Whale art: Create to make a difference

whale mandala

The news reports this past summer about the plight of the right whale touched my heart.

The gist of the story is, they have been dying in large numbers relative to a population size of less than 500.  These are magnificent, intelligent creatures and I want to do something to help. I hate to think of a world without them in it.

A little soul

Stand up and show your soulI could probably write a post about using our gifts as artists and being generous with our talents but I hate being preached to and I’ll bet you do, too. I get it that what touches me, doesn’t necessarily move you as an artist or a viewer of art. Also, what we get up to should fall under the heading of “Want To” rather than “Have To.” (There’s enough of those already in my life.)

That’s when I found the quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and that proverbial light bulb went off.  What I wanted to do was to show you my soul.

Why the whale?

The plight of the whales touched me because I care deeply about animals. I’ve learned to be careful about reading news articles about abused pets and such because their stories haunt me. It’s not that I don’t want to be informed but it also breaks my heart and, as they say, once you know a thing, you can’t un-know it.

I believe whales to be sentient creatures who are as curious about us as we are about them. When we encounter them in the open ocean they are usually quite gentle. The declining numbers, however, are due to humanity’s less-than-gentle interactions with them.

I asked “How can my art help?”whale mandala

I did a few sketches but nothing seemed quite right until I combined one of those sketches with a mandala, something I played a lot with this past summer.

“Mandala” is a sanskrit word that means “circle” or “center”. I understand it to be sacred space because it represents the circle of life. So when I drew a mandala around my sketch of a whale diving, I knew I had it.

This is my art wish for the whale signifying safe space, a prayer for sacred protection and practical help to maintain their place in the circle of life

I’m offering prints in my Etsy shop for $35 plus shipping. For each print sold, I will donate $10 to the Canadian Whale Institute to help them continue their work. Part of the important work they do at the Institute is untangling the whales from fishing gear.

In addition, the 9×12 pen and ink original is still available. If you’re interested in purchasing it, contact me. I will donate 25% of the proceeds to the Institute as well.