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Hello folks,

It’s me again! I just thought I’d share my exciting first experience of elephant painting with you all! I had never heard of this unique phenomenon before coming to MEF and I am still getting my head around the idea of having these amazing, artistic, animal Picassos walk amongst us – who knew!?! They are incredibly modest about their abilities, and do not exhibit any of the usual temperamental, creative stroppiness. Lol.

To explain the history of how elephant painting came about, this is the story so far…

The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to saving the diminishing number of Asian elephants left on the planet through its work with domesticated elephants. The AEACP raises funds through donations and the sale of artwork created by elephants in order to fulfill its mission. The Millennium Elephant Foundation is working with The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) to raise funds for the care of the elephants at MEF and provide an unusual but fun additional enrichment activity.

David Ferris from the AEACP visited MEF in 2009 to teach Lakshmi and Rani how to paint. and both elephants now enjoy their daily painting sessions, although sometimes more paint ends up on the elephants’ trunk than the paper! For example, only today I had the pleasure of having Lakshmi da Vinci paint me a masterpiece in green and purple, with splotches of the latter beautifully adorning her paintbrush-wielding trunk! I now have a remarkable piece of artwork to bring home with me, as well as a video and photos of the painting session in order to prove to friends and family that the picture really was painted by an ellie, and is not simply an over-sized doodle I did myself in a moment of jungle madness! 🙂

If you are interested in purchasing one of Lakshmi or Rani’s priceless paintings, you can view their creations on MEF’s website by following the link: http://www.millenniumelephantfoundation.com/2010/05/the-trunk-show/ and you can then e-mail MEF at volunteers@millenniumelephantfoundation.org to enquire about making a purchase if you like what you see!

Please look out for another upcoming blog in which I will provide a You Tube link so you can watch the elephant painters in action!

Bye for now!

Marie Dunnion, 05 August 2010

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