24" x 36"
Scratchboard and Ink
This is a picture I've worked on for over two years. The FIRST one, (yes I said first one - there are actually two), was ruined at about 75% completion - I hit the wood underneath the clay coating and after many many attempts to fix it, I finally gave up and put it away. So here is the final version - started over from scratch then professionally photographed.
Java is a leopard living in The Enchanted Garden at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. If you've never visited it, I highly recommend it. It's a small facility but beautifully built and maintained. The cat enclosures are spectacular and the keepers treat each animal as if they were part of their family. The photo reference of Java was actually a surprise. I was clicking away and playing with my focus, trying to get the cat and not the chain link - not easy to do for a novice like me! When I looked through my photos for the day this one jumped out at me. It was a risky decision to leave the chain link in the final artwork but I thought it made such a statement. Yes Java is in captivity and hand raised but he is still wild, and that's something a cage cannot take away.