Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Paintings of Animals and Plants

  I really like acrylic paint but I rarely use it and do not feel confident with it. So I have been practicing lately by painting plants and animals with acrylic paint. It has been a lot of fun. Mostly, I've been taking advantage of sunny days and have been painting outside while listening to audio books.  Here are some of my plant and animal paintings.

  The Chinstrap penguin spends it's days immersed in the icy climate of Antarctica. They are tiny penguins, growing usually to be two feet tall, but they spend much of their time on giant icebergs. They are undaunted by contrast between their size and the size of their landscape. (A)

   The Golden Mantella frog is a realative of the poison dart frog. This lovely frog lives in rainforests and is currently an endangered species.  Although most people associate the 'ribbit' with frogs, the Golden Mantella has a different way to communicate. The male frogs call to the female frogs by making a clicking sound.  (B)

  If the names of mushrooms are any indication, then mushroom scientists must be the poets of the botony world. The four mushrooms listed above are: The Prince, Destroying Angel, Tawny Grisette and Fly Agaric. Destroying Angel is my favorite name! Here are some other mushroom names: Crocodile Agaricus,Bleeding Agaricus, Cloud Ear Mushroom, Butter Bolete, Puff Ball, Green Spored Parasol Mushroom, Blewit (sounds like something that should go in a Harry Potter spell), Snowbank False Morel, Hedgehog Mushroom, and Hen of the Woods. There are a lot more mushrooms with neat names, but I fell like I already named too many. Those mushroom experts really are a creative bunch! (C)

   I've always been fond of seals. They have such soulful eyes. When I was a kid I really loved a book called 'Seal Child' about a seal that comes to land and turns into a human girl. She then lives with a human family for a summer while they stay at their beach house. But the seal girl can never swim in the ocean with the other kids because as soon as she goes back into the water she will turn back into a seal. Here is an interesting fact about seals: Evolution experts believe that the seal ancestors lived on land and were bear like creatures. (D)

 Snails really understand the pressure of parenthood. A single garden snail can have up to 430 babies per year. (E)

  Rats have very hardy teeth and can chew through metals such as aluminum or copper. This gives me a good idea for a comic book character: Half rat-half human! He would have super strong teeth and with his teeth he would chew through rocks to save minors in caves. Or he would rescue the falsely imprisoned by chewing through the bars of their cages and setting them free! (F)

   Although crocodiles are thought of as fierce and unkind creatures, the Nile Crocodile seems to have a soft spot for birds. Sometimes the Nile Crocodile lets birds pick bits of food from between its teeth. The crocodile keeps its toothy mouth open wide while the birds enjoy pices of food scraps lodged between the spikes of the crocodiles teeth. (G)

   Although the Red Mullet enjoys a life or swimming through the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Black Seas, humans appreciate them more in their death. They are considered a delicacy in the Mediterranean. The ancient Romans raised them in ponds. The Red Mullet fish learned the sound of their caretakers voice and would come to the surface for food when they heard the caretakers voice. (H)

   The barn owl is a very worldly bird despite the despite the country bumpkin implications of its name. Antartica is the only continent in which the barn owl does not make its home. I've never seen a barn owl in real life but someday I'd love too. They are so beautiful and off looking with their flat, pale faces. (I)

     The Creeping Jenny is a lovely plant but also an invasive one. When conditions are right they creep over the landscape and take over! (J)

*( Where I found my facts:
A. Kidzone.com
B. bristolzoo.org
C. mssf.org
D. about.com
E. bbc.co.uk
F. 10-facts-about.com
G. aquaticcommunity.com
I. allaboutbirds.org
J. gardenguides.com )


Anne M.V. said...

The owl and the alligator are great! You're really talented.

Amber said...

Thank you Anne! I have been working on improving my painting skills so it is nice to get encouragement!