"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." Mother Teresa
Art with Heart
I would like to share with you the cause which has captured my heart, and in turn, my art:
Elephants and rhinos in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate. Their populations are being decimated by poachers, driven by insatiable ivory and rhino horn markets.
Mother elephants and rhinos are often killed in front of their helpless babies who are left behind to die alone of starvation or predation.
If fortunate enough to be rescued in time, these orphans show inspiring resilience and trust.
Two charities which are working hard to give them this chance at life are The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is currently caring for 89 orphaned elephants in Kenya, and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre which is raising several orphaned baby rhinos in South Africa.
Below are portraits I have made of a few of the special orphans they have rescued. You can click on their names for links to their stories.
Sales of my original artwork, merchandise featuring images of the murals, and donations of Sundog items to the fundraising campaigns of DSWT, HESC, Air Shepherd, Saving the Survivors, Tusk Trust, and Wildlife S.O.S have raised over $17,000 for these organizations.
If you would like to be a part of giving elephants and rhinos the chance for a brighter future, please visit the DSWT or HESC websites to donate directly or stop by the Sundog Gift Shop and purchase any items featuring elephants or rhinos. Your heart will thank you!
I donated this special mural of best friends Ashaka and Kamok to be auctioned by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The online auction raised $6,000! You can read more about the fundraiser and its results in the newspaper article here.
The mural is my original design based on this photo. It measures 18" (45cm) in diameter and weighs 4.5lbs (2kg) and took approximately 40 hours to complete.
This original artwork is made of 100 individual pieces of wood including walnut, poplar, maple, cedar, yellowheart, pine, and ebony. No stains were used on the wood; all colors are natural tones of the various wood species used.
This mural honors the special friendships which form between the orphaned babies at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery.
When Kamok lost her dear friend Ashaka in April 2015, Kamok and Mbegu found comfort in each other and their own friendship began to blossom as they moved forward together after Ashaka's passing.
The mural measures 22" in diameter and is made of cedar, walnut, poplar, maple, mahogany, pine, yellowheart and ebony wood. No stains or dyes were used.
These two triumphant orphans have overcome incredible odds since being rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This mural celebrates their triumphant spirits and hope for their bright futures.
The mural measures 22" in diameter and is made of cedar, walnut, poplar, maple, myrtle, cherry, teak, yellowheart, pine, oak, sapele and ebony. No paints or stains were applied.
A portrait of smiling, mischievous Roi measuring 19" in diameter and made of woods including blue pine, cedar, maple, poplar, koa, pine, mahogany, myrtle, redwood, aspen, cocobolo, ebony, and yellowheart.
This portrait of Roi was given as a gift to the two who photographed Roi's story and shared it with the world, Swati P. Siddharth and Siddharth Ramaswamy.
Mural measures 13"x14" and is made of pine, hemlock, maple, walnut, koa, mahogany, poplar, sapele and ebony.
18 1/2"L x 14"W x 1 1/2"D
This portrait of Mbegu, an orphaned elephant rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, is comprised of over one hundred pieces of various types of wood including walnut, cherry, yellowheart, ebony and tulipwood.
"The artwork that you did is very special and shows the heart of Gertjie and his friend Lammie - a person who sees this will think you met Gertjie and Lammie to be able to capture it so beatifully! Big thank you!!
This mural celebrates the
transformative power of
love and connection, and honors
the short life of Simotua who
sadly succumbed to his injuries
a few months after his rescue.
Mural measures 18" diameter
and is made of cedar, maple,
walnut, mahogany, poplar,
yellowheart, ebony, cocobolo,
aspen and blue pine.
A custom, original design which beautifully captures the tender connection between a new mother and her beloved baby.
All proceeds from this artwork were donated to charity for promoting elephant conservation.
This mural measures 24" x 24" and is made of walnut, pine, hemlock, cedar, poplar, sapele, maple, ebony, and mahogany.
"Spirit of Satao"
I created this artwork to honor the memory and legacy of the magnificent Satao. The design was inspired by a stunning photograph of Satao taken by Mr. Richard Moller, CEO of the Tsavo Trust in Kenya and was used with his permission. All proceeds from the sale of this mural were donated to the Tsavo Trust in Kenya to support their work in protecting the the world's precious few remaining tuskers there.
The mural measures 24" x 24" and is made of oak, pine, walnut, ebony, basswood, cherry, poplar and yellowheart woods.