"Behind the Bars"
Moonbear on his way to freedom
I had no intention of painting today. I know when my batteries are flat and they really are. I am exhausted from a week of meetings, filming, writing and interviews. I knew today I needed to take a complete break, walk Bailey and simply chill in preparation for my USA tour which starts next weekend. However there is a team far more exhausted than I am right now and this blog post is a tribute to them. For rescuing three moonbears and taking them to a sanctuary.
Followers of my Twitter account will know my heart is often touched by the plight of wildlife and how it suffers due to mans' personal greed or need for fun via hunting. A pastime I will never wish to understand. I don't "get" cruelty and there are times when I feel the four legged species has more intelligence than the two legged we know as mankind.
But having decided to take a break today I continued following the rescue of three moonbears. I have lived in Asia. I have seen medicine shops and markets with all the cruelty they entail. And I appreciate it requires strong minded compassionate individuals to take on the plight of animals who desperately need help there. Years ago when I lived in Hong Kong I came across a person called Jill Robinson. What this wonderful woman did then impressed me but what Jill is doing now touches my heart in a way that I cannot describe. She makes me want to give up everything I do in life to put my focus on helping wildlife. And maybe that is where I am heading because I have never wanted to paint for personal gain, which is why I give so much away when teaching watercolour workshops. I don't want to be famous. I just want others to enjoy painting as much as I do. But how about when we reach a certain level in our art careers we give back rather than not?
Have you heard of the plight of moonbears? Heard how bile is extracted for medicine? Heard how these poor animals live in confined cages for the majority of their lives unless they are rescued?
I am following the live rescue of three gorgeous moonbears who will be in their new sanctuary in the next 24 hours. Watching them on their journey is humbling and we can all witness it, thanks to the Internet and Animals Asia for the rescue and sharing their release. How joyous that will be for the moonbears living outside of a cage for the first time, being in a bear community rather than solitary confinement. Being able to play, interact. Eat and drink fresh water. Sleep free from pain.
Now having read those last few lines perhaps please look again at this study below, that I have painted of "Yogi" bear on his journey to freedom. You see, although I paint in watercolour, these are not watermarks in my work. They are real genuine marks by tears that feel while I painted because this animal deserved far better than the cruelty endured previously. And thanks to good hearted people he now will live a far better life than when he was " Behind the Bars"
There will be tears for joy when this bear and his friends reach the sanctuary
Join me in celebrating the release of these three bears via this link. They are nearly home. At last. To a life without bars.
I never ask for donations from my friends but all donations via the above link will really help this wonderful organisation.