Friday, December 18, 2009

Folsom Zoo Event

Well, the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down last Saturday. I hung out at the Folsom Zoo and Sanctuary for a couple of hours. A few brave souls wrapped their kids up in gear and walked around waiting to see if the animals would rip into their holiday boxes. I planted myself near the front of the zoo and didn't see if the animals were successful.

I huddled under the gift shop porch, trying to promote my painting raffle to the small crowd passing through. I spoke with as many people as I could and had a great time with animal enthusiasts. The staff and volunteers at the Folsom Zoo are wonderful. Even with the dreary weather, the staff had an energy only animals could inspire.

A zookeeper, named Shawn, gave me the greatest Christmas gift after the visitors left the zoo, a behind the scenes peek at the animals. I got up close and personal with the tigers, bears and mountain lions. Of course, I didn't touch, I just gawked. They are truly magnificent and humbling creatures. I could spend hours just watching and talking to them. Shawn shared wonderful stories of each one and described how much the sanctuary has grown and improved the lives of the beloved creatures existing there over the years.

They lost one of their wolf hybrids, Rex, only a day before the event. I felt so sad to hear about it. The staff was mourning the loss. Shawn told me that each animal has their own history and issues at the Folsom Zoo and their staff recognizes their individuality, and differences in personality. Some are three legged; others have skin issues; some have broken wings; others have been tamed and can't return to the wild. Each animal is worth saving and their staff do their absolute best to create a comfortable and loving environment. The animals remind people of how important it is to have diversity in the world, whether it is furry, feathered, scaly or --- well, human.
I'll be returning to the zoo for the next few weekends to promote the painting raffle until January 12th. If anyone wants to buy a raffle ticket let me know and I'll set it up on Every cent from the raffle will go back to the Folsom Zoo and Sanctuary.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

SCBWI Exhibit - Off the Pages & Zoo Event

I must be brief, like that happens often for me! Ha! Crap it is 10 p.m., how did that happen?

Six of my paintings from my book are in the MAIYA Gallery in Sacramento, CA. The official opening will be celebrated this coming weekend, Dec. 12th at Second Saturday Artwalk. Last week on Dec. 3rd a holiday party for the SCBWI Northern CA group was held at the gallery. I had a blast and then lost my voice. So worth it!

My friend Mitty, from one of the critique groups I am in commented about the splendid affair on her blog. There are several other SCBWI Illustrators in the gallery for the exhibit.

Another spectacular event on Dec. 12th is the Animal Gift Opening at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary. I am going to be doing a fundraiser for them:
- Dec. 12th
- 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

I am going to raffle off the original Wolf painting from my children's book, "Through Endangered Eyes - a poetic journey into the wild." Raffle tickets will be sold for $5.00 each. The zoo will draw a name and contact the winner of the painting. I will be donating 100% of the raffle money back to the Folsom Zoo. I will also be available to sign my book:)

The event is a blast! The animals have their meals wrapped in boxes and they tear the boxes open for their food. They get so excited to use their natural instincts.

I went to the Folsom Zoo today to drop off some cards and prints to the gift shop and did my usual lap of the place. The tiger crouched down when I approached her enclosure and she wiggled her butt. I ducked down and hid behind a pole and then she jumped out at me with a peeeeswa! It was very cute. It's the second time she has tracked me as prey.