This series began when I read the WWF (the World Wildlife Fund) had supported Canada - home to two thirds of the world's remaining polar bears and the only nation allowing exports of polar bear skins, teeth and paws - in opposition to a proposed ban on polar bear exports at the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species in Bangkok. In shock and disbelief I turned to drawing as a way of expressing my sadness. What resulted from only two hours with my pencil between my sweaty fingers was a portrait of a polar bear who not only complemented my sadness, but also complemented just about any emotion any viewer wished to pass through him with their willing imagination. I had surprised myself, and pursued to develop the simple though emotive style of my polar bear portrait. Now it has become something very dear to my heart.
Each of these animal portraits is drawn with a basic 2HB pencil. My intention with this series is to show these fantastical creatures in a serene fashion, drained of all colour. Using only a simple writing pencil to draw them is my way of making a statement against what I feel may be one of the culprits responsible for why so many of creatures on this earth are facing a troubling decline in number. That culprit being humanity's burning need for acquiring more than they really need, better known as greed. The stress humans have put upon these creatures though pollution, habitat destruction, and in the case of the more exotic creatures, trophy hunting, all stem from humanity's unquenchable thirst and hunger to have what they don't need to have. Humanity's always testing limitations, and while that makes for promising technology, it doesn't serve nature well at all. How does this relate to a basic drawing tool, you ask? The key is in the word "basic". By drawing these animal portraits with a basic tool I'm challenging myself to make use of simple resources while suppressing my hunger to reach for the fabled "more". As a result, the series becomes more intimate and emotional, and maybe a little sad to reflect my feelings for the animals themselves.
Illustrations copyright © 2013 - 2014 Alexandra Davidoff. All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, editing, displaying/redistribution of these illustrations without permission is strictly prohibited.