The last few weeks have been very busy with pet portraits to finish and giftware orders from my website. Alongside this I have managed to create two entrees for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021. It is a wonderful way to raise awareness and funds for a brilliant cause.
I chose to draw a Cheetah as their numbers have fallen dramatically leaving them close to extinction. Driven out of most of its historic range, the big cats once roamed nearly all of Africa and much of Asia, but now their population is limited to mainly six African countries. They are almost extinct in Asia.
Cheetahs are subject to poaching, their habitat is being taken from them, their prey is being hunted by people and even their cubs are being taken as pets to be illegally sold. The plight of the Cheetah is very real.
My second entry 'The Restful Forager' is of a very comfortable and content looking hedgehog. I felt the hedgehog needed awareness raised as their numbers have sharply declined over the last two decades, leaving less than one million hedgehogs in the UK. The gorgeous creatures could be at risk of extinction if we don't take drastic action to prevent their numbers dropping further. There is some great advice on how we can encourage hedgehogs on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website: Download your Hedgehog Guide | Dorset Wildlife Trust including how to make a hedgehog house!
I have to wait till the 25th May to find out if either of my pieces have been shortlisted for the competition so in the meantime wish me luck!