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Steve Morvell Australian Wildlife Artist Afternoon dreaming – eastern grey kangaroos Pastel painting drawing

‘Afternoon dreaming – eastern grey kangaroos’
Pastel on Colourfix paper
Image size 39 x 55cm
I was out on my mountain bike a few weeks ago in search of our local powerful owls when I came across this mum and bub eastern grey kangaroo pair. Although we have kangaroos sharing the back yard beneath the gallery on a daily basis, I rarely take them for granted.
Having the most energy-efficient form of locomotion of any land mammal on the planet helps kangaroos survive a continent which can often have harsh weather, punishing droughts and savage wildfires and sometimes all three at once. Having a handy pouch in which to carry your little baby joey is also a wonderful feature and great survival advantage. Another design feature which I especially love is that mum has four teats in her pouch. When she has a tiny joey in her pouch drinking one consistency of milk from its own personal enlarged teat the larger joey at foot is drinking from another teat, a different mix which is produced especially for him. Now that is all very impressive but especially so when we consider that she is keeping another embryo locked up in diapause, awaiting the next breeding vacancy before it begins to develop. These features combined give kangas the capacity to rebuild populations very quickly when circumstance are in their favour.

With all of that you would think she has little time to contemplate her environment and yet she sat quietly and seemingly had plenty of time to share this afternoon space with me as I talked softly to her and joey. How extremely fortunate I am to share this wonderful place with such boundless beauty. It makes me realise just what a pivotal decision it was 40 years ago when I chose to follow my artistic spirit into the fabulous world of the wildlife artist. I do hope you all enjoy and maybe share this recent pastel painting
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