Thursday, January 29, 2009

Challenger, American Eagle

I had the subject of my blog and my underwater art all set, and then someone sent me this wonderful video about a bald eagle named Challenger (in honor of the lost space crew and shuttle). I wanted to share this video with you.

Challenger was blown out of a nest in Louisiana in the late 1980's and was hand raised. He has been declared "non-releasable" by federal wildlife authories, because he is "human imprinted". The American Eagle Foundation has trained him to perform educational free-flight demonstrations at high profile events.

Challenger has learned to free-fly into stadiums, arenas and ballrooms at the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.
He has met 4 US presidents and his life story is told in a children's storybook titled, "Challenger, America's Favorite Eagle."

When I watched the video of Challenger flying and listened to the song, I welled up with so much pride for our United States that I cried through the whole thing.

I will let you play it for yourself. Challenger

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Mermaid Chair

No, this isn't the romantically passionate story written by Susan Monk Kidd. This is about a chair that I painted for the Deerpath Art League silent auction benefit of painted, embellished or altered chairs. The Deerpath Art League is a not for profit organization committed to raising appreciation and awareness of the arts in the community. This year's benefit will help raise money for the Young Artist Enrichment Program which brings awareness, education and art mentoring to elementary through high schools students.

This chair is intended for a little girl who has a love for the ocean and the fantasy of mermaids.

A mermaid is a mythological sea creature that is half woman/ half aquatic creature (fish, dolphin, ie.). The word is a compound of mere, the word for sea and maid, which has retained is original sense. (Wikipedia).

Greek mythology says that mermaids had sweet voices and their songs were heard by mariners who were lured into grounding their boats on the rocks and drowned. Mermaids were frequently seen sitting on rocks with a mirror and combing their long hair. Mermaids could foretell the future, give supernatural powers to human beings, or fall in love with humans and then entice their mortal lovers to follow them beneath the sea.
But then there is the story of The Little Mermaid, written by Hans Christian Andersen in the 1800's, and made into a Disney movie. The little mermaid, Aerial, lived in a crystal palace with her father, the King, beneath the sea. She has a fascination with her grandmother's stories about the world above the sea. On her fifteenth birthday she is given permission to rise above the surface of the sea for a peek at a world unknown to her. While exploring, she sees a ship on which a young handsome prince is celebrating his birthday. Without warning, the ship has an accident and on sinking, Aerial saves the young prince from drowning. Aerial falls in love with the prince and must make a choice to stay in the sea or give up her immortality and live on land with her beloved prince.