smiling llama saves the world

48x24, acrylic on canvas, 2450.

I just installed eight NEW! paintings on Cafe Latte's walls this morning but this gal didn't make the cut.  It's always beneficial to bring more pieces than a space requires to see what pieces naturally fit together best.   Even though I  really wanted her to be a part of this exhibit, I trust this process.  I also had the thought that, perhaps I needed her smiling presence (which always feels so encouraging) with me a little while longer.  I originally titled her Gigi and I still believe this to be her name but I think her title is going to be "Smiling Llama Saves the World" because well...why not?

sensing Gigi's encouragement as I paint in my studio

llama love, 12x9, watercolor + acrylic on paper SOLD

The first llama I painted was this piece (above) for the SPEAK! conference at the University of Minnesota in 2016.  In addition to painting the spokes(animal) for all of this conference's promotional material, this project consisted of painting the widest variety of therapy animals as possible for a coinciding exhibit. This included chickens, goats, guinea pigs and much more.  View pieces from this exhibit HERE.   

At the onset of this project, I really had no idea that alpacas and llamas were used as therapy animals and with a little research, found out there are fourteen llamas officially certified as such in the U.S.

I also read about Rojo, the llama and Napolean, the alpaca and their therapeutic work in rehab facilities, children's hospitals, senior communities and schools:

"...They said 'Wow, Herald hasn't spoken in a month and I heard him say he's cute!'
 Or, 'look, Helen is trying to sit up and she hasn't moved for weeks.' 
Every room we were going in to, it was like seeing miracles happen."

12x9 watercolor on paper
The piece above was inspired by a friend's text and photo.  She had just spent the night at an alpaca farm and thought she'd introduce me to Seren at Serenity Now.  Little did she know (although she knows me well and DID probably know) how much the sight of Seren would make my day.  On this particular day I needed the extra kick start of this alpaca's presence to get me back in the studio.

this alpaca "all heart where my nose used to be" can be purchased HERE

What's the difference between an alpaca and a llama?
Modern Farmer listed six differences HERE


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