Sometimes I finish a painting and it just overwhelms me, this is one of those paintings. It reaffirms for me that I am on the right path by following my dreams and passion for creating beautiful, uplifting art. And that the new artwork I am creating to highlight the beauty of our natural world through my fantasy world, MAD Wonderland, is what I was meant to do. All of my years as an artist have brought me to this time in my life for me to follow this path of this style and purpose. It is invigorating me and making me feel right in this world, and who I am, for the first time in maybe my entire life. I feel empowered and motivated to create more art to highlight our mother earth and the beauty and life she graces us with.
I have been seeing a lot of Toucans lately and just felt the need to paint them, they are such beautiful, unique creatures that seem to exude a fun, carefree vibe with their stunning colors and attention grabbing beak. Let's learn a little bit about them, here are some fun Toucan facts :)
The name "Toucan" actually comes from the noises they make, they are one of the most vocal/noisiest birds in the world.
Their beaks are made of a honeycomb of keratin that isn't durable or very useful in fighting other birds, but it comes in handy grabbing out of reach fruit, and they use the serated edge to cut open the fruit. It's also thought that the beaks size and colorfulness is used to attract mates. They also use it to help regulate and cool their body temperature through the honeycomb pattern to filter air as they live in hot climates.
The bill/beak does have one downfall, it makes the birds look kind of awkward when flying as the size ratio of it makes them appear unbalanced. When you seem them flying the beak makes up nearly half the length of their body, no surprise it would weigh them down! This is also why they spend more time hopping around then actually flying, and live in the canopies of the jungle trees, often in hollowed out parts of the tree created from former woodpecker inhabitants.
They are native to South America and the Caribbean, with over 40 species, and they can live to be 20 years old!
They range in size from less than two lbs at the heaviest to a tiny 3 ounces, and are very sociable birds living with flocks from around 3-12 birds. They are a vital part of the rainforest ecosystem carrying seeds through their droppings creating a diverse array of plants throughout the forest.
A portion of the proceeds from my MAD wonderland collection sales, is donated to Re:wild (formerly know as Global Wildlife Conservation), an organization I have collaborated with, and continue to contribute to. "We believe that together, we can protect and restore those ecosystems critical to the health of our planet—from the Amazon to Australia and from Borneo to our own backyards. We are excited to embark on this journey, because we believe that, together, we can rewild our world.." (Co-founded by Leonardo Dicaprio.)
The original 19"x24" painting, created with acrylics on recycled bristol paper is available HERE.