need to wait for everything to come together for it), I might donate to that. Or just dedicate certain ACEOs to the rainforest project and see how they do. I'll mention in the LJ entries if something's going to the rainforest project unofficially. You can't list charities in eBay listings without going through eBay itself and you can't donate without a $5 minimum anyway, so anything involving quick sketching can't be official through eBay. But there's nothing to say I can't donate directly to something anyway.

And I did succeed despite being that tired and sick today in doing five entries on this favorite theme. I am so happy about it! Thanks for the bids on my snow leopards!
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
Snow Leopard Vodka
I've been a big Snow Leopard fan for a long time. The OKC Zoo (where I grew up) was one of the first successful breeders of the cats, and in fact, ended up with so many that they stopped breeding them.

This weekend I ran onto this - Snow Leopard Vodka. Now, I'm a long time Vodka drinker, too. Apparently the parent company is donating something like 15% of the price to various charities that work to preserve the Snow Leopard, and also assist Tibet and other areas where it lives. Here's their website: http://www.snowleopardvodka.co.uk/

I just thought it was cool. Hey, long as I'm buying vodka anyway...
Aug. 4th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
Thanks! That is so cool. They probably ought to be shipping them to other zoos though, or places they can be released into the wild. It's sad they stopped breeding them since they were so successful.

I bookmarked the vodka site. I'm not much of a vodka drinker but if I need any for making cordials, it makes sense to help the cats too!
Aug. 4th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
In fact, they were selling or trading the kits to other zoos. I'm not sure if there was a program at the time for re-release into the wild. That's always a little problematic with big cats since they learn to hunt from their parents when they are young - so zoo raised kits do not learn to hunt. This was all many years ago, so perhaps they've found some solutions and gone back to breeding. We can but hope :D
Aug. 5th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
Yeah, really. The ones I got to hold at the Lincoln Park Zoo were born there. They had a good snow leopard breeding program too and those were about their seventh or eight litter of them. They were trading them out to other zoos all over the place. Beautiful cats. I'm so relieved that they do breed in captivity because the species will be less likely to completely go extinct -- though teaching them to hunt without experienced adult snow leopards that know the terrain would be heartbreakingly hard.
Aug. 5th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
Now you've really got me wondering if they are doing reintroductions or if anyone plans to try...I feel a research binge coming on...
Aug. 6th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
Let me know if you find out. It sounds to me like snow leopard breeding is one of the stellar successes in zoo breeding programs. They are wonderful animals -- but you've got a good point about the hunting skills needed to survive in that environment. How can we preserve more than their genes?

Raise the kittens on documentaries of their ancestors hunting? That actually worked for one domestic cat, he learned to hunt as a kitten from watching The Big Cats and was sitting glued to the screen following everything the leopards and lions were doing, trying it himself on his toys and bugs.
Aug. 7th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
You know, they are discovering that animals can learn by watching other animals - which previously was basically laughed at. Speaking just for myself, I've seen horses learn from watching other horses, and my Sheltie certainly watched obedience and agility events intently - and was a winning competitor. Wouldn't it be fantastic if it were "that easy"...
Aug. 7th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
Re: Snow Leopard Vodka
Then the footage from all those nature documentary makers is even more vital. It doesn't just represent something to get people interested in saving the environment -- all the raw footage showing every aspect of the hunt, denning, the lifestyle of a snow leopard or other wild creature -- can be used to educate zoo-bred cubs. It makes sense to me. These animals are intelligent. I saw how Napoleon was watching the big-cat videos as a kitten and practicing exactly the leopard moves. But their environment is so specific that strategies like "get above the mountain goats" are vital for the cubs to learn.

I know with lions there's been success gradually reintroducing them, supporting them with extra food as they learn to hunt for themselves. So that'd help too. I just hope the effort and funding is there for the process, and that some filmmakers are out there documenting the Snow Leopard Life Skills in depth. Heh, I would buy that DVD! Even the long one. What if my cat had to live out on a mountaintop somewhere?
Aug. 7th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
I just had this vision of big fat Pearlie lurking on high waiting for the unsuspecting human to walk beneath...

No more Animal Planet for her.

That is a cool thought about the footage though - and I'd buy that DVD, too.

Just wouldn't let my cats watch it.
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
LOL -- yep, big fat Pearlie would try it! But with humans she likes it'd probably be to land on your shoulders and play.

Napoleon watched a documentary on peregrine falcons and tried power diving from the top of the cabinets to make a perfect four-paw landing claws out on a quarter-inch bug that I hadn't even seen. They love Animal Planet. And they are smart enough to learn from watching other cats and any creatures who do things cats do well!

Someone really ought to try that with zoo kittens.
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
I used to always leave Animal Planet on for Jessie (the sheltie) and he loved it. I tried leaving it on for Pearl and she gets upset. She doesn't like the violence - she is a very peace loving soul and easily upset. She much prefers watching some sort of moving pattern or fish on the screen saver (besides, she's a computer nerd).
Aug. 7th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Awww. Different tastes for different furkids. There's a video a friend sent me, with "Video Catnip" that is all fish moving, bugs jumping, birds twittering and things cats can stare at and paw at the screen to play with, it holds their attention for much longer than most toys. Fish on the screen saver would be very much like that!

Ari tends to like animal video a lot and get bored with science fiction, Diablo or most movies. He'll watch sometimes when we're watching, but when I put the dino-documentaries or especially the big cat documentaries on, he'll sit and watch with me and Sascha and enjoy them. When we had cable he would sit up and watch all the cat food commercials with great interest.

And then when I let him try four different top quality cat foods to choose his favorite, he communicated himself exactly like cat-food commercial actors to show me that yes, indeed, he loves Katz 'N Flocken Royal Gold and likes it much better than any of the others. It's great. He still comes running after me mewing and twining my ankles when I go get him some and then comes up and purrs and thanks me for it. I'm pretty sure he learned this etiquette from cat food commercials. (This is how to tell your human that he got you the food you like best.)

Ari is a computer nerd too, and he typed a lot as a baby kitten. When his paws got too big to hit just one key on a keyboard, he switched to thwapping the mouse with his tail and opening new application windows. This is why he's always had so much online presence. I'm used to translating for him, since he would type in Kitty Kode.

lsmwboeadthsn staou s

typical Kitten Kode posts, of the bigfoot variety. It'd be more varied when he would type with all four feet and his nose as a tiny kitten. He liked chat rooms and would intelligently watch his lines scroll up and people answer him. They know that when they do things to the keyboard it changes what's on the screen.
Aug. 9th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Ari and Pearl would get along famously! Pearl also used to love IM and type on it. She always had a bit to add to any writing I was doing if I left Word up while I went somewhere. And she loves to piddle around and look at files. I left the room one day and returned to find my wallpaper had been changed to a photo of another white kitty I had on my HD. Pearl porn? She just purred. Like Ari, her paws have grown too big to type, although she still mouses and considers the laptop to be HER computer. I've caught her several times with a kitten at the keyboard and Pearl supervising...

Aug. 9th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yep. They can find their way around a computer easily. Cats are clever and cybercats learn things fast. I don't thkni they can actually read but they can certainly recognize images of cats and of themselves. Ari knows it when I put his picture up as wallpaper or post it online, and he is friendly and interested in other cats. He loves video with cats in it, big or small. I'm not sure he quite comprehends the scale of lions or leopards, to him they're all cats, persons like him.

Aww that is neat that Pearl teaches the kittens to geek! Makes total sense to me. I've got a cybercats novel knocking around in my "novels to be written someday" that started out as a Star Trek novel, but now that I think of it, could stand on its own as science fiction. Just an extrapolation on what real cats do with computers, combined with a bit of cyberpunk technology to make things a little easier for them.

Hehehe, maybe that's what I'll do for my 3 Day Novel this year. I backed off the pledge to pay the fee and formally enter, but I always do one anyway. I don't have the $50 with my current budget, won't have it before Labor Day Weekend, so that's a next-year thing.
Aug. 10th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, definately you must do the cat cybergeek novel! Pearl will be happy to help ;)

Pearl loves anything with a picture of a white cat on it. All white cats are her as far as she is concerned.
Aug. 10th, 2008 06:32 am (UTC)
Awww that's neat! She can be in it then, I'll be sure to put a white cat heroine in somewhere. Besides, then maybe a certain cat artist I know on eBay might be persuaded to do my cover art. I always loved her white cats and she could probably handle the concept, especially if I sent her a sketch.

Or I'll just do the cover myself, try for something grabby and traditional sf-artwork.

Pearl sounds like a brilliant cybercat.

Ari is flopped out on our waterbed like a lazy rumpled brown rag at the moment, waving his ears because I typed his name. Do your know it when you write about them?
Aug. 10th, 2008 07:36 am (UTC)
Pearlie is deaf - and psychic, so it's pretty hard to slip anything past her. If I start talking about her, unless she is sound asleep, next thing I know she is in my lap purring and staring at the screen.

She has her own website here

That would be so cool if she were in a novel :D I'm sure she'd love it.
Aug. 10th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Pearlie's website rocks! I love it. She's such a geek. Of course cats are psychic. That's the whole basis for my Cat Magic novels, and when I finish "Magic in the Streets" or this new one I'm doing with her in it, it would make good sense to advertise on her site.

I liked all the cat clipart and things you did too, that site is magnificent. I didn't realize that Foreign Whites didn't have the deafness problem.

Ari is a Domestic Longhair Colorpoint seal point. His mommy was a longhair Lynx Point, her name is Snow, and his dad was "a big black cat that was hanging around" who may have been an Oriental Shorthair. People look at him and ask if he's a Tonkinese. He's an applehead, does not have the long wedge head of the modern Siamese. A perfect Applehead. I've seen photos of other people's Ragdolls that tend to look a lot like him too. So maybe the same general look of shaggy silky mid-long fur, points with a sort of pale collar around the shoulders and big fluffy feet with tufts between the toes shows up more than once in cat breeds. Or he's just a Street Siamese with cattitude.

Kitten nicknamed him Bucky Junior because he was not very keen on people other than me. He was a one-man cat for most of his life. He spent the first six weeks of his life with his mom in a household that had pit bulls, and his mom's human kept sending me emails with pics. "Here are some kittens that look like your kitten did at one week old, except yours had black ears." (Black ears? How can he have black ears at one week old?). She was adamant about the black ears. When he came, he was about 3/4 fur and looked like a dainty puffball. He was quiet, purring, affectionate and passive till I went to bed that night and he discovered Nosebite as a kitten game.

He's always judged other people by how they treat me, and he has decided to accept Kitten and Karl as among his people and the children as their kittens. He got over his dog phobia somewhat in Minnesota -- lazy passive dogs helped -- and much more here, where Kitten trained Zoe and he helped train Zoe to Cat Worship, the natural state of dogs. Ayla of course is the world's most submissive dog, she would grovel to a budgie or even to me, and it is one of the things I like about Ayla. Neither is a pit bull and neither is violent with cats or children.
Aug. 11th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
Pearl & Ari
Thanks for all the compliments on Pearl's site :D It was fun and I'm always getting email from people about her. The article about living with a deaf cat got picked up by someone and added to the Wikipedia! I've been insufferably proud ever since. Pearl has wanted a blog forever - I think she just might get one now. Partially written, partially illustrated. She'll LOVE being in your books and we will joyfully promote insufferably :D (It pisses her off that I tease her about her site not making enough a year to buy a bag of cat food - she'll be so glad I'm looking for other ways to promote her)

Ari sounds gorgeous! Most of the Orientals are one person cats, or maybe one family. (I was quite shocked when Myst and especially Pearl just instantly accepted Third as family - just more confirmation to me that he belongs) I once had a barn cat that looked like a Ragdoll or Himalayan that was out of a litter of longhaired barn cats. I suspect any old time a Siamese gets together with any longhair, the results are fairly predictible... Ari clearly has you well-trained. Orientals and Siamese are good at that. They may be the ultimate human slave trainers of the cat world. :P

The dogs sound so lovely. I love Thirds dogs (and they've definately adopted me) but I wish they'd finally accept the cats. Pearl simply does not associate with dogs, period. MYST fights/teases them under the door. His terrier mutt Harry has never stopped attacking the barn cats and trying to get to Myst. I think Klyde the Kowdog is not that serious (he is a big sook) but just follows Harry's lead as the time or two he has chased a cat that I watched, he can outrun them (he is a speed ball!). Rather than snatching them up, he runs alongside "wow-ow-ow-wow"ing at them. One of these days one of these cats will stop and turn and I think that will be the end of cat baiting for Klyde. Third swears that Harry used to have a cat (in fact, the Siamese tom we suspect is MYST's father) and get along fine so he can't understand why all the conflict now. Again, I think the day one of the cats stops and turns will stop the chasing.

Our three little barn toms were fathered by this IMMENSE wild tom cat. The boys have wild type spotting on their sides and bellies - and one is a blue eyed lynx point (don't ask me where that came from, neither parent as far as I know had any Siamese). They are still young, but if they grow to their fathers size, the day will come when they stop and turn - as they will be damn near Harry's size. I find myself looking forward to it a bit...sigh. Calling Harry off and telling him no has basically only taught him to do it when (he thinks) I'm not looking. Real Terrier Tenacity.

Aug. 11th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Pearl & Ari
Zoe caught Ari once when they were playing. She put her big feet on either side of him, and then bopped him on the head with the underside of her jaw to tag him. He was freaked, but he's trusted her more since then -- that she is family to him and she isn't going to really hurt him if they play tag. They have become his dogs. Ayla is so submissive that she would crawl to anything, she's a weirdly happy Lowest Dog, a natural Omega Dog who is so happy to be included in the pack that she's like Canine Orphan Annie.

This naturally got to me and I'm very fond of both dogs in ways that I didn't expect ever to like dogs, since Zoe also happily kowtows to me and both are polite enough to sit down when I pet them instead of the jump up and lick face, paws on shoulders bouncy big puppy thing that feels viscerally like an attack.

You may be right about Siamese and any longhair, that the combination is just a natural one. He's beautiful and so is his mom. Ari has claimed Kitten and Karl as among his people now, and loves them, but is still much closer to me. This works great since I get a bit clingy too and really appreciate his devotion.

Good trainers come up in other types too though. Vila, a cat I had years ago in New Orleans, was great at dressage training. He liked to ride my shoulders and by careful balance and claw retraction taught me how to walk with a cat on my shoulders, how to bend over without losing the cat's balance and getting clawed, how to do anything in the apartment while being ridden by a cat. This will at some point get into the cat novels -- dressage, for cats riding humans. We make really good riding animals for them, long legged and large. Sort of a moving tree with blind if they're into the pouncing down thing. That was Vila's contribution to Human Training. Ari doesn't like to ride though.

Oh yeah. A face full of claws will discourage all but the murderous dogs. All three of Ari's littermates died to the pit bulls in the house he was born. After the first red-point kitten died, they put the dogs outside to protect their small children. So the kittens who had wandered came back in through the yard and were found in pieces. The dogs' owner laughed when talking about it and that really sickened me. So he had reason for an early dog phobia -- I can imagine the menace he lived with as those dogs stalked the kittens for weeks before the tragedies.

Kitten trained Zoe and Ayla to avert any such problem, but it's part of why Ari is an indoor cat. If they were outdoors it could be dangerous after a long chase, the dog might get hunting-instinct going and go for the kill. It's not safe for feral cats in our yard, and that is the only sad thing about having those dogs around. At least, that's Kitten's insight on it. It's possible since they have caught squirrels and birds but we have yet to find any dead cats, that through knowing Ari and bowing to him indoors, they put cats in their own category and don't kill them but just chase them.

I like to hope so, since I do love the dogs too.
Aug. 12th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Pearl & Ari
Back when I was doing cat rescue and often had 30+ cats along with 6 or so dogs, the dogs and I had a deal. Cats outside...not my cats. I would prefer they be unharmed but. Cats inside...MY CATS therefore family and not to be harmed under any circumstances. As I was in the city at the time, and all my cats were strictly indoors, it worked okay. Here - I have barn cats as well as the two indoor cats. We're working on it. I really don't think they would kill the barn cats, they don't kill anything actually (okay, Klyde has killed a desert rat or two - but that's pretty much acceptable, after all it's the cats JOB to keep those rodents out of the barn).

Klyde is a naturally submissive dog, but he follows Harry who is all terror - I mean, terrier. I don't usually care for the "pee on myself submissive" dog - but Klyde has sucked up to me until I could hardly say no, so in truth, I'm probably closer to Klyde than Harry. Harry, on the other hand, clearly assumes I now belong to him. Still - they are Thirds dogs.

Human riding - when I worked as a stablehand in OK I wore this big thick jacket with sheepskin collar in the cooler months. That big longhair siamese mix I told you about considered me her "horse" and rode me constantly. She loved that coat as she could sink her claws in and ride as I went about my daily chores cleaning stalls, feeding, and so on. When I was grooming a horse and started doing their hooves (meaning I bent to the ground) she would walk up my back to my butt and then hop up onto the horses back until I was done with the hooves. When I stood up, she would jump back onto my shoulders. Like you, I became very proficient at bending over a little slower so she could walk down my back, and same way bending back up. Every now and then, she would even ride me when I was riding a horse! She'd also ride behind me, clinging to the saddle pad. All was well if the horse was standing or at a walk, but she didn't like any faster gaits and took them as her cue to hop down. The neat thing was how these flighty, high strung race horses I was working at the time, took it very casually that the cat would jump around on them.
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Pearl & Ari
It's neat reading about your dogs' relationships with your family. Dogs will attach more to one person than another. Kitten went through a lot of time and research before choosing Zoe and spent a thousand dollars for a purebred Siberian husky, pet quality.

Then because of some circumstances involving the job she had at the time, Zoe got more attached to Karl because he did more of her immediate care and training. She laughs and says she spent a thousand dollars to get him a dog -- but that was why she went to the shelter to get a second dog. Ayla fell in love with her. Ayla was a puppy younger than we thought she was at first, she's a pretty Australian Shepherd with some retriever or something in there. She's shiny and black with one ear that sticks up and one that flops over, sort of like an Australian hat brim.

Ayla has the clinginess of a puppy that has been abandoned and really attached herself to Kitten -- and to Zoe, whom she worships and follows. Zoe dominates her and Ayla loves the attention. Kitten has been training Ayla and doing most of the work with her, and Ayla has gotten less cringing and more happy and playful the longer she's here -- and better behaved. The nice thing about Ayla is that lessons themselves are a reward to her. Any attention is a reward to her.

LOL -- your Siamese longhair walking up your back when you bend over, Vila used to do that. I took to wearing heavier shirts and sweaters to give him traction. He on his part only used claws if I didn't stand still to give him good footing before he settled down.

Aww that must have been so cool riding a horse while a cat rides you! Makes sense she wouldn't be comfortable with a faster gait than a walk though. Cool that she'd sit on the saddle pad too. With a cat like that, you could actually travel by horseback... it's something weird that I could see putting into a novel someday. Either a Western or something more like a fantasy novel. Something to remember if a wizard has a familiar (or a mage cat has a human familiar who has a horse!)

I've heard that horses get very used to cats jumping on them. I guess they know that these little creatures are not a threat and don't eat horses.
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
horses and cats
Oh yes, horses get very used to cats. Even Suzy (Thirds horse) who has never had a cat took to standing in the barn to watch the kittens playing (she can't see the TV from the barn anymore - she used to watch TV over at Thirds old house) when I moved them to the barn. There is an obvious affinity between the species. But then, I think both of these species are highly psychic.

I have some vague recall of a fantasy book cover where a cat was riding on a horse behind someone, but I can't remember anything else about it now.

Ayla really sounds like Klyde - who is also Aussie and something, lab we think. He looks like a HUGE Aussie - LOL.

Animals chose their own people, we just like to think we pick them. :D
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: horses and cats
Awww that is so neat! So cool that Third's horse likes watching the kittens. Horses get bored without something to interest them, but you know more about horses than I do. I'm just quoting Kitten here.

Klyde sounds like a sweet dog, really.

Kitten went for animals choosing their own people this time, and went into the shelter looking for the animal that would bond with her right off. Ayla sure did. Ayla is her dog in the most intense way, but sweet and friendly with everyone else too. She likes poking me with her nose. She's such a puppy.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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