Posts Tagged With: Becci Crowe

The Rest of the Story…an Unimagined Adventure

Becci-Crowe-and-Meerkats-for-blog

Sketching Meerkats in Namibia

Twenty years ago if someone had asked me what I’d be doing today, I wouldn’t even come close to describing my life. I had just started a full time career as a wildlife artist and was about to embark on my first trip to Africa.  I didn’t know what the future would hold. I did know that I loved wildlife and traveling to wild places and I was ready to take more steps in that direction…..and share what I loved through art.

What started then as a once in a lifetime trip to Africa as an artist has turned into many life changing journeys. There have been all kinds of encounters with animals over the years, including a few close calls, and it’s ignited a passion to help secure a wild future for them all.

I’m now networking with conservationists who have dedicated their lives to protecting our planet.  But there was one I could only observe from afar. . . a trailblazer I had been reading about since childhood who has been an inspiration to me as a woman, a scientist, an explorer and a UN Messenger for Peace – Dr. Jane Goodall. She seemed unreachable.

Jane-Goodall-and-Becci-Crowe

With Dr. Jane Goodall at Wildlife Conservation Network

 

That changed 3 years ago when I met her for the first time at a Nature Conservancy Event in Seattle and then on two other occasions at the Wildlife Conservation Network in San Francisco.  Meeting her was something I had dreamed of – and held onto as a possibility –  and it was as exciting as I imagined. But that was as far as I had allowed myself to imagine. Who could ask for more?

My steps in the world are like the dots I place on paper as an Artist – one following the other, not knowing for sure what the end result will be, but remembering that as long as I follow my heart, everything else will come. And come it did.

Dr. Jane turned 80 on April 3rd and my husband and I had the honor of being with her at her birthday celebration.  I was a child in a dream.  Formal photos were taken but my favorite will always be this Selfie I took of us – poor quality and all.

Selfie with Dr. Jane at her 80th birthday

Selfie with Dr. Jane at her 80th birthday

 

 

And now the rest of the story……the unimagined adventure. I’ll be meeting Dr. Jane in the Republic of Congo at her Chimpanzee Sanctuary early next year. And, safety conditions allowing, assisting her with the relocation/release of one of the orphaned chimpanzees. There’s a Selfie somewhere in that experience!

What captures your heart? Reach for that. That’s your connection to an unimaginable life. And it will come – in ways you never thought possible.

Until next time,

Becci Crowe

Signature Member Artists for Conservation

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The Unknown Calls…Will you Answer?

Stepping into the Unknown transformed my life. I shared my journey during my recent TEDx talk now posted on YouTube. I was given 10 minutes. Here it is…Feel free to share and let me know your thoughts…

Categories: Adventure Travel, Life, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Against or For?

Living in the age of social media where information is accessed and shared in seconds is exciting and enlightening. It also brings home, sometimes graphically, the atrocities against ourselves, animals, and the earth that sustains us.  My knee-jerk reaction to violence and destruction is to cry out in anger. I’ve discovered I don’t accomplish much if I’m stuck in anger.  To unstick myself and move forward I turn what I’m ‘against’ into a cause or a purpose I am ‘for’.  Mother Teresa described this concept in the following quote:

“No, I will not march in a protest against war, but when you organize a march for peace, please let me know, I’ll be the first to sign up.”      Mother Teresa

No matter the topic, shifting to this perspective is freeing and empowering.  It creates an environment where I can contribute from a place of compassion.  It feels good to share what I’m for. Below is a photo of one of those many things. I’ve also added several links to my blogroll to share with you.  What are you for?

Becci with orphan elephants in Nairobi

Find out more about these orphans at http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/       Share the journey with me.

Adventure Artist

Becci Crowe

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Love in the Serengeti for Valentines Day

One day while exploring the Serengeti in Tanzania we encountered a pair of courting lions. They wandered away from the pride together in search of privacy and we couldn’t resist seeing how their ‘date’ would turn out. The photos tell the story.

Lions

The date starts with a friendly greeting and signs of mutual attraction

Lions

So off the pair goes for some time alone

 
lions

But it's not long before the mood changes

 

lions

And the irritable exchange accelerates

 

lions

Mating ensues despite the discord

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Indifference sets in

lions

But the day is saved by a beautiful sunset

sunset

Happy Valentines Day wherever you are

 
Where would you like to spend Valentines Day?  I’d like to be sitting under that tree.  Share the journey with me.
Becci Crowe
Adventure Artist
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How Many Dots? Are You Crazy!?

Working in my studio

As an artist I’m most known for a technique called Pointillism, or maybe more accurately, Stippling. In this technique I use Rapidograph pens with tiny points to create images in ink literally one dot at a time. Dot after dot after dot ……….. Although this allows for intricate details it can take weeks or months to finish a large piece.  

People often ask how I can sit and layer in dots for such long periods.  (They wonder if I’m crazy) This dot dot dot dot dotting creates a rhythm . . . and when I’m relaxed I’m not consciously placing single dots but watching as my hand movement creates a pattern of layers.  As I watch the image materialize, the act of laying in the dots takes on a life of its own.  It feels like the image is emerging from the paper and I’m simply an observer. 

Pointillism details of elephant ear and tusk

Pen & Ink Pointillism “Testing the Air”

I encountered this curious Bull Elephant on one of my safaris in Botswana. The background of this original is watercolor but the entire elephant is created – yes – dot by dot. If you look closely you get a better sense of how the dots are layered to create the textures, details, and values from light to dark. It took several weeks working many hours a day to complete.

Then people want to know how many dots are in my pieces.  There are thousands  – although I’ve never actually counted every single one. That would be crazy!  Following is a video clip giving you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of this Elephant in my studio. Take a look. What’s your obsession? Join me on my journey.

Becci Crowe

Adventure Artist

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What do you know for sure?

Some of the things I once thought I knew haven’t stood the test of time. I know what I love. That’s a long list. I know what I hate. That’s a short list.  But in contemplating the world around me, what do I know for sure?

Over the years my travels have taken me to all kinds places and immersed me in close encounters with people and wildlife.  I’ve stood face to face with indigenous people whose culture and language were as unrecognizeable to me as mine to them. Initially this seemed an insurmountable barrier to communication.  But who needs the same language and culture to express warmth and curiosity and humor and hunger and caring and a helping hand? Even more profound, you don’t have to be the same species. I’ve found similar characteristics in communicating with animals and wildlife.  Talk about different cultures and language!  We’ve all had these experiences with our beloved pets but I can tell you it goes far beyond that.

Becci and baby grey whale

That's me on the bottom right reaching out to a baby gray whale who repeatedly surfaced to watch and splash us

 Once I went to Baja and spent time in an inflatable raft – a zodiac – in the lagoons where the gray whales migrate to give birth. We were at water level with these spectacular marine mammals and could see mother-calf pairs spouting and surfacing around us. Then a very surprising thing happened. A mother swam with her very young calf to our zodiac and surfaced right next to us. They stayed with us for some time as the calf, who was only a few weeks old, repeatedly surfaced to look at us and splash while mother kept watch. I know I was communicating – joy and excitement – as I instinctively reached out but couldn’t quite touch.  And the baby gray was certainly captivated by us. The connection was there. It was tangible if unexplainable. 

Then the mother did a remarkable thing. She swam within inches of the stern of our zodiac, suddenly dove and swam underneath us and then gently surfaced at the bow with inches to spare.  I was able to caress her back as she carefully surfaced.

Caressing the mother gray whale's back

She was also reaching out and communicating in her way. These were wild marine mammals.  So what do I know for sure? We are truly connnected with all life on earth.

Tell me what you know for sure. What has stood the test of time for you? Join me in the journey.

Becci Crowe

Adventure Artist

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Meerkats Anyone?

My Art is inspired by the adventures I have in wild and remote places around the world. I have a treasure chest of video, photos, art and stories to share. A highlight of one of many trips to Africa was joining a clan of Meerkats in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. I was at their den as they emerged at dawn for their ‘sunning ritual’ and then followed their antics as they busily foraged for frogs and other ‘delicacies’ through out the day. I keep a journal when I’m on location to record my impressions and observations as well as doing some quick pencil sketches. Enjoy this video clip – it starts off with the Meerkats posing for their portrait!    I’ve added the portrait I created of them to the slide show on my blog’s Art Page. Take a look!

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If I’m not Living on the Edge I’m Taking up Too Much Space

Becci with Painted Dogs in Africa
Surrounded by Painted Hunting Dogs in Africa

I don’t remember who first said this but it struck a cord with me. My passion for the wildlife and wild places that inspires my Art also compels me to travel and explore remote parts of the world. I’ve often found myself entirely out of my comfort zone – but loving every minute of it!  I thought I was learning about the world when I traveled but the real surprise was  how much I learned about myself. And living on the edge – as in getting out of my comfort zone from time to time – is not only stimulating but opens up all kinds of new possibilities.  Try it!

     Start by changing one thing in your daily routine or do something you’ve always wanted to do but have hesitated simply because it’s new. You may learn “I never want to do that again” (been there – done that) but chances are just the act of doing something new will energize you to try other things which in turn lead to wonderful experiences.

     Challenge yourself and share what’s worked (or not) for you. I’ll be sharing my journeys in art, travel, and conservation here.  Join me!

Becci Crowe 

Adventure Artist

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

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