'Looking back – Australian sealion’
Pastel on Supertooth paper
Image size 42 x 48cm
Australian sealions are probably my most favourite animal as many of you already know. Being fortunate enough over my 40 year art career to spend many days and weeks working with wild sealions has given me a very privileged window into their lives. Undoubtedly the most beautiful sealion species on the planet they are also the most threatened. They number less than 10,000 individuals and are restricted to the waters of South Australia and Southwest Western Australia. With a unique and slow 18 month pupping cycle they are especially prone to population instability if their colonies are threatened. the females are also strongly bonded to their birthing site so are not keen to breed in other areas unlike furseals whose populations can expand quite quickly if given the chance.
I have been amazed over the years at just how friendly and tactile these wonderful children of the ocean truly are. It is not at all uncommon for them to come up to sniff the quiet wildlife artist reclining on the beach . A true privilege indeed.
This pastel painting depicts a young male who, in the manner of so many younger creatures, is intensely curious about me sketching his friends. He stayed near me for quite some time and it's arguable who was the more curious...me or him!
If, like me, you think Aussie sealions are worth fighting for I urge you to check out the Australian Marine Conservation Society as they really do make a difference.