Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Keiko T. Olds

Keiko is an Artist, an Animal Rights Activist, and an Environmental Activist.

Japanese Sparrow

During a recent conversation, she shared the following details of her life with me.
She is a vegetarian/vegan and she backs and agrees with most organizations dedicated to
advocacy of humane treatment and non-cruelty to animals.

We spoke briefly of these organizations, and the following three were prevalent during the discussion:

The Sierra Club
The Humane Society
World Wildlife Fund

Also, we discussed the annual dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan, and Keiko gave me permission to quote her as saying that she absolutely did not condone this practice and that is should be halted immediately forever more.


In this same conversation, Keiko also addressed the consumption of cats in Korea and the fur trade in China. Her point of view was that a dietary change driving the practice was in order, which are my sentiments exactly.

I asked Keiko to choose three pieces of her art that resonated most powerfully for her, and if she would share with us the reasons that compel her to create the images she chooses to depict.

The three pieces she chose are:

Shiba Inu & Okinawa

Alice in Wonderland Return (my friend's cat)

Little Crow (My daughter & my crow)

This is what Keiko shared as her creative mission statement:


I take my friend's pet photos and draw them. But I talk to my friend about their pet's personality to determine the background. For example, my friend had a pet that came from Okinawa, so I created an Okinawa beach scene in the background.

Another example can be when I looked at my friend's adorable cat, it reminded me of the cat from Alice in Wonderland, so I created a scene from the story and added it to the background.

The number one goal when I draw a picture is to make the animal look like they're having a good time. That is what inspires me to draw. I would very much love to draw your cat. I am already thinking about a background.

I believe that I will never forget Keiko's statement here:

"The number one goal when I draw a picture is to make the animal look like they're having a good time. That is what inspires me to draw."


As an Artist and Activist myself, I have hit the proverbial wall of doubt when contemplating the delivery of a creation to the viewer. After becoming more involved with activism, I began to seriously question my approach to the imagery that I had been inspired to create. Could I continue to generate images that some might title "Mermaids" after becoming aware of the horrors of the Cetacean Capture issue?

Bottom line?

My "Mermaid" images began as a vehicle to depict respect for Sea Life or Sea Creatures, and the human form in said images is to convey a deep connection to the life around us, and hopefully encourage a spirit of conservation for those lives.

So, unless we all start sporting fish tails and finned ears, I don't see that these images encourage a human to support or condone the practice of capturing a Cetacean to be held imprisoned in a small tank for entertainment purposes.

As Keiko has so eloquently pointed out, she is inspired to create by the emotion of happiness. Her work does indeed embrace imagery of happy animals.
That is what she wishes for them to be.
Her Activism compels other people to join her in the quest to end cruelty to animals, so that they will live safely in a state of happiness.

I believe that is the goal that every Activist strives to bring about.

Dream of Peace

It has been my distinct pleasure to meet Keiko and have this opportunity to get to know more about her.
Please enjoy her art, and may it inspire you to visualize a happier world for our animals and to take every action possible to make that a reality.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The future of the black rhino

Not a Black Rhino, but cool nonetheless
By Albrecht Durer

Eddie the Black Rhinoceros
By Margret Cecily

The "black" (or hook-lipped) rhino is one of two African species of rhinoceros (the other being the "white" or squared-lipped).  This species is typically smaller (1,900-3,500 lbs) and has had a long-standing (if perhaps exaggerated) reputation of being extremely aggressive.

The black rhino has been classified as "Critically Endangered" by the IUCN Red List.  Out of seven sub-species, only the eastern black rhinoceros and the south-central black rhinoceros are definitively noted to have established populations in the wild.  The overall number of black rhinos has been estimated by World Wildlife Fund to be 4,880 as of February 2013.  With hundreds being poached annually, swift actions must be taken to ensure the survival of the species.

One project undertaken by WWF in late 2011 was the incredible "Flying Rhino" effort.  South-central black rhinos were transported by helicopter airlift to new territories in an attempt to strengthen the population.


Another recent breakthrough in understanding the black rhino occurred during the filming of BBC Nature/Discovery's Africa documentary series.  The film crew were the first to capture the much-fabled nightly "gatherings" of rhinos.  This footage sheds light on the "secret life" of this creature, long believed to be hostile and unsociable.

Africa also featured a touching segment of Sir David Attenborough meeting Nicky, a baby black rhino at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.  Nicky has recently been the subject of headlines all over the world; he was born blind and Lewa launched a fundraising campaign to secure funds for a cataract surgery that doctors believe may give him vision for the first time.


We have made remarkable progress in understanding and interacting with this elusive species.  It is imperative that a safe haven be created for them so much more can be accomplished in generations to come.

--Margret Cecily @rhino_defenders

Friday, February 22, 2013

An analysis on WWF's decision to avoid graphic imagery

As reported on February 19th, 2013 via the New York Times, World Wildlife Fund is launching an anti-poaching campaign, and they have chosen to avoid using graphic imagery.

Let's focus on the following statements:

“Individuals are really turned off by graphic images and we don’t need to show gratuitous violence to really show what is happening to species around the world,” Mr. Macko said.

“We look for our advertising and marketing to be inspirational, and we think that is best done when we show the promise of the future and what we aim to protect.”

Social media has exploded with graphic content.  It has become nearly impossible to view news or research the illegal trade without a visual assault of a mutilated elephant, rhino, tiger, and so on.  The decision made by World Wildlife Fund to break away from this trend--and the fact that they have been held in high regard by the public for many years--shows that we can transmute the current slaughter into a powerful, positive, and productive reminder of the actions needed to remedy this crisis.

There's also an issue of graphic imagery desensitizing the mind to such violence.  Psychological studies on video games have suggested that:

"Most of us naturally have a strong aversion to the sight of blood and gore," Bartholow said. 
"Surgeons and soldiers may need to overcome these reactions in order to perform their duties. But for most people, a diminished reaction to the effects of violence is not adaptive. It can reduce inhibitions against aggressive behavior and increase the possibility of inflicting violence on others."

Where does one draw the line between allowing the public to see the truth and sensory overload?  Perhaps a good example would be Sir David Attenborough's 1979 program, Life on Earth.

Attenborough had obtained permission to visit Dian Fossey's mountain gorilla sanctuary in Rwanda.  The program featured incredible segments of Attenborough personally interacting with the gorillas.  It was then later briefly reported that one had tragically been poached--with one glimpse of the remains--and Attenborough and his crew became witnesses to Fossey's heartbreaking reaction.  This was just a small part of his television series, but it was enough.  An outpouring of public reaction led to the founding of the conservation group The International Gorilla Conservation Programme:

Did you know?

FFI was a founding force behind the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. In the 1980s, FFI Vice President Sir David Attenborough helped raise £500 to plant the seed which eventually grew into a world renowned, multi-partner conservation programme. See the video below for more information.

Please do not allow these creatures to just become statistics, or be remembered only as victims of crime.  It can only be for the greater good to take time to focus on life in its natural, beautiful state.

--Margret Cecily @rhino_defenders

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Throughout North America and Europe, there are thousands of people who, haveing seen her cards and posters in scattered gift shhops, bookstores or stationary counters, have become entranced by the work of Sulamith Wulfing. Yet virtually no one knows who she is, where she is from, when the paintings were done, nor, most importantly, why. Her style and subject matter are undeniably unique, and anyone who has sold her cards can attest to their popularity, yet she has had no recognition in the artistic world or press, no museum holds a Wulfing original, and distributors have never put much attention into advertising her works. In a culture that yearns more and more for the spiritual and tranquil, her peaceful visions have had to find their own way to her devoted admirers.

Third Eye

The First Butterfly

My drawings are a visual representation of my deepest feelings ~ pleasure,  fear, sorrow, happiness, humor. And, to people attuned to my compositions, the may well be mirrors for their own experiences.

It is because of this that I have left the explanation of the drawings completely to the view, so that they are not bound by my interpretation of what each picture should be.

For me it is not a matter of creating illustrations to fit nursery rhyme themes. My ideas come to me from many sources, and in such harmony with my personal experiences that I can turn them into these fairy compositions.

My Angels are my consolers, leaders, companions, guards. And dwarfs often show me the small ironies and other things to make me smile even in life's most awesome events.

Sulamith Wulfing

Intoduction adapted from Michael Folz
The Fantastic Art of Sulamith Wulfing
Edited by David Larkin
Published by Peacock Press/Bantam Book

Monday, February 18, 2013

Arion and the Dolphins

Arion, the son of Poseidon (Neptune) and the nymph known as Oneaia, lived in Corinth, where the ruler, the tyrant Periander, loved to hear him sing and play the lyre. Arion went on to Sicily, to compete in a musician's competition, which he easily won. He gained not only the victor's wreath to bring back to Corinth, but also money and other gifts from those who had heard him play the lyre so well.

He boarded a ship with all his treasures, but the sailors did not intend to take him home to Corinth. When the ship was far from land, they stood around him and explained politely that he would have to die, because they could not risk stealing his treasure and allowing him to live. Arion begged for one last favor, to sing a final song.

He stood at the very front of the ship, singing in praise of the gods, then leapt overboard. The sailors looked overboard but could not see him. He had spared them the trouble of killing him, or so it seemed. 

But Arion was not dead.

A school of dolphins had heard his wonderful singing and swam all around him, nudging him until he climbed onto the back of the largest of them. Then they all went speeding through the water, overtaking the ship on its way to Corinth. Arion arrived days before the ship. The dolphins made sure that everyone had time to witness his arrival, plunging through the sea like prancing horses. Arion told his story to the tyrant Periander, who waited for the ship to arrive and then sent for the sailors. "Where is my dear Arion?" he asked them. "He is still in Sicily," they replied, "and he asked us to tell you that his beautiful songs are so well liked there that he intends never to leave the place." Periander then confronted the men with the living Arion, and passed a sentence of death upon them.

Arion lived a long and happy life, and according to some stories, the gods placed the Lyra constellation in the sky at his death to commemorate his truly wonderful talent with the lyre.

Edited by Dave Parker

Adapted from ~ Mythology: Myths, & Legends & Fantasies
Global Book Publishing

Friday, February 15, 2013


                                       The Four Elements




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Everyday is a Good Day to be an Activist

The reasoning behind that statement applies on more than one level.

Reason number one is relatively self-evident.  Activism is designed to protect, defend, and conserve.
For our intents and purposes here, we'll use the term "animal rights activism."

When we defend the right to healthy existence of an eco-system, we are actually defending the rights to exist for the fauna that resides within that eco-system.

From my personal vantage point, that would define an "environmental activist" as an "animal rights activist" as well.
Let's call it "win-win" for all life impacted by the actions of the activism.

An example of this premise comes to mind, and that is the recovery of the American Bald Eagle.

The history of the plight of the Bald Eagle

By banning DDT, which was proven to be the environmental toxin that thinned the Eagle's eggshells or rendered them sterile, the Eagle population began to rebound.

We also learned that DDT affected far more than the Raptors.

The Bald Eagle's recovery wasn't a casual, "wait and see," occurrence -- it has been attributed to the activism of Rachel Carlson, an American biologist and author of Silent Spring, published in 1962, and is credited with being the signature event in the birth of the environmental movement.

So, I will reiterate that every day is a good day to be an activist.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013



Dancer and Gazelles

American Sculptor                    

Bremen Town Musicians

A Grimm's Brothers Fairy Tale

A certain man had a donkey, which had carried the corn-sacks to the mill indefatigably for many a long year; but his strength was going, and he was growing more and more unfit for work. Then his master began to consider how he might best save his keep; but the donkey, seeing that no good wind was blowing, ran away and set out on the road to Bremen. "There," he thought, "I can surely be a town-musician." When he had walked some distance, he found a hound lying on the road, gasping like one who had run till he was tired. "What are you gasping so for, you big fellow?" asked the donkey.
"Ah," replied the hound, "as I am old, and daily grow weaker, and no longer can hunt, my master wanted to kill me, so I took to flight; but now how am I to earn my bread?"

"I tell you what," said the donkey, "I am going to Bremen, and shall be town-musician there; go with me and engage yourself also as a musician. I will play the lute, and you shall beat the kettledrum."

The hound agreed, and on they went.

Before long they came to a cat, sitting on the path, with a face like three rainy days! "Now then, old shaver, what has gone askew with you?" asked the donkey.

"Who can be merry when his neck is in danger?" answered the cat. "Because I am now getting old, and my teeth are worn to stumps, and I prefer to sit by the fire and spin, rather than hunt about after mice, my mistress wanted to drown me, so I ran away. But now good advice is scarce. Where am I to go?"

"Go with us to Bremen. You understand night-music, so you can be a town-musician."

The cat thought well of it, and went with them. Then the three fugitives came to a farm-yard, where the rooster was sitting on the gate, crowing with all his might. "Your crow goes through one," said the donkey. "What is the matter?"

"I have been foretelling fine weather, because it is the day on which Our Lady washes the Christ-child's little shirts, and wants to dry them," said the rooster; "but guests are coming for Sunday, so the housewife has no pity, and has told the cook that she intends to eat me in the soup to-morrow, and this evening I am to have my head cut off. Now I am crowing at full pitch while I can."

"Ah, but red-comb," said the donkey, "you had better come away with us. We are going to Bremen; you can find something better than death everywhere: you have a good voice, and if we make music together it must have some quality!"

The rooster agreed to this plan, and all four went on together. They could not, however, reach the city of Bremen in one day, and in the evening they came to a forest where they meant to pass the night. The donkey and the hound laid themselves down under a large tree, the cat and the rooster settled themselves in the branches; but the cock flew right to the top, where he was most safe. Before he went to sleep he looked round on all four sides, and thought he saw in the distance a little spark burning; so he called out to his companions that there must be a house not far off, for he saw a light. The donkey said, "If so, we had better get up and go on, for the shelter here is bad." The hound thought too that a few bones with some meat on would do him good too!

So they made their way to the place where the light was, and soon saw it shine brighter and grow larger, until they came to a well-lighted robber's house. The donkey, as the biggest, went to the window and looked in.

"What do you see, my gray-horse?" asked the rooster. "What do I see?" answered the donkey; "a table covered with good things to eat and drink, and robbers sitting at it enjoying themselves." "That would be the sort of thing for us," said the rooster. "Yes, yes; ah, how I wish we were there!" said the donkey. Then the animals took counsel together how they should manage to drive away the robbers, and at last they thought of a plan. The donkey was to place himself with his fore-feet upon the window-ledge; the hound was to jump on the donkey's back; the cat was to climb upon the dog, and lastly the rooster was to fly up and perch upon the head of the cat.

When this was done, at a given signal, they began to perform their music together: the donkey brayed, the hound barked, the cat mewed, and the rooster crowed; then they burst through the window into the room, so that the glass clattered! At this horrible din, the robbers sprang up, thinking that a ghost had come in, and fled in a great fright out into the forest. The four companions now sat down at the table, well content with what was left, and ate as if they were going to fast for a month.

As soon as the four minstrels had done, they put out the light, and each sought for himself a sleeping-place according to his nature and what suited him. The donkey laid himself down upon some straw in the yard; the hound behind the door; the cat upon the hearth near the warm ashes, and the rooster perched himself upon a beam of the roof; and being tired with their long walk, they soon went to sleep.

When it was past midnight, and the robbers saw from afar that the light no longer burned in their house, and all appeared quiet, the captain said, "We ought not to have let ourselves be scared out of our wits;" and ordered one of them to go and examine the house.

The messenger, finding all still, went into the kitchen to light a candle, and, taking the glistening fiery eyes of the cat for live coals, he held a lucifer-match to them to light it. But the cat did not understand the joke, and flew into his face, spitting and scratching. He was dreadfully frightened, and ran to the backdoor, but the dog, who lay there, sprang up and bit his leg; and as he ran across the yard by the straw-heap, the donkey gave him a smart kick with its hind foot. The rooster, too, who had been awakened by the noise, and had become lively, cried down from the beam, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"

Then the robber ran back as fast as he could to his captain, and said, "Ah, there is a horrible witch sitting in the house, who spat on me and scratched my face with her long claws; and by the door stands a man with a knife, who stabbed me in the leg; and in the yard there lies a black monster, who beat me with a wooden club; and above, upon the roof, sits the judge, who called out, 'Bring the rogue here to me!' so I got away as well as I could."

After this the robbers did not trust themselves in the house again; but it suited the four musicians of Bremen so well that they did not care to leave it any more. And the mouth of him who last told this story is still warm.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Maiden Voyage

Fauna et Ars was created in order to have an opportunity to explore and be enriched by art that focuses on the celebration and mythology of animal depiction throughout history.

It is our intent to highlight artists both contemporary and historical who have respectfully created works that embrace the nature of the wildlife (fauna) we share our world with.

Many of these contemporary artists are also environmental and animal rights activists.
You will be able to view their work and learn of their activism, their concerns, and the Advocacy organizations that they support and/or champion.

Many of the artists' works here will be available for purchase, with contact
information for the artists, their websites, their blogs, and their social networking addresses listed with their feature.