Photo Journal
 
This journal features entries from Becci on works in progress, excerpts from her travels, and answers to FAQ. You can also join Becci on FaceBook.



May 2016 - I'm often asked how I got started doing what I do today. I wasn't always an Artist. I was a Critical Care Nurse. It was challenging and rewarding and I assumed it would be my life's work. But after several years I started experiencing this nagging feeling there was something else I was supposed to do in the world that would take me down a different path. A path I wouldn't discover if I remained where I was. It seemed totally irrational to leave nursing at the height of my career, but believing it was the right choice...I left nursing not knowing what was ahead...


Initially I had a lot of time on my hands. I decided to use it creating art about the world around me - something I carried from my childhood. So I enrolled in college art courses and became fascinated with pen and ink pointillism. Pointillism is a technique where the image is created on paper or canvas literally dot by dot. It's a technique that was popularized in the 1880's by the French Painter George Seurat.


Early on I began to wonder what it would be like to encounter the images I was creating on paper, face to face, in the wild. This was in the early 90's when exploring the African continent wasn't as common or as easily arranged as now. But it's what I really wanted to do. And I can never forget the first elephant I saw in the wild. He stopped to check us out and as I looked into his eyes... I found him looking back into mine. What started as a once in a lifetime trip to Africa in 1995 turned into many life changing journeys all over the world including 14 trips back to the African continent.

My life is richer because of nursing, richer for all the incredible experiences which inspire my art, richer for all the beings I've met along the way, but richest of all for being able to follow my passions wherever they lead me.

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January 2016 - 2015 was an unimaginable year with Dr. Jane Goodall, the Congo & Chimpanzees, the Great Crane Migration, the Yukon with Grizzlies, kayaking with Humpbacks & Spinner Dolphins in the Pacific Ocean and Polar Bears extraordinaire in Manitoba being some of the highlights. What do I know for sure? We live on the most extraordinary planet, we need it to sustain our very lives, and there are incredible people everywhere working hard to make it so. I'd like to dedicate this entry to some of the conservationists I spent time with this past year.
Dr. Jane Goodall



I spent many days in 2015 with Jane Goodall in the Congo but Dr. Goodall gets around and I also joined her for North America's great migration of Sandhill Cranes and in San Francisco where I presented her with a Pen & Ink Portrait of La Vieille from our time together in the Congo.

Dr. Goodall is a true Road Warrior spending 300 days of the year traveling around the world raising awareness and inspiring action on her mission to protect the planet.


Join her and find out how to make a difference by going to http://www.JaneGoodall.org
Dr. Greg Rasmussen


Greg Rasmussen, Founder of Painted Dog Research Trust Zimbabwe, has spent 25 years in the bush researching and protecting this endangered species. We're fortunate to be able to join him in the field in Zimbabwe and Greg has a home away from home with us when he's in the states.

We had a special treat this past year when we also got to rendevous with him in Paris while enroute to the Congo. We're used to following him around in the bush but Greg speaks fluent French and is a wonderful Parisian guide as well. Who knew? What a treat!

Learn more about endangered African Painted Dogs and Greg's work here Painted Dog Research Trust
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton


Another legend in conservation Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Founder of Save the Elephants, has spent a lifetime with elephants. In 1975 I bought my first book about Africa titled "Among the Elephants". It just happened to be Iain's book and was instrumental in planting the seed that I would someday go to Africa. I've gotten to know Iain and this year I will be returning to Africa for the 14th time. Who could have predicted that in 1975? And I saved his book all these years!


I finally had him sign my book as he reminisced over the memories the photos brought to mind from so many years ago.

With the current unsustainable slaughter of thousands of Africa's elephants - driven by demand for their tusks - Iain will tell you that this is the worst crisis for elephants on record. Visit his website - we can all make a difference Save the Elephants

Dr. Colleen Begg


If you don't recognize this woman's face or name I'd like to introduce you to her work. She lives in one of the last great wild places on Earth and one of the important remaining strongholds for the African lion - Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique. Dr. Begg approaches her work with scientific rigor but also passion and empathy and believes that conservation is as much about meeting the basic needs of people in addition to lions and other wildlife.
I've gotten to know Colleen and I'm excited to be joining her in the bush in Mozambique to see her in action! I'll be sharing photos and stories from this trip here.

In the meantime follow her entries from the bush on FaceBook Niassa Lion Project and check out her website Niassa Carnivore Project
Stay tuned for more.....and let me know if there is something you'd like to hear about.

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November 2015 - From the Congo to the Arctic... the jungle to the frozen tundra... the diversity of life on our planet is astounding. Polar bears anyone?


I just returned from Churchill, Manitoba where I had wonderful encounters with these big animals. In this area this time of year Polar Bears begin congregrating around Hudson Bay waiting for it to refreeze so they can go out on the ice and hunt again.


Most have been in a constant state of fasting since the ice melted in July when they were forced back on land. Although polar bears can swim they require ice to travel over the water to hunt for seals. As the ice becomes less accessible from climate change it becomes harder for them to survive.

We expected to see adults but happily also saw cubs as well. Mums are very attentive to their little ones and nurse them for up to 2 years.

We were also treated to some sparring. These two males gave us quite a show play fighting. But no blood was shed and after 30 minutes they laid together in the snow to rest up for another round.









I'm constantly reminded of the wonders of our planet. Wherever you happen to find yourself, take the time to enjoy them.

Learn more about Polar Bears:
http://www.polarbearsinternational.org

http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/polar-bear

Until next time.....

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September 2015 - It's been a whirlwind year of travel. I'm adding more from my last entry about the incredible experience I had with Dr. Jane Goodall in the Republic of Congo and the work of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI).

Following the Leader
Most are aware of Jane Goodall's research and efforts to save endangered Chimpanzees. Few know the work being done to help another species at risk...Mandrills. I was privileged to journey with Jane to their remote Mandrill release site in the Congo - an adventure all it's own.



Jungle Road Block

Camping with Jane in the jungle
After several hours of roller coaster riding on jungle "roads" we arrived in a small clearing where the Mandrill Base Camp was set up along the banks of a river. The journey didn't end here as we had to boat up the river to get to the site where the rescued Mandrills are released back into the wild. Yes it was hot and buggy but in that moment I was a very happy camper!










At the Mandrill release site we're the ones in the cage and the Mandrills come and see us! This big male wandered over to check us out. I wonder what he was thinking.




As I sat with Jane a young mother brought her newly born baby, umbilical cord still hanging from it's little belly, right up to the fence.
Like Chimpanzees, Mandrill populations are rapidly declining due to habitat loss and hunting for the illegal commercial bushmeat trade. It is unclear how many mandrills live in Congo, but the species is seriously threatened. JGI's work to release rescued mandrills back into the wild not only give the species the future they deserve, but ultimately increase their numbers and genetic diversity.
Watch video highlights of this trip by JGI videographer, Fernando Turmo, and learn more at www.JaneGoodall.org



Be sure to check back in October!

Baby Mandrill just a few hours old.

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June 2015 - The Republic of Congo, Dr. Jane Goodall, a place called Tchimpounga and orphan chimpanzees. I've just experienced it all and returned with a full heart for all the dedicated people I've met and the wildlife who desperately need our help. What a privilege.



Interacting with an orphan at Tchimpounga

Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo was established by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1992 and is currently the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa. It was established to provide care for orphans of the bushmeat trade. The illegal commercial bushmeat trade is one of the most serious threats to chimpanzees. It is the large-scale killing of chimpanzees as meat. Poachers kill the adults and then take the babies to sell on the black market as pets.





Chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA. I've always heard how intelligent they are, but the depth and intensity of their gaze as they looked into my eyes took me by surprise. Chimpanzees are highly social and develop lifelong family bonds. Chimpanzees are now endangered. We were there to help.






Mark & I releasing orphans with Jane Goodall & the JGI Staff. Jane is standing between us & hidden by the opening doors.




The Key to Freedom

My husband and I had the rare privilege of assisting Dr. Goodall and the JGI staff to release 2 orphaned chimpanzees to a new forest island home where they can roam freely and securely with continued staff monitoring. We were handed the keys to unlock and lift the gates to a new home.

The end of a wonderful journey and a toast to shared passions
The days were full and the highlights many - too many to show here. And as an artist, I think I met my match while there.



Until next time...Take a moment and visit The Jane Goodall Institute

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May 2015 - I just received notification from the Artists for Conservation Foundation that I'm being honored as Conservation Artist for May. The Award is given to a Signature Member of this prestigious juried organization of Artists who has demonstrated a combination of artistic excellence and an outstanding contribution to the conservation cause. I'm happy to be recognized by such a dedicated group of international artists. Here's a link to the feature and it announces my next exciting adventure starting with the sentence "Most currently" check it out to see what it is is!

Becci Crowe Honored as Conservation Artist

And check back to see what happens!

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March 2015 - I just returned from joining Dr. Jane Goodall in Nebraska. Nebraska??? If you want to experience one of North America's largest migrations that's where you want to be this time of year. Just ask Dr. Goodall - she's known for years.


Over 500,000 Sandhill Cranes pass through the Platte River in Nebraska every spring on their way to northern nesting grounds.

Dr. Jane Goodall beside a blind on the Platte River

Sandhill Cranes roosting for the night on the Platte River

I had the wonderful opportunity to join Dr. Jane to witness this beautiful natural phenomena with her. Watch this video for a few highlights from one of our evenings.








Stay connected to our natural world. Our very lives depend on it. And check back here in a few weeks. I'm going on the adventure of a life time with Dr. Goodall!



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January 2015 - A new year of discovery and unimaginable experiences lies ahead. It includes a visit to our home from Dr. Greg Rasmussen, Founder of Painted Dog Research in Zimbabwe, more adventures with Grizzlies and Polar Bears in the Yukon and Manitoba, and unbelieveably, two trips to join Dr. Jane Goodall in the wild! No life is lived without challenges, but I'm grateful for the turns my life has taken over the years. Please let me share the TEDx presentation I was invited to give this time last year because I believe each of us can live our own unimaginable life.




And Stay tuned for updates!

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September 2014 - This is the year of new explorations for me - Polar Bear mom & cubs in March and now another exciting bear experience - this time on the ground with Grizzly Bears in Alaska and NW British Columbia. Even after many close encounters with elephant, lion, and hippo in Africa, the thought of being in close proximity to Grizzly Bears made me very nervous. I wasn't sure what to expect. But I set off to find out.



Grizzlies dig dens for winter hibernation where the females give birth. Encountering these twin cubs in Alaska late this summer we watched with fascination as the cubs discovered their world. We also captured incredible - often funny - video as they played and played and played.



We were fortunate to see several cubs - even another set of twins.
Everyone always want to know when they look at the photos "How close were you?" This photo gives you an idea. We were on foot and this mother and her twins crossed the path right in front of us. I must emphasize we always had an experienced guide with us and were careful never to surprise the bears or come between mom and cubs.




Most of the time these powerful animals tend to be solitary - with the exception of females and their cubs - but when the salmon are running bears may gather to feast on the fish, obtaining fats that will sustain them through their winter hibernation.


This bear had no trouble catching salmon.


Bears in camp? You Betcha...
Grizzlies still roam the wilds in Canada and Alaska where they are hunted as big game trophies. Only about 1,800 remain in the contininental US where they are protected by law. Grizzly bears are categorized as threatened.

After 2 weeks in the wilderness in close proximity to them I've discovered a complexity I never imagined and experienced the ability to live in peaceful co-existence with them. When we protect our bears and their habitat we also protect many other species.

I will be working on a new art series and public presentation program this winter to share the wonder of the Grizzlies, Polar Bears, and the beautiful skies over them - the Aurora Borealis.




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May 2014 - Several weeks ago I ventured into the Tundra in Manitoba. It was still winter and minus 40 degrees outside. Frostbite was an ever present risk as we stood in the snow waiting day after day hoping to witness a unique phenomenon - a baby polar bear emerge from it's den to see the world for the first time.



Cold Cold Cold. Traveling in specialing equipped vehicles we searched for polar bear dens. Pregnant females dig a den in snowbanks and completely enclose themselves for up to 3 months to give birth, then nurse and nurture their newborn until it's strong enough to emerge from the den.


After finding a den we set our cameras up and wait - not sure if today would be the day. We had to wear special cold weather gear and also protect our cameras from freezing.


Our perserverance was well rewarded. We watched as mom and her young cub emerged, the cub now seeing and exploring the world for the first time. While she is confined to her den, a mother polar bear does not eat, drink, or defecate. This cub will stay with it's mother for more than two years until it can hunt and survive on it's own.
Polar bears are threatened by declining Arctic sea ice, oil development and pollutants. Studies have predicted that melting of sea ice in the Arctic due to global warming could cause two-thirds of the polar bear population to disappear by 2050. But we can make a difference. Give voice to your concerns and be selective how you spend your dollars to make purchases.
Dr. Jane Goodall proposes there is one thing which everyone can do . . . spend a few minutes thinking about the choices you're making - what you buy, where it came from, how was it made? Did it harm the environment, did it involve cruelty to animals, sweatshops or child slave labour?

And if you'd like to catch "The Art of Living an Unimaginable Life" check out my TEDx talk here



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February 2014 - It's been busy times since I last journaled and I'm excited about what's ahead for this year. It will include many brand new adventures!



For starters I've been invited to speak at this year's TEDx Tacoma at The Theatre on the Square in downtown Tacoma the end of this month. It's rapidly approaching and I'll be sharing that experience soon. It's also the year of the bear for me. This year's journeys will take me to find mother Polar Bears bringing their young cubs out of the den for the first time. It's going to be cold but very exciting. I'll also be on the ground with Grizzly Bears in Alaska and will be carrying my 'bear bells' so as not to suddenly surprise any of them. And to top it all off - an experience I could never have anticipated... my husband and I have been invited to attend Jane Goodall's 80th birthday celebration in San Francisco! She has been an inspiration to me for many years and to join her for her birthday is wonderful. So stay tuned. I'll be back!

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August 2013 - I'm now back and settled at home after our 11th trip to the African Continent and our second season working with Dr. Greg Rasmussen, Founder of Painted Dog Conservation, in Zimbabwe. African Painted Dogs are an endangered species and tracking them can prove difficult - even when you're with an expert! This year made me appreciate the wonderful encounters and sightings we've had with them in the past even more. They gave us a run for our money this year. We were up at 5am every morning and searched for several different packs whose territories we could access from our research base camp. It was denning season when the normally nomadic packs dig a den to birth and shelter their pups. For about 4 months the pack raises the pups at the den until the pups are big enough to travel.


Our research team MK, Tendai, Becci, Dr. Greg, Mark
One of the packs we hoped to find this year was the Longpoole pack. For those of you who read my last entry below you'll understand immediately. We observed the Longpoole pack last year during denning season. There were eight adults and seven pups who were just 7 weeks old and at that time - thriving. Unbeknownst to the pack until it was too late their den was in an area that was easily accessible to campers, tourists and their guides. The den was continually approached, at close range, with little discretion or regard for the consequences until the pack felt the safety of their pups was so threatened that they were compelled to move them prematurely away from the den and the constant traffic. Their fate became uncertain.

We were unsuccessful in finding the Longpoole pack this year but Greg had been seeking sighting reports and photos and we now know that only two of the seven pups survived last year's forced move. It's tragic that people's desire to see the pups of an endangered species contributed to their death.

Which leads to our second mission on this trip. To launch a Den Disturbance Campaign to raise public awareness to the consequences of approaching Painted Dog dens, set basic guidelines based on research, and enlist people's help to become Painted Dog Guardians.


Below is what you need to know and how you can help.




Alpha female and three of the seven pups from the Longpoole Pack


Photo we took of 5 of the 7 Pups who died last year from den disturbance
 
Join us in helping the Painted Dog pups. Spread the word and for those of you who travel to Africa or know people who do please share this in memory of these pups who died last year from den disturbance...Until next time.

To learn more about Painted Dog Conservation visit their web site www.PaintedDog.org 



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May 2013 - It's been a very busy few months and most won't be surprised to hear we're in the middle of planning our 11th trip to Africa. I've always loved going as remote into the bush as possible to be surrounded by wildlife. I've seen many changes over the years as our natural world and it's resources continue to shrink. I've also found a way to give back through my travels, art, and speaking engagements, adding a whole new dimension to my work - and I might add - new adventures!

My husband and I with Dr. Greg Rasmussen
Dr. Greg Rasmussen, Founder of Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe, has extended us another invitation to join him in the bush tracking and collecting data on this endangered species.

We spent a month with him last year in the bush and what an adventure it was - on many levels. He'll be picking us up at the airport in Harare, Zimbabwe with his truck loaded with water, camping food and a couple of tents. Very rustic camping in the bush. I'm not only assisting with research & conservation but learning lots of new survival skills!

We'll be spending the days tracking, photographing, and collecting data on as many Painted Dog Packs and individual members as possible. We' ll be prepared to collar some of the pack to monitor their movements with GPS and document their range and use of habitat.


We're also hoping to find these pups - only 7 weeks old when we saw them last year. Each individual has their own unique painted hair pattern that identifies them for life. We know some of the pups died as a result of continual approach to their den by campers & tourists - some with guides. The pack felt they were threatened and moved their seven pups to get them away from all the people. Some pups perished. It's tragic that people's desire to see the pups of an endangered species contributed to their death.


Painted Dog Pups we encountered in Zimbabwe in 2012

But most folks are well intentioned and we're launching a "Painted Dog Guardian" campaign while we're there to distribute information about safe ways to observe the packs during puppy season and enlist the public's help in spreading the word.


I'll write a note here this summer to let you know if we found the pups from last year and how many survived.

To learn more about Painted Dog Conservation visit their web site www.PaintedDog.org



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November 2012 - It's been an exciting summer and fall. Following our return from Zimbabwe we prepared for our annual trip to the Wildlife Conservation Network Conference in San Francisco to join leading wildlife conservationists from all over the world.

Dr. Greg Rasmussen - Painted Dog Conservation, Dr. Claudio Sillero - Ethiopian Wolf, Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton - Save the Elephant, Dr. Laurie Marker - Cheetah Conservation Fund.

The Wildlife Conservation Network partners with independent, community-based conservationists around the world to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

These photos show just a few of the conservationists I have the pleasure to join to discuss the latest research and current status of wildlife in the field.

I encourage you to stay informed and in particular at this time to lend your voice to stop the Ivory Trade which has rapidly accelerated and is now responsible for the currently uncontrolled slaughter of elephants for their tusks. Learn more here - take a moment to make a difference and then share:


www.SavetheElephants.org

www.ElephantsinPeril.org/

www.iworry.org/

www.Facebook.com/IworryTrade

www.SheldrickWildlifeTrust.org/








Greg's fundraiser where my Original "Sleep Heap" sold for over $2,000 in a bidding war and close encounters with Painted Dog in Zimbabwe.
After returning from the Wildlife Conservation Network, Dr. Greg Rasmussen joined us for a few days. I created an Original Pen & Ink of the African Painted Dogs to be donated to his fundraiser and it ended in a bidding war and sold for over $2,000 to help save this endangered species. After spending time helping Greg with his field research in Zimbabwe this summer it was another exciting way to contribute.



African Painted Dogs are known for their large ears, unique Painted coat patterns and their strong social bonds. This piece is called "Sleep Heap" and Limited Edition Prints are now available from the art section of my web site here. All profits benefit Painted Dog Conservation and it's yet another way you can make a difference.




Here's the Painted Dog Conservation web site www.PaintedDog.org




Until next time, stay in touch with me through my face book page at www.Facebook.com/BecciCroweArtist





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July 2012 - I've just returned from a month long journey in Zimbabwe helping Dr. Greg Rasmussen with Painted Dog research. It was our 10th trip to Africa but a new experience for me. Greg is Founder and Research Director of Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe.
We first met Greg 18 months ago when we attended the Wildlife Conservation Network Exposition in San Francisco. I'd been following his work with Painted Dogs and we hit it off immediately. We set up our own mobile bush camps and, surrounded by wildlife 24/7, spent the days tracking, collecting data, and trying to photograph & film these endangered animals.




My husband and I in Zimbabwe with Dr. Greg Rasmussen

Africa, wildlife, & field research in remote locations. It doesn't get better than that!
The big question...were we able to find Painted Dogs? A resounding yes! Including 7 week old pups. I'm still going through the photos and video but I posted a video slide show with highlights for all to see on my Facebook Artist Page - no worries you don't have to join facbook to see the video slide show. It's a public page. Just follow this link and scroll down to the "Tracking Painted Dog" video. Enjoy! www.facebook.com/BecciCroweArtist


Here's the Painted Dog Conservation web site www.painteddog.org
and you can scroll down below to read a bit more about Painted Dogs



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April 2012 - Plans are in the works to return to Africa again this year. It will be my 10th trip and this experience promises to be like no other. My husband and I will be joining Dr. Greg Rasmussen, Founder and Research Director of Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe. No safari for us - won't be necessary - we'll be camped out in the bush surrounded by wildlife 24/7 as we track, collar, and collect data on the endangered Painted Dogs of Africa.
Africa, wildlife, and field research in remote locations. It doesn't get better than that! Except for the company.


Visiting with Jane Goodall & Greg Rassmussen
We first met Greg 18 months ago when we attended the Wildlife Conservation Network Exposition in San Francisco. I'd been following his work with Painted Dogs and we hit it off immediately. He's also friends with many other internationally known conservationists including the legendary Jane Goodall.
Painted Dogs, also known as African Wild Dogs, are unique to Africa and among Africa's most endangered species. At the turn of the 20th century there were half a million. It is estimated that only 3,000-5,000 still survive. The population in Zimbabwe is one of the last strongholds of the species and Painted Dog Conservation is committed to saving them.

'Painted' patterns are unique to each dog.
Photo copyright Becci Crowe


Painted Dogs live in packs.
Photo copyright Becci Crowe

Painted Dogs have long legs, a lean body and large ears. Their coats vary in pattern and coloration mixing black, grey, yellow, and white to produce a unique painted effect. They are very social and live in packs. Only the dominant male and female breed, but the whole pack takes care of the young.

A question I'm frequently asked is how Painted Dogs differ from hyenas. Being able to see them side by side makes the physical differences obvious.



Hyena and Painted Dog
Photo copyright Becci Crowe


Our guide in Zimbabwe in 2004 and I found ourselves surrounded by a large pack of Painted Dog.
Photo copyright Becci Crowe
Our last trip to Zimbabwe was to film our documentary "As Close As You Dare - Africa" which was picked up by PBS and broadcast across the US. During our filming we encountered a large pack of Painted Dogs and my guide and I found ourselves surrounded. We have some incredible footage in our documentary that shows what happened. It's now available on DVD.

While in Zimbabwe this year we'll be searching for this particular pack again to record how they're doing. It's going to be quite an adventure. Stay tuned!

And join me on Facebook and my Blog for other updates.
Until next time.....



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January 2012 - It's the first day of 2012 and I'm excited about what the new year will bring. I've just launched a blog to keep in touch more often and provide a quick way to post updates - it's also interactive so anyone can add comments and ask questions or join the conversation! I'll still be making monthly posts here in my journal but I think you'll enjoy my blog. Take a look at the inaugural post - here's the link Becci Crowe Adventure Artist

Happy New Year! Life is good!



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December 2011 - November's Open Studio Tour is one of my favorite Events of the year. My studio is open to the public for 3 days and visitors get a behind-the-scenes tour, hear the latest from my travels, and not only see and have the chance to purchase art but get a look at works in progress and be the first to see my newest pieces. This is all accompanied by lots of story telling, food and fun. This year everyone who came received a complimentary collectable pin as a thank you. For those who missed the tour and would like to visit, individuals or groups are welcome to stop by - just call or email me to set a time. Enjoy the following photos from this year's Open Studio Tour.

The first arrivals the very first day of my Open Studio


More visitors soon followed


Reporter Judy Spiers stopped by and was greeted by my studio kitty Lucky


Just about everybody was greeted by Lucky!


Many pieces found a new home but my Elephants were overall the most popular this year

I was able to share the latest work-in-progress and describe my creative process


There was something for everyone

Food, Good company, Movies, Art, and many Gift Items



A great group of students also stopped by for some story-telling......


And an Art Experience


Each day of the studio tour brought many visitors...

And more fun!



A big thank you to all who came and made it a wonderful Event!



And a big thank you to my husband for his untiring support

Contact me if you'd like to visit Here's a link to my email



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October 2011 - This month enjoy some photo highlights from our recent trip to Kenya. And please join me at my Open Studio Tour November 4th-6th for a special behind-the-scenes tour, food, fun and more details on our safari and meeting Jane Goodall - here's the details Open Studio Tour 2011  Now enjoy the photos below!
Our 9th journey to Africa started as we flew into Nairobi. We stayed the first couple of nights at a place called Giraffe Manor. Guess what the giraffe are doing inside this window......





Visiting with me! This was a blast!
These are endangered Rothschild's Giraffe.



Of course I had to take the opportunity to draw them.


Whenever we're in Nairobi we check in at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to support the orphans and see how they're doing. This is Shukuru who I first patted on the head two years ago when she was only 5 days old. She's now thriving and almost as tall as I am. She's just been put to bed for the night with her keeper.

The orphans grow strong bonds with their keepers and the other orphans. This becomes their new family as they try to heal from the traumatic loss of their wild family. Ultimately these survivors will be released back into the wild together.



I have to admit I always find a little time for shopping but I prefer to go off the beaten path to small villages to connect with the people personally. I've always been greeted warmly and always discover something new.

Samburu Woman



Now to the wildlife! Something you don't see every day. Seeing an elusive leopard is always a great sighting but we watched this one take down a wildebeest right in front of us.

And talk about close...these 3 cubs walked right up to our vehicle with mother immediately after them to rescue them from us by carrying them away. These little guys are only 4-5 weeks old and just as cheeky as they could be.


Elephant encounters will always be my favorite. This is a young one that reminded me of the orphans in Nairobi and the grief they experience over the loss of their mothers and family unit - usually from poaching which is on the rise again.

These Lion brothers have banded together to form a strong coalition to protect their territory from intruders...which includes me if I'm not careful.


We also spent time in the Masai Mara during the Great Migration and saw two incredible Mara River crossings of thousands of wildebeest. The dust and sounds created by thousands of animals running and calling to each other and then jumping into the water was literally a moving spectacle. Not all survived the crossings.

We also rose before dawn one morning to take a hot air balloon over the Migration.

This is just a sampling of hundreds of photos from a wild place that I hope will be around for generations to come.
"We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place."
Dr. Jane Goodall




See you next month.



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July 2011 - The past 2 months have flown by and I'm planning a return to Africa to get my wildlife 'fix'. This will be our 9th trip. I'm often asked where to go, what to see, and when to go. It's a huge continent full of wonderful cultures, wildlife and incredible diversity. So many choices and so little time! Here are a handful of photos from previous trips and some general recommendations.

Leopard passing within inches of our vehicle in Botswana.

The first thing I recommend when planning a trip is to decide the experience you want to have and the wildlife or cultures you're hoping to see. This will determine the locations you go, the type of accomodations you'll want, and the time of year. With a little research and assistance from reputable travel companies, you can create an itinerary which optimizes your chances of having that special experience.

Sometimes we pick a camp and location based on a particular animal we're hoping to have great sightings of. Even though leopard are often elusive or only seen briefly or at a distance, we have had great success with very close encounters as you can see in this photo.
If you optimize your location
and keep your wits about you -
you won't need a long range lens!
Just be sure to keep your camera handy
if you don't want to miss any shots.




Elephant encounter in Botswana


Baby Baboons in Kenya
Also remember that there is much more to see
than "The Big 5".
Keep your eyes open for all the other animals
or you'll miss some great moments.







It's fun to keep a journal to jot down your impressions. It's a great keepsake and even though you think you'll remember it all you won't. A journal will bring the memories back to life.
As an Artist I also like to add quick sketches.

Sketching Meerkats in my journal in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana
And don't forget the people!
Each country you visit is rich
in different cultures and traditions.
Get to know them..


Visiting a San Bushman village in Botswana

Hippo pod in Zimbabwe
Most importantly....relax and enjoy whatever your journey brings!

If you'd like to watch some of our adventures in Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe you can get the DVD here.

It's aptly titled "As Close As You Dare - Africa"

Safe Travels....



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March 2011 - Please join me for a Special Event open to the public on April 10th at 2pm in Federal Way, Washington at the Knutzen Family Theatre. I'll be returning to the stage to take you on an extraordinary journey featuring behind the scenes film footage & photos from my adventures with the Giant Pandas of China.
My journey to the mountains of central China was to document the unique nature of the Giant Pandas and bring attention to their fight for survival. This program is a rare, fun, and moving look at these endangered bears.






Becci in Wolong, China



After the program please stay for the reception and an exhibit of the art I've created as a result of my travels. Initially my art began to reflect my travels, but the more art I created, the more adventures I was inspired to take. Now my art and adventures are inseparable.

Sponsored by the Federal Way Arts Commission
Here are the details
April 10th   2:00 pm
Knutzen Family Theatre
Dumas Bay Center
3200 SW Dash Point Road
Federal Way, WA 98023

Tickets: $10  Ages 17 and under Free  
Tickets available Online Here or
Call for Tickets/Info at 253-661-1444
Tickets also available at the door

More questions? Contact me at 253-770-8785






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February 2011 - My passion for wildlife and wild places is obvious. My commitment to preserving those remaining wild places is stronger than ever. There are many dedicated scientists and conservationists working in the field and I've been fortunate to meet a few. These are some of them. My Art, Speaking Engagements, and my Travels support their work as well as the work of many others. I would like to introduce you to:



Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her daughter Angela at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jane Goodall celebrating the work of the Nature Conservancy in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Gregory Rasmussen and Peter Blinston of Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe.


Dr. Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Nambia


Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants in Kenya.


Brian Weirum of The Fund for the Tiger saving the last remaining wild Tigers in India and Nepal.



These are some of the people I'm committed to helping. Their accomplishments are many but there is much work to be done. Take a moment to use the links to check out what they're doing.

Join me on my journey.


The woods are lovely dark and deep...
but I have promises to keep...
And miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost






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December 2010 - Last month's Open Studio Tour was a great success and a fun way to reconnect with those returning and meet lots of new participants! This is an annual Event and many people came through my studio to catch up on my latest adventures and art in person. Here are just a few... Thank you all for a wonderful 3 days!



A few quiet moments before the 3 day tour starts. I'm standing in front of some of my African Pointillism pieces which have all been done in colored inks one dot at a time! The African Wild Dog on my left was the first piece to sell and find a new home.




This African Wild Dog was featured in the PBS documentary "As Close As You Dare - Africa" based on an extraordinary encounter we had in Zimbabwe. Thank you Virginia it was fun getting to meet you!

Although I also work in watercolor, my favorite medium is pen and ink using a technique called pointillism. You can see the tools of my trade displayed. I can create basic line drawings or finely detailed images. I can stay within the values of black and white or choose full color.

This is a cheetah I encountered in Namibia.


The Maasai Woman is a piece with lots of color and detail using only pointillism and ink. It quickly found a new home as well.


I met this elder Maasai woman in Tanzania & created the piece literally one dot at a time with pen and colored inks.

Visitors came from far and wide on all modes of transportation.

There was even a mystery guest...


and a budding young artist...

Not to mention the resident people watcher.

So much to see and decisions to make!

Collector and friend Rollie went home with "Attitude" another piece featured in the documentary "As Close As You Dare - Africa". Nothing like having a little Attitude on your wall!
Art, friends, food, a behind-the-scenes tour and lots of fun.
Thank you all!

and a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Puyallup Food Bank during your visit. You made a difference!



Happy Holidays




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October 2010 - Catch up on my latest Adventures and Art in person! Join me in Puyallup, WA at my 6th Annual Open Studio Tour November 5th, 6th, and 7th. Bring your friends - we're open from 10am to 4pm each day.



See you soon!
You'll find Art, Gifts, Tasty Refreshments,
& a Fun Behind-the-scenes Tour

This is a great time to get your personally autographed gift items and art and hear about my recent meeting with Jane Goodall & several other world renowned conservationists!

Email Becci
or call 253-770-8785 for more information

Part of the East Pierce County 6th Annual Open Studio Tour

**Please bring a non-perishable food item
for the Puyallup Valley Food Bank

See you November 5th, 6th, or 7th!




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September 2010 - This month I invite you to join me in a conversation or easily keep updated on my latest Art, Events, and Travel - all with just one click.



Keep up with Becci's latest on FaceBook
I have a fan page on faceBook that's open to the public. You don't have to join facebook to visit. It's open to everyone! It makes it a fun place for me to show videos, photos, upcoming events and have the opportunity to interact with visitors. Simply click here



If you'd like to leave a comment or join me in a conversation when you get to my page Click the "Like" Button at the top next to my name. I'll see you there! (And back here next month)



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July 2010 - My art is generated as a direct result of adventures I have in wild and remote places around the world. To date I've been to 6 continents traveling in over 42 countries around the world. I'll be heading back to Africa again next year, but in the meantime, my efforts are focused on sharing my experiences with live audiences through dynamic video and photo presentations and creating new art.



In the studio creating new Tiger series

This is the first piece in my new series from our journey to India and Nepal in search of some of the last remaining Tigers in the wild.


At the beginning of the last century there were an estimated 100,000 wild Tigers. Today the number has dropped to less than 4,000 and their fight for survival in the wild is at a critical stage...

Wild Bengal Tiger, India
Photo copyright Becci Crowe


Becci with Guide Brian Weirum in Nepal

My husband and I joined Brian Weirum, Guide and founder of The Fund for the Tiger, a US nonprofit dedicated to saving the remaining wild Tigers, on a trip to India and Nepal. We not only searched for Tigers but had the rare oppportunity to meet researchers, conservationists, and anti-poaching units working in the field.
We spent long hours searching for wild Tigers on Elephant back in both India and Nepal.

The only way to access this wild terrain


Sometimes the grass was so tall you couldn't even see the elephant we were riding on! Searching for Tiger under these conditions was exciting to say the least. They could be hiding anywhere.



This is called Tiger grass for good reason. Can you find the Tiger?

We were quite lucky to have several Tiger sightings including this rarely seen moment of a Tiger with a kill photographed by my husband.




I also had the great pleasure of meeting Belinda Wright in New Delhi, India. Belinda is founder of one of the most respected and effective wildlife conservation organizations in India - The Wildlife Protection Society.

Dominant Male Tiger called B2 in India

All these personal experiences inspire my art, my conservation efforts, and my presentations to live audiences.
This is one result - the first piece in my new Tiger Series. It's created with colored inks using Kohinoor Rapidograph pens with a watercolor background. This piece also has the distinction of being the first of my work to be named by public vote and is Titled "Shere Khan-The Tiger King". If you'd like more information on this piece, my travels, or my presentations email me If you'd like more information on Tigers in the wild and how you can help, the following organizations are nonprofits working diligently to save them:

http://www.thefundforthetiger.org

http://www.wpsi-india.org

http://www.worldwildlife.org/savetigersnow



"Shere Khan-The Tiger King" first in a new series


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May 2010 - This month finds me staying closer to home as I begin work on a new Tiger Art Series using colored inks based on our adventures with wild Tigers in India and Nepal. I'm also firming up my 2010 -2011 speaking engagement schedule which includes several unique and exciting programs with lots of video highlights from Africa, Antarctica, The Amazon, Giant Pandas of China and coming soon . . . a brand new program on the Tigers of India and Nepal.


Onstage at the Knutzen Theatre in Federal Way

If you know a group or organization ready for a dynamic travel adventure program look no further! I customize my programs for location and group size. For inquiries on cost, topics and scheduling
Email Me directly or call 253-770-8785 for more information . . .




In the meantime, I'll be in the studio creating and reliving adventures and enjoying spring! Tigers await! I'll show you the first in the new series next month.


 


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February 2010 - This month finishes highlights from our recent journey around Kenya. Our final destination was the Maasai Mara to witness the Great Migration - thousands upon thousands of grazing animals followed by numerous predators all in search of food. During our time here I was struck by the contrast between the chaos and peace we experienced at any given moment . . .


A Cheetah just watching the world go by.

A Cheetah kill.


Male and female lion dispute. Although loud and ferocious looking it was short lived and neither was injured.

Female lion with cubs relaxing in the shade. The cubs played, nursed, and generally harrassed their mother until they all fell asleep.

 

The calm before the storm. Part of the migration gathers along the Mara River anticipating the crossing to come.


The tension mounts, the first leap is taken and then there's no turning back.

Chaos ensues as thousands of animals are compelled to cross the Mara River in search of fresh grazing on the other side.

As the numbers grow the dust thickens and the din of their calls echoes along the river. Not all will survive the crossing.


The wonder of Africa is that you never know what you'll see or experience next. But it's almost sure to be unexpected as were all these moments!
Please join me for an afternoon of Adventure February 28th in Federal Way, WA at the Knutzen Theatre in the Dumas Bay Center. Be prepared to see unique film footage & photos and hear incredible stories from our many adventures in Africa. The program starts at 2pm and is followed by a special reception with me in the theatre lobby with an exhibit of my African Pointillism Art. Online tickets can be purchased in advance here Tickets are also available at the door that afternoon. Bring your family and friends!


Sunset on the Maasai Mara. What will the new day bring?


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December 2009 - This month the adventures from my recent journey to Kenya continue. After leaving the Chalbi Desert, Lake Turkana, and the camels and tribes of northern Kenya behind, my husband and I returned to Nairobi. There's a very special place here called the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - often known as 'The Elephant Orphanage'.


I was able to go behind the scenes to spend a day with the orphans. These orphans are in a group that are 6-18 months of age.

In one country in Africa, Kenya, an Elephant Nursery situated in Nairobi under the auspices of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, is overseen by Dr. Daphne Sheldrick. Her elephant experience spans a lifetime, and with the cooperation of the Kenya Wildlife Service, offers hope for any orphaned elephant fortunate enough to be found alive. It took Daphne Sheldrick 28 years of trial and error during the years that her husband was Warden of Kenya's largest and most important elephant Sanctuary, Tsavo East National Park, to perfect the milk formula and complex husbandry necessary to rear the orphaned infant African elephants.


This little female was only 5 days old in this photo. She was rescued 2 days before my arrival and was still looking for her mum. Her name is Shukuru and I have adopted her. The blankets keep the youngest orphans warm - warmth they would normally receive from their herd.

These orphans are part of the youngest group Shukuru is in. They will grow up here together and ultimately be released back into the wild.

 

A curious youngster checking us out.

Human Elephant Keepers replace the lost family of the orphans and are with the babies 24 hours a day to nurture and care for them. The orphans often suckle their Keeper's fingers.


If you're ever in Nairobi the Trust is open to the public every day from 11am to noon and you have the wonderful opportunity to see all the orphans feeding and playing!

My husband, Mark, getting a personal greeting.

And chances are good you'll see more than baby elephants! This was a young black rhino that was rescued named Maalim. He too will ultimately be released back into the wild.
 

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her daughter Angela during our visit. They are tireless in their efforts and Dr. Daphne Sheldrick is recognized internationally as probably the world authority on the African Elephant.

Adopt an orphan as a holiday gift. Help save a life.
Click here David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Watch the Video below of the baby elephants and give the gift of hope to these orphans this holiday season by adopting.



This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Turn your sound on.

MovieClips/Orphan-Elephants.wmv



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October 2009 - My husband and I have just returned from a month in Kenya. It was our 9th journey to the African continent and a memorable experience. We covered a large area of Kenya from the SW to the far north. My next three journal entries will take you to several regions. This month, travel to the northern Kenya frontier with me - a remote area where few foreigners choose to go.


Just 40 miles south of the Ethiopian border in what is called the northern Kenya frontier, we find ourselves in a barren desert landscape. Why go to all the trouble to come here? Two reasons.

We were hoping to find the camel caravans that traverse miles across the desert in search of water.

We also wanted to meet some of the remote tribes still surviving in these harsh conditions.

 

We stayed in the middle of an oasis fed by an underground water supply where there was shade and a palm thatched camp for shelter. Surrounded by desert, we joined hundreds of camels whose herders had walked miles and miles to bring them to drink and rest before moving on again in search of food.

Some of the camels seemed as curious about us as we were about them. These herds are kept for their milk and meat and are well adapted for their nomadic lifestyle in this environment.
We also had the opportunity to visit with women from the Gabbra tribe whose village was close to our camp. Living in this harsh environment is not their only challenge. Their tribal traditions still impose female circumcision and young girls are destined to be married in their teens and bear children. This courageous group of Gabbra woman, led by Gumato Ballo in the green dress, is now giving voice to the need to stop the circumcision and provide educational opportunities to girls and promote rights for women within the tribe. Their stories and songs were a special highlight of this part of Kenya.
 


Of course being in the desert around so many camels makes it the perfect mode of transportation. Follow me next month as I head further south for more adventures in Kenya.

***Special Event Open to the Public !
Please join me at my Open Studio Tour on October 30th, October 31st, and November 1st from 10am to 4pm each day.
New Art, Gifts, Food, & Fun
Email Me or call 253-770-8785 for more information

Please bring a non-perishable food item

for the Puyallup Valley Food Bank

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August 2009 - We have winners from last month's contest! Kelly from California, Roberto from Brazil, and Phyllis & Lloyd from Washington. Read on and stay tuned for next month's entry. You can also join me on Facebook.

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July 2009 - More Tigers! I thought it would be fun to have a contest. Traveling to different parts of the globe I've been lucky to have many unique adventures. The Tiger experience you see below is one of them. Guess where I am and I'll send you a free DVD of our PBS special "As Close As You Dare - Africa"! Check out the photos and send me your guess here To Becci Good luck! The Contest expires August 1st.
Walkies!


All walked out.

Feeding a 4 month old Tiger

Cuddling baby Tigers only 10 days old

 

Where in the world am I with the Tigers above? Let me know Guess right and the DVD you see here of "As Close As You Dare - Africa" is yours!
(Contest expires August 1st)

See more Tigers below!

Becci's PBS Special on DVD

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May 7th 2009 - Tigers! I recently returned from a long awaited adventure searching for Tigers in the wild. Traveling to India and Nepal, we spent many days in a focused search for these critically endangered and elusive cats.
Starting our search at Bandhavgarh National Park in central India, this was one of our first sightings. What a thrilling experience! Especially considering that Tigers, largest of all cats, are also one of the most threatened. At the beginning of the last century it is estimated that there were 100,000 wild Tigers. Today the number has dropped to less than 4,000.





Wild Bengal Tiger, India
Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2009
 

Wild Bengal Tiger, Nepal
Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2009
Tigers' stripes and coloration serve them well as camouflage. You could go right by one and not even see it - but they see you!

Part of the adventure was being on Elephant back during our Tiger search. How close did we come? See for yourself . . . this close and at times within 3 feet of one of these big predators!




Wild Tiger, India
Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2009
Getting to know the Asian Elephants who lived at the camp where we stayed in Chitwan National Park in Nepal was a special highlight. I also had the great pleasure of 'bathing' with a female and her two year old calf.


Becci with two year old at Tiger Tops Camp, Nepal
Photo copyright Mark Crowe 2009

Asian Elephants at Tiger Tops Camp, Nepal
Photo copyright Mark Crowe 2009
Seeing Tigers in the wild is a rare opportunity, but seeing and photographing them with a kill is extraordinary!
Though there are many problems that threaten the Tiger with extinction, the most urgent threat facing them is poaching for their bones and other body parts to satisfy the market for traditional Chinese medicinal products.



Wild Bengal Tiger with kill, Nepal
Photo copyright Mark Crowe 2009

Becci with Guide Brian Weirum in Nepal
Mountain Travel Sobek guide, Brian Weirum, created the first "Save the Tiger" trip in 1994 and continues to take small groups into the heart of Tiger habitat. If you'd like information on joining Brian on a Tiger Adventure follow this link to Mountain Travel Sobek. Learn more about saving Tigers in the wild through Brian's California-based non-profit charity at www.thefundforthetiger.org/
Want to attend an exciting Tiger program from Becci's adventures in India, Nepal and Thailand? Stay tuned for future announcements, check her lecture schedule, or email Becci for more information.
Becci's Tiger Art Series is now in the works and will be available later this summer. Check her online Art Gallery for new additions!

Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2009

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March 2nd 2009 - So far this year, the question I've been asked most often is . . . where are you going next? To date I've been on six of the seven continents, traveling in 37 countries and 35 of our 50 states. For 2009, searching for Endangered animals in the wild is top on my list of adventures.

Bengal Tiger
Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2009
Where will my journeys take me? For starters, to three of a handful of countries where Tigers still survive in the wild - India, Nepal and Thailand. The Tiger, largest of all cats, is also one of the most threatened. At the beginning of the last century it is estimated that there were 100,000 wild Tigers. Today the number is only about 4,000.




My travels don't stop there. Another critically Endangered animal is high on my list . . .Orangutan. Where will I have to travel to find this primate and what kind of adventures are in store?


Orangutan, Borneo
Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2009

"I seek the wild around me"
I can't wait to share it all. Tigers and Orangutan! Stay tuned!

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January 7th 2009 - Please join me as I go onstage at the Kenneth J. Minneart Center for the Arts to present an exciting program which begins with my adventures with the Wildlife of Africa and ends with a special bonus featuring video we taped on location with the Giant Pandas of China.

Becci with cheetah at AfriCat in Namibia, Africa
I spend many weeks each year traveling to wild and remote places to study and interact with wildlife and indigenous cultures all over the world. I have a treasure chest of video and photos and adventure stories to share and this venue is the perfect place to bring family and friends for an entertaining and enlightening afternoon.


Join me Sunday, February 1st at 2pm. The Center for the Arts is located at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington at 2011 Mottman Road.

Tickets are easy to get by calling 360-596-5501 or order here online at Tickets for Becci Crowe You can pick your seats!

Tickets: $15 General, $10 Special Discount, and $5 Students

Looking for something fun and entertaining? See you there!

Becci with Baby Panda in China

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November 14th 2008 - I' m often asked which is my favorite African animal. After years of travel, observation, and interaction with the wildlife of Africa, I have to say Elephant.


Elephant are distinguished by their high level of intelligence, interesting behavior & communication methods, and their complex social structure. Elephants form small family groups consisting of an older matriarch and several generations of relatives. Female calves stay with the herd their entire life, creating extended families. Male elephants are chased out of the herd when they reach adolescence, but the family groups are often visited by mature males checking for females in estrus.


Becci and her guide observing an adult male in Zimbabwe

African Elephant can stand up to 12 feet tall and weigh as much as 13,000 pounds. They may live 60-70 years. Their size and intelligence make them fascinating to watch and approach . . . their struggle for survival against poaching and habitat loss is a call for awareness to the plight many species now face in their efforts to survive.




Close up - tip of trunk grasping seed pods

Of all its features, the muscular trunk is perhaps the most extraordinary. It serves as a nose, hand, signaling device, and tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, and digging. However, it takes time to acquire trunk coordination. An elephant calf may only be able to wave it around in the air, suck on it or trip over it.
Elephants are very social, touching and caressing one another and entwining their trunks.
Two new Originals


"Young Tusker" copyright Becci Crowe
Pen & Ink Pointillism


"Trunk Lesson" copyright Becci Crowe
Pen & Ink Pointillism
See all my new African Originals now in the Art Section of my web site Art Gallery

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September 2nd 2008 - Many people ask how I choose the subjects in my art. All my originals are based on adventures and experiences I've had around the globe. I've been on six of the seven continents, traveling to 38 countries and 32 of our 50 states. I've been preparing new original works for over a year which will premier this month at Reflections Gallery in Olympia, Washington. How did I choose the subjects for this new exhibition?


Pen & Ink Pointillism of Maasai Warrior copyright Becci Crowe


The focus of my new show are the people and wildlife of Africa. I've been traveling to Africa for over ten years and can never get enough of the rich cultures and wild places. Those able to attend the Opening Event this month at Reflections Gallery will see Maasai, San Bushmen, and of course African wildlife!

I've had the opportunity to spend time with both the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania and the San Bushmen of Botswana. I was granted permission to photograph and film as they shared their unique lifestyles. The new Maasai Warrior piece on the left was created from one such experience.



Close up of colored ink pointillism
Another unique aspect of these new works is that each image is created literally dot by dot! Using pens with tiny points each piece is done in a technique called pointillism in black and colored inks. It takes weeks to finish an Original, but allows for intricate details. If you look at the close ups you get a better sense of how the dots are layered to get the textures, details, and values from light to dark. All done one dot at a time!

Close up of Maasai pen & ink pointillism



See all my new Originals at Reflections Gallery in Olympia, WA from September 27th through December 1st. Want to join me at the Opening Event on September 27th? Contact the Gallery at 360-753-3561 located at 422 Capitol Way South. All new work featured in the exhibit will be in the Art section of my web site the end of September Art Gallery


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July 2nd 2008 - My next Safari has been scheduled for September 2009 and I'm excited that up to 8 people can join my husband and I on this incredible adventure in Africa! Those who join us can do one of two countries, Kenya or Ethiopia, or travel to both countries. Each trip stands alone. Read on!

Photo copyright Becci Crowe
The focus in Kenya is wildlife while staying at beautiful luxury tented camps in spectacular settings with private vehicles and guides. Enjoy day and night game drives and walks in the bush escorted by Maasai trackers. Experience the wonders of the African bush!


Photo copyright Becci Crowe


Photo courtesy of Africa Adventure Company
In Ethiopia we have the extraordinary opportunity to interact with remote tribal cultures along the South Omo river. The Omo Delta has been called the last great tribal land left in the world today - a kaleidoscope of vanishing cultures!


Photo courtesy of Africa Adventure Company


Each trip stands alone - you can do one or both.
For travel arrangements, bookings, and specific questions contact
The Africa Adventure Company
1-800-882-9453

Ask for the Becci & Mark Crowe Safari



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May 4th 2008 - I've just premiered a new presentation and received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response on "The Giant Pandas of China". I was able to arrange to volunteer behind the scenes at China's largest Giant Panda Conservation Center, Wolong, located in a remote mountain region, and spent several days caring for the Pandas there. For groups and organizations looking for dynamic and entertaining programs there are now four choices from my adventures around the world: Africa, The Amazon, Antarctica, and The Giant Pandas of China.
 
Did you know?

Becci at Wolong, China - Watch your back!
*The Giant Panda is a member of the Bear Family. Among the bears, it is most closely related to the spectacled bear of South America.

*Giant Pandas do not hibernate but must search for food year round.

*In the wild, Pandas eat bamboo almost exclusively and must consume up to 50 pounds a day. They need all that bamboo because, being a grass, bamboo contains very few nutrients.

*Pandas are critically endangered and can only be found in the wild in central China. It is estimated that there are less than 1600 surviving in the wild. They are now restricted to isolated patches of mountainous forest and efforts are underway to bring them back from the brink of extinction.

In addition to the new presentation
"Giant Pandas of China"
I have recently completed the first piece in a Giant Panda Art Series.

First in the new Limited Edition Series
"Bamboo Bear" Copyright Becci Crowe 2008
Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Prints are now available of "Bamboo Bear". Order online here Bamboo Bear or by visiting my studio by appointment.

For information on booking a presentation or a studio visit contact me at Becci@Becci.com
Now enjoy the video clip with a baby Panda at Wolong


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Turn your sound on.

Baby Panda



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March 2nd 2008 - After the exciting PBS premier of our documentary "As Close As You Dare - Africa" my husband and I decided to celebrate the 3 years of hard work on the film with yet another adventure! My criteria? Something exciting that I had never done before.


Our adventure started in LaPaz, Mexico aboard a National Geographic Expedition ship, the Sea Bird. The plan . . . to go "Among the Great Whales".

Living aboard the Sea Bird, we ultimately sailed from the Sea of Cortez around Gorda Banks at the tip of Baja and into the Pacific coast lagoons where the gray whales migrate from their arctic feeding grounds to breed and give birth.




Enroute we explored desert islands, kayaked in the Sea of Cortez, and experienced one of life's great pleasures - snorkeling with curious sea lions. They are graceful, agile swimmers and the pups like to surprise you by looking right in your mask - nose to nose! They moved so fast it usually startled me or I laughed which always broke the seal on my mask and made me surface. What a special experience.

Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2008
This is a baby humpback whale breaching.


Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2008
This is called spy hopping. Researchers don't know why whales do it but they're checking something out.
And of course, we saw whales everywhere - doing what they do. Spouting, breaching, spy hopping, and diving.


Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2008
Notice the double spouts created by the Gray Whales's double blow holes.


Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2008
The dives are always beautiful to watch and we wait in anticipation to see where they'll resurface.

Photo copyright Becci Crowe 2008
This is a baby gray whale and it's mother checking us out on our zodiac. You can see the baby's eye.




But wait . . . there's more! Once we reached the Pacific Coast lagoons where the gray whales migrate to give birth we started seeing numerous mother-calf pairs all around. The calves ranged in age from about two weeks to six weeks.


Photo copyright Marylou Graham 2008
As are most young, the babies were often very curious about us and we spent hours in zodiacs at water-level with these spectacular marine mammals. Find me in the bow of the zodiac - I am reach out and touch close.


Photo copyright Ed Erickson 2008
Becci's reach out and touch moment with a mother gray whale.


But there's more. We were floating around this mother & baby gray whale - not pursuing them but letting them approach us if they wanted to. The mother submerged under our zodiac and then surfaced at the bow close enough to touch. I didn't even hesitate - I reached down over the bow to rub her back. What a moving experience - a gift from her. It was my birthday.


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January 4th 2008 - The New Year is upon us and already filled with exciting news!


Movie poster copyright Crowe World Media
At long last our documentary "As Close As You Dare - Africa" premiers on PBS stations across the nation in February.

Washington Save the Date!
KBTC airs "As Close As You Dare - Africa" February 13th at 9pm
Each PBS station has a different broadcast schedule. Use this link to find your station's program schedule  Find my PBS station schedule  Schedules may only be listed two weeks in advance. Keep checking back!


PBS Viewers of KBTC in Washington State will also have the opportunity to see my art and travel adventures profiled on the Station's PBS program called "Full Focus" on Jan 15 @ 7:30 pm, Jan 20 @ 11:30 am. and Feb 12 @ 7:30 pm.
Surprise! For all my journal readers, I'm announcing here first that the DVD of "As Close As You Dare - Africa" is available. Here's the link Buy DVD
In addition to the hour long documentary the DVD contains special bonus features. Don't miss out!

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November 3rd 2007 - Last month's Open Studio Tour was great fun and a huge success. My studio was filled with people catching up on my latest adventures and art. Here are a few highlights.


"Bamboo Bear" quickly finds new home
"Bamboo Bear", the first Pointillism Original in the new Panda Series based on my trip to China earlier this year, found a home with Bill and Maureen. It's a special treat for me to visit with people who find a connection with my work. You can see the "Making of a Panda" in my August entry below.

A new Poster announcing the national broadcast airing of our documentary

was revealed. The documentary will begin broadcast on PBS stations across the nation in February 2008. Posters are available for $6 and will be individually personalized and signed. Call 253-770-8785 or Email to arrange a studio visit.


Movie poster copyright Crowe World Media
Hot off the point of my pen, "Fighting Zebra Stallions" was on display for the very first time. I watched these stallions while we were filming in Botswana and they are featured in

Learn more about this Pointillism Original in my online Art Gallery You can currently see this new piece at my Studio.
Thanks for joining me.

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October 1st 2007 - "October's journal features two of the big cats of Africa - leopard & cheetah. I'm often asked during my travel presentations to groups "How do you tell them apart?". Once you've compared them side by side it's easy.

Did you know?


*Leopard


*Cheetah
*The powerfully built leopard has a long body, relatively short legs and a broad head. Its tawny coat is covered with dark, irregular circles called "rosettes."
*The most elusive of the large carnivores, leopards are solitary creatures and predominately nocturnal.
*Pound for pound, the leopard is the strongest climber of the large cats and will store its larger kills in trees where it can feed on them in relative safety.

*The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal. Over short distances, it can sprint up to 70 miles per hour.
*Built for speed, it has long, slim, muscular legs, a small head set on a long neck, a flexible spine, a deep chest and a long tail for balance. It is also the only cat that cannot retract its claws, an adaptation to help maintain traction.
*Distinctive black "tear tracks" running from the inside corner of each eye to the mouth may serve as an antiglare mechanism for daytime hunting.
Wildlife & Tribal Portrait Art


Join me October 26, 27, & 28th 10am-4pm
Artist's Studio Tour
featuring Originals, Prints, Note Cards, DVDs, Works in Progress, Food, & Fun!

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August 1st 2007 - "The making of a Panda". My art is based on experiences I've had in the field in remote places all over the world. This year led me to a faraway adventure in a country that is home to the critically endangered Giant Panda where I volunteered behind the scenes at China's largest Panda Research and Conservation Reserve.


Recording my field experiences in a journal along with my impressions, sketches, and photographs, I use all this back in my studio in Puyallup, WA to begin my Panda series.



Working in my favorite medium, pen & ink, I use pens with small nibs (points) which means it takes a long time to finish an Original, but allows for intricate details.




My Panda series will also bear a special embellishment . . . my personal 'chop' signature. My first name was hand carved in Chinese characters underneath a small dragon sculpture by a Chinese Artisan during my visit there and will be added to each Original.
It's always a good feeling to finish a piece after days and often weeks of work. This is the first in a series of Panda Originals and it is now custom matted and framed and can be seen or purchased exclusively at Becci's studio. Call 253-770-8785 or email Becci@Becci.com to see this and all of Becci's work.

Individuals and groups always welcome by appointment!


Becci with Baby Panda in China
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June 1st 2007 - I've just returned from a faraway adventure in a country that is home to the critically endangered Giant Panda. China is rich in history and culture, but for me the highlight was volunteering behind the scenes at the world's largest Panda Research, Breeding, and Conservation Reserve - Wolong.
Set in a deep mountain valley in a remote part of the Sichuan Province of SW China, Wolong is currently home to over 40 pandas - including 16 babies only 7 months of age.

Pandas are one of the most endangered animals on earth. Found only in China, the giant panda clings to survival, facing habitat fragmentation and poaching as its greatest threats. It is estimated that as few as 1,600 pandas remain in the wild. The Wolong Panda Research and Breeding Center is endeavoring to increase the Panda population with the ultimate goal to release as many as possible back into the wild.


Wolong


Entry to Wolong
Donning a brown work suit worn by the Panda Caretakers, I entered the research and breeding center at Wolong ready to volunteer, but not knowing quite what to expect.


It was exhilarating being so close to the Pandas and I was immediately welcomed by one of the seasoned adult bears who soon set me straight about why I was there!


Work!! The first order of the day was cleaning the inside enclosures and delivering fresh bamboo.

In addition to providing fresh bamboo twice a day, I gave the Pandas biscuit snacks loaded with nutrition. I also had the wonderful opportunity to hold a very squirmy 7 month old Panda.

It was sad saying goodbye to the Pandas at Wolong, but I carry with me treasured moments to share.

Stay tuned later this year for a Panda Pen & Ink Pointillism Art Series which I will be creating from this wonderful experience.
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April 2nd 2007 - I'm often asked how many countries I've had the opportunity to visit. I had to stop and count. . . . to date I've been on six of the seven continents, traveling to 36 countries and 32 of our 50 states.

map of the continents courtesy of www.mapsofworld.com
The only continent I haven't been to yet is Australia. And those who know me can say without doubt my favorite continent is Africa.

Which continent am I headed to next?




Photo copyright Mark Crowe

The continent I'm returning to this year is the world's largest. . the Asian continent. The country I'll be exploring is the fourth largest on earth and filled with diversity.

This country is also home to the critically endangered Giant Panda - and I'll be looking for them. They'll be the subject of many of my drawings later this year. I look forward to hours of pointillism!

China is my 2007 travel destination. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Photo copyright Mark Crowe
Be sure to watch the "Planet Earth" series on the Discovery Channel on Sundays. You'll see things never witnessed on film and fall in love with the wonders of the world - including the Panda..

 
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February 17th 2007 - This month's entry features a visit to my studio by a local television show called "My Home Town". The program was filming some of the people and places which make Puyallup a unique community and asked me to participate. The program's producer and host, Dorothy Wilhelm, and her camera man joined me in my studio for the filming. Lights, camera, action . . .





During the course of the interview, Dorothy asked me about my art and travel adventures in Africa as I told stories behind the wildlife and tribal protrait artwork hanging in my studio.




Filming also included the opportunity for me to demonstrate my favorite technique. . . pen & ink pointillism. Each of my originals is created literally one dot or point at a time. The result - a piece of art that contains thousands of points and can take weeks to complete.
"My Home Town - Puyallup" will be airing throughout Pierce County the entire month of March on Comcast Cable Channel 76 at the following times:
Mondays 7:00pm, Wednesdays 6:30pm, Thursdays 5:00pm, Fridays 6:30pm, Saturdays 8:30pm
You can also watch it anytime you like in March on Comcast On Demand: Go to On Demand, then "Get Local" followed by "Around the Sound", then "My Town" then "My Home Town" and "Puyallup."

Visitors are welcome to my studio by appointment. Contact me at Becci@Becci.com to arrange a special time for you or your group!
 
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January 1st 2007- Happy New Year. With winter here and "Happy Feet" playing at theatres across the nation, this month's journal features highlights from my trip to Antarctica and fun facts on penguins. Flying from Seattle to the tip of South America we reached Antarctica in a small expedition ship after two days sailing across the infamously rough Drake's Passage. Anchoring the ship, we ventured onto the cold Antarctic waters in small inflatable zodiacs to land on the continent itself .

photo copyright Becci Crowe

Greeted by huge colonies of penguins there was always a flurry of activity as they scurried from their nests to the sea and back again to feed the young. It's important to remain quiet and unobtrusive and I'm careful not to interfere with their normal activities. I sat down to watch and film them in this photo and they approached me.



photo copyright Becci Crowe
I was fortunate to be able to observe, firsthand, several species of penguin: Adelie, Chinstrap, Gentoo, and Magellanic. Journaling, sketching, photographing, and filming these field experiences provides me a wealth of information to create my art and present programs to groups and organizations.


Did you know?
There are no penguins in the Arctic - the sea water is too warm.

Parents return to the nests after feeding in the sea and regurgitate food into the mouths of their chicks.

As they grow, young penguins gather to form communal nurseries or 'creches' for protection against predators while their parents are off feeding.

The Antarctic Treaty was signed by
12 nations in 1959 and reauthorized in 1991 to protect Antarctica and preserve its living resources. The Treaty makes it illegal to harm, or in any way interfere with, a penguin or its eggs.


Enjoy the short video clip below. It was one of many we shot in Antarctica.* Be patient while it loads.
*You can now request unique and exciting presentations on Africa, Antarctica, or the Amazon! Send inquiries to Becci@Becci.com or call 253-770-8785.


Gentoo Penguin & Chicks copyright Becci Crowe


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Penguin Video


 
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November 17th 2006- This month's journal features an African animal that many people are unfamiliar with. I'm often asked, "is this a hyena?"

photo copyright Becci Crowe

This is an African Wild Dog. Also known as Painted Hunting Dogs because of their uniquely colored hair patterns, they are now one of the African continent's most endangered predators. The primary reasons for their decline are man-made: loss of habitat, illegal killing by farmers and ranchers, and burgeoning human populations which bring the African wild dogs into contact with domestic dogs, ravaging the wild packs with canine distemper and rabies. African wild dogs live in tightly knit social groups and hunt cooperatively. This female was part of a large pack of 26 dogs - including puppies - that I encountered in Zimbabwe.




photo copyright Becci Crowe
My guide, Ivan Carter, and I found ourselves surrounded by this Wild dog pack in Zimbabwe. You'll see what happens in our upcoming documentary

We're working on a national broadcast air date for the film for 2007.



This Limited Edition Print is featured in the documentary and is now exclusively available here Wild Dog Print by direct order or by contacting me at Becci@Becci.com







Now enjoy the short video clip below. It was shot on location in Zimbabwe while we were filming our documentary.

"African Wild Dog" Limited Edition Print copyright Becci Crowe


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Wild Dog VideoVideo of baby elephant in campAmazon Wildlife VideoAmazon Wildlife Video


 
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October 1st 2006- Last month featured African Elephants and my new pointillism original called "Eye of the Elephant".

This original sold fast during the opening night reception at the Western Washington Fine Art Show at the Puyallup fairgrounds. It's always a pleasure for me to meet my collectors!



New Owners of "Eye of the Elephant"



"Stripes II" copyright Becci Crowe
Previewing to the left is my latest pointillism original called "Stripes II". It's on exhibit at the Seahurst Art Gallery in Burien until October 28th. My originals often sell too fast to be added to my online Art Gallery so I will feature some of them here from time to time. If you'd like more information on this piece please email me at Becci@Becci.com

There are always zebra on guard while the others browse or rest. "Stripes II" shows how they often stand looking in different directions.


photo copyright Becci Crowe

The stripes on zebra help protect them from pedators. It's difficult for predators to distinguish where one zebra ends and the other begins. Did you know that no zebra has the same stripe pattern? The stripes on each individual are unique, like our fingerprints.


Enjoy the short video clip below. It was shot on location during our last trip to Botswana.


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Zebra VideoVideo of baby elephant in campAmazon Wildlife VideoAmazon Wildlife Video


 
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August 4th 2006- July's journal and video were from my adventures in the Amazon and included several wildlife sightings. Thanks to all who emailed the answers to the video and were the lucky recipients of note cards. This month, the focus is back to Africa.



I'm often asked what my favorite African animal is. I'd have to say Elephant. Their size and intelligence make them fascinating to watch and approach.... and their struggle for survival against poaching and habitat loss is a call for awareness to the plight many species now face in their efftorts to survive.



Elephant at a waterhole in Zimbabwe

Elephant close encounter Zimbabwe

Elephant are also incredibly fun to draw! I've been fortunate to observe elephant in the African bush many times over a decade - both on foot and in vehicles - sometimes within inches! It gives me the opportunity not only to observe their behavior, but their skin patterns, the crevices in their tusks. . . even their eye lashes . . .

Do you know what color an elephant's eyes are?
I've just finished this pointillism Original of an elephant I encountered in Zimbabwe. Titled "The Eye of an Elephant" it shows the extraordinary features of these giants close up.

This new Original will be featured in the Fine Art Show at the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup, WA from September 8th-24th. It will be the first showing and opportunity for purchase - located on the second floor of The Pavilion building at the Puyallup fairgrounds.


"The Eye of an Elephant" copyright Becci Crowe


Keep checking my Art Gallery for more new pieces and enjoy the short video below of a baby elephant who visited our camp in Zimbabwe. Turn your sound on and be patient while it loads.*You can also purchase a 25 minute DVD which contains highlights from one of my African adventures and drawings I did of the animals in the video! Africa Wildlife DVD


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Video of baby elephant in campAmazon Wildlife VideoAmazon Wildlife Video


 
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July 3rd 2006- I've received many questions about our recent adventures into the Amazon Rainforest of Peru. This month I have more photos and a video clip!



We journeyed down the Amazon several hundred miles over two weeks. The most unique sighting from the River? Pink Dolphin! We also fished....and caught Piranha. Needless to say, we didn't do any swimming.



Amazon Rainforest

Rainforest 'lodge'

Our adventure ultimately led us to a remote jungle bungalow in the heart of the rainforest... no electricity, no hot water, and very few walls.
But lots of wildlife!

One of many species of rainforest monkey


Poison dart frog
My most asked question about our trip......What kind of wildlife did you see? Some you'll recognize...some you won't!


Capybara
One of my favorite experiences was our close encounter with hundreds of wild macaws. These large colorful parrots live in parts of Central and South America. Deforestation is having a big impact on the macaws. Without their natural habitat, they have difficulty finding enough to eat, and stop building nests and producing young.

Blue & Yellow, Red & Green, and Scarlet Macaws

"Scarlet Macaws" copyright Becci Crowe
The next most asked question "Will I be doing a series of paintings?" I've already completed the Scarlet Macaws on your left and later this year will have Toucans, Poison Dart Frogs and more! Keep checking my Art Gallery for updates and purchase the Scarlet Macaw Limited Edition Print now Scarlet Macaws.


Enjoy the short video highlight of some of the wildlife below. Be patient while it loads. During the month of July I will send a free Scarlet Macaw note card to anyone who can name every animal in my video. Just email your list to Becci@Becci.com
Answers will be in next month's journal entry.


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Amazon Wildlife VideoAmazon Wildlife Video



*You can now request unique and exciting presentations on Africa, Antarctica, or the Amazon! Video highlights from this trip will be available as part of a new program I'll be offering.
 
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May 1st 2006- Hot, muggy, muddy, buggy....and wonderful. I've just returned from an extraordinary journey to a remarkable place....The Amazon. Our expedition into the heart of the Amazon rainforest was a voyage of discovery into an area that is home to what may well be the greatest profusion of life on Earth.

Our journey started aboard this Riverboat which we lived aboard for several days while sailing 650 miles to explore the Amazon and narrow, winding blackwater rivers.




Our 'Amazon Queen'


River village

This was one of many river villages we passed along the way. It's the end of the rainy season and floodwaters are high.


Piranha


We lived in rubber boots
We ultimately left our riverboat to venture further into the heart of the rainforest to stay in a thatched, open air, 'lodge' . . . no electricity, no hot water, no doors, no laundry service. Why?? You may ask.


Rainforest home away from home
Here's one good reason. Beautiful camp visitors - Scarlet Macaws.



I guess I should also tell you...some visitors were less welcome. You have to watch yourself after night falls.
*More photos will soon be posted from this Amazing journey in the Adventure section.

*You can now request unique and exciting presentations on Africa, Antarctica, or the Amazon! Video highlights from this trip will be available as part of a new program I'll be offering on my Speaking Engagements.
 
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March 24th 2006- I specialize in Wildlife as well as Tribal Portrait Art. I'm most known for using a technique called 'Pointillism' to create my originals. Pointillism is a traditional technique which has been credited to the French Master Painter Seurat from the late 1800's. You don't often see large bodies of work in pointillism because it is so labor intensive - it involves creating an image on paper or canvas literally dot by dot!

I encountered this curious Bull Elephant on one of my safaris in Botswana. The background of this original is painted in watercolor, but the entire elephant was created - dot by dot - in Pointillism. It took several weeks working many hours a day to complete.




"Testing the Air" copyright Becci Crowe
If you look closely you get a better sense of how the dots are layered to get the textures, details, and values from light to dark.


copyright Becci Crowe



copyright Becci Crowe
One of the reasons I love Pointillism so much is that the act of laying in the dots creates a rhythm . . . and the piece often takes on a life of its own.

This month's video clip is Pointillism in progress. You get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of this Elephant. One of my little companions is featured in the video as well. Have a look!


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Pointillism Video



See more in my Art Gallery
 
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February 11th 2006- New for 2006, adding video clips to my monthly journal has created a whole new dimension to these entries. For February I'm featuring a much loved African animal - the giraffe. During my ten years of travel to different parts of Africa, I've had the opportunity to observe and draw giraffe numerous times in the wild.

From large maternal herds full of young calves - even twins - to towering males awkwardly bending down at a waterhole to drink - giraffe never cease to fascinate me.


photo copyright Becci Crowe


photo copyright Becci Crowe


photo copyright Becci Crowe
At up to 18 feet in height, giraffes are easily recognized as the tallest mammals. They are often found with other animals who may rely on them as "living lookout towers".

Did you know their long necks contain the same number of vertebrae as our own? Seven!

The males also use their neck in an extraordinary way - dueling for dominance. It's called 'necking'. Enjoy the following video clip from an amazing sighting.


This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Giraffe Video


See more on my Wildlife Adventure DVD
 
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January 3rd 2006- I just returned from the New King Kong movie. What an extravaganza. It has me re-living one of my most memorable adventures - seeing the real King Kong. They live in the jungles of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the sheer physical presence of the adult male silverback defies verbal description. 'They' are the last remaining Mountain Gorilla.
Mountain Gorilla
photo copyright Becci Crowe
Mountain Gorilla numbers are extremely low. A 2003 census estimates about 700 left on earth. Poaching, habitat destruction, and civil war put these amazing animals at risk of extinction. The mountain gorilla was discovered by Western explorers around a century ago. It has longer fur and is more likely to be found nesting on the ground than the more numerous lowland gorillas.
I encountered this Silverback and his small family group in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. This extraordinary experience led to an interview by National Georgraphic Adventure Magazine as part of an issue on the World's Top 25 Adventure Trips.

For 2006, journal entries will now include short video clips from my world wide adventures. This month.....the real King Kong. Enjoy the following video clip from an amazing journey.



This video is low resolution to decrease download time. Obtain maximum sharpness of your video preview by downsizing the window of your media player.

Gorilla Video


See more on my Wildlife Adventure DVD
Becci and silverback gorilla
The real King Kong - and one of the most thrilling experiences to be had in Africa.


 
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November 12th 2005- My art is based on experiences in the field. I savor the moments I'm in wild and remote places studying wildlife and tribal cultures.

I also enjoy being back in my studio reliving the moments and drawing and painting. During a recent trip to Namibia, I was commissioned by a fellow adventurer to create a Cheetah original for her.

When I'm commissioned to create an original work of art for someone I spend time gaining an understanding of what the person wants to experience when they look at this piece.
Once the details have been agreed upon, the next step in my research begins....studying the subjects of the piece.

Doing this Cheetah commission was exciting, because not only have I observed them many times in the wild, but I've had the opportunity to get up very close and personal at AfriCat in Namibia.
 


"Wild & Free" Cheetah
Copyright Becci Crowe 2005
This is the result - a Pen & Ink Original created especially for my client.

Although the Original is not available, Prints will be sold at AfriCat to raise funds to further their rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

In addition, Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Prints are now available from my web site in the African Wildlife Gallery




Consultations are free for commission inquiries. Contact me at Becci@Becci.com and stay tuned for more pieces from my latest travels.
 
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October 1st 2005- I recently returned from my 8th trip to the African continent. This time, my husband and I had company. A group of eight people signed up to experience their very first Safari by joining us. We had an incredible journey with phenomenal sightings. I am now being asked if I will take more groups with me. I don't have plans in the near future to do so, but for anyone considering a safari, I would be happy to answer questions by email at Becci@Becci.com. Enjoy some of the photo highlights below.
Leopard are often nocturnal and can be very elusive. Not on our trip! We had many leopard sightings and they were close.




Elephant were also a spectacular part of our safari. These two youngsters were very playful.
It is not often you witness a cheetah chase and kill an impala. My group saw it all! This cheehah had two cubs who raced to join her as soon as she had the impala.


Enjoy more new photos in the Adventure Photos section. I'm currently working on a new series of original drawings and paintings from my travels so stay tuned for those!

If you have questions or would like to inquire about my video adventure programs for your group or organization please contact me at Becci@Becci.com.
 
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August 7th 2005 - Time is rapidly approaching for my return to Africa. Soon I'll be immersed in new adventures and have the opportunity to research and interact with wildlife and tribal cultures in remote parts of the world. It is from these on-location experiences I will begin a new series of drawings and paintings. My favorite technique to create detailed drawings is called Pointillism.


Cut-away enlargement of 'dots' used for detailing
These Originals involve creating detailed images on paper dot by dot using pen and ink. They require thousands of points and may take over a hundred hours. Pointillism's inception is credited to the French Master Painter Georges Seurat in the late 1800's.

Because this technique is so labor intensive it is not commonly used by artists and makes these Originals quite unique.


I thoroughly enjoy doing demonstrations of pointillism for the public. Since each of the Originals is based on my travel adventures it's also a great time to share the stories behind each piece. I created the Elephant in this photo during the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup last year and will be returning again next month on September 9th to start a new piece. I work with a mirror over my head so it's easy to watch the drawing evolve dot by dot! This Elephant is now custom framed and you can see it during my demonstration in September.
Please Join Me Friday, September 9th, 10 am to 8 pm at the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup.
I'll be demonstrating all day in the Pavilion Building at the Fine Arts Show on the Second Floor.

Come watch a brand new Original being created in Pointillism.

Stop by and hear the adventures from my latest trip to Africa.

See new work and pick up a DVD on my African adventures.

It's going to be a fun day!
 
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July 1st 2005 - In a few weeks I will be back in Africa. This will be my 8th trip to the continent. The journey is never the same and this time is no exception. I 've been asked many times if I take people with me... and this time I am. A group of 8 adventurers will be accompanying me on their very first Safari. We are headed to Botswana where we will stay in three different remote, luxury tented camps with a special trip to the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. We've been planning this trip for over a year. Going to Africa requires thought and preparation. For anyone thinking about going, I have some recommendations to optimize your experience.


Safari Pre-departure Meeting

Africa is a vast continent full of diversity. It's important that you figure out what kind of experience you're after.

Read. Go to the library or local book store and review travel books on the different African countries. A great place to start: The 6th Edition of "Africa's Top Wildlife Countries" by Mark Nolting.

Ask Questions. Talk to different travel companies and get sample itineraries and prices. Make sure the travel company is well established and experienced in planning African Safaris. Know exactly what you're getting. A great place to start: The Africa Adventure Company 1-800-882-9453.
Pack Light. Use nylon or canvas bags for safaris. Less is more. Laundry is available in camps. Must haves: binoculars, camera, hat (needs to cover ears), sunglasses, sunscreen.

Be Flexible and Live in the Moment. When on Safari, remain open to all the possibilities. There is no way to predict what you will see. Just be ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
 
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May 17th 2005 - My journal is full of wildlife stories but this month I have an exciting entry from a trip I recently took to the center of an historical and very metropolitan city. . . . . Rome. I was in Rome when the New Pope was elected and was standing in St. Peter's Square in front of the Vatican when Pope Benedict the XVI came out on the Vatican balcony to greet the crowd for the first time.
We had just arrived at our hotel - two blocks from the Vatican - and heard the bells begin to peal announcing the election. Racing outside, we joined the local pedestrians hurrying to St. Peter's Square. We arrived within minutes and shortly thereafter tens of thousands of people were packed into the square to welcome the new Pope.

White smoke was rising from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, bells were ringing, and everyone was chanting 'PaPa'. The energy of the crowd was joyful and it was impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of witnessing such a significant historical event.




Pope Benedict & Cardinals on the Vatican Balcony
photo copyright Becci Crowe

Interview by CBS News at the Vatican
photo copyright Mark Crowe
News reporters from all over the world had been there waiting for this moment and I was interviewed in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican compound by CBS correspondent Teri Okita for CBS affiliate news stations in the States.
 
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April 3rd 2005 - As spring arrives and my return to Africa grows nearer, my thoughts drift to the unknown adventures ahead as well as those past. When darkness falls on the African continent it reveals the spectacular glow of stars. Nights in the African bush entice your gaze upward as the stars take center stage. But nights in the bush reveal many other things as well. One night, 'zipped up' in a tent, I was having difficulty sleeping. The sounds of quiet movement outside caught my attention. I peeked out the screened fabric of the tent entrance but could see only blackness. Finding my flashlight, I shot out a beam of light scanning the darkness. I found the source of movement and a sight I didn't expect to see.... several sets of glowing eyes bunched together and peering back at me! I froze. More things than stars glow in the night in the Africa bush.
If you have the urge to go.... this trip to Botswana and Victoria Falls combines the best in wildlife viewing and comfort.
Contact me for questions or call the Africa Adventure Company directly at 1-800-882-9453. They will be happy to send you a detailed itinerary and trip information. Just ask for Becci Crowe's Safari. And keep your tent zipped.



photo copyright Becci Crowe


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February 3rd 2005 - Stunning, exhilarating, and COLD....a few words which immediately come to mind as I reflect on my recent journey to Antarctica. Flying from Seattle to the tip of South America, I made the journey to the Antarctic Peninsula on a small ship carrying 60 passengers. Rounding Cape Horn and crossing the Drake Passage on our way south, we encountered rolling seas which rocked the ship side to side. Walking proved to be not only a challenge, but comical and even the most sea worthy were at risk of queasiness. But the final destination is magnificent.

photo copyright Becci Crowe

This is a Gentoo Penguin with a chick just a few days out of the egg. Penguins are highly specialized birds whose life is molded by the cold sea, harsh climate, and crowded colonies in which they reproduce.




photo copyright Becci Crowe

photo copyright Becci Crowe

I'm sitting on the perimeter of a Gentoo nesting area where busy penguins pass right by - coming and going gathering stones for nests and bathing and swimming at the edge of the cold sea. It provides a unique opportunity to journal and sketch on location.

photo copyright Becci Crowe
Using small inflatable zodiacs to cruise around and land on the Antarctic Peninsula led to exciting and unforgettable moments.



photo copyright Becci Crowe
Adelie Penguin welcoming committee. This ten day journey immersed us in spectacular scenery and incredible wildlife including penguins, seals, whales, and seabirds. Stay tuned for a new series of drawings and paintings from this incredible experience. Contact me if you would like a video presentation of Antarctica for your group or organization.

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December 7th 2004 - As 2004 comes to a close, I look back at the incredible places I traveled this year. Those who know me or read my journal are aware of the two months I spent experiencing wild places in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. I also circumnavigated the island of Sicily, traveled from Sorrento to Rome, and visited the cities of Berlin and Dresden in Germany, and Prague in the Czech Republic. Travel has changed me. It constantly challenges my thinking and is always enriching. Four of the most memorable experiences of the year follow.



The rare opportunity to walk with wild Bull Elephant in Zimbabwe




The unforgettable experience of crawling within 5 feet of a pack of Endangered
Wild Dog in Zimbabwe




Starting fire with one of the San Bushmen tribes of Botswana



Meeting The Addams Family at AfriCat in Namibia

My wish for you for the coming year is to enjoy the wonders of the world - wherever you are.

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October 22nd 2004 - I've just returned from another month's journey experiencing the wild places of Africa. A highlight was being introduced to the special people and big cats of AfriCat. AfriCat is located on Okinjima farm in Namibia. It is a non-profit foundation dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing orphaned, injured, or caged leopard, lion, and cheetah. Although AfriCat's goal is to return as many animals as possible to the wild, they also provide a home for those unable to survive on their own. Carla Conradie and Dave Houghton are the dedicated staff responsible for the full time operation of AfriCat. I was fortunate to spend a few days behind the scenes with them.

photo by Mark Crowe

These cheetah are known as The Addams Family - Morticia, Gomez, Pugsley, & Wednesday. They were rescued from their dead mother's womb and hand fed at AfriCat to save them. Although these cheetah cannot survive on their own in the wild, the goal at AfriCat is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release as many big cats as possible.
photo copyright Becci Crowe

photo by Ivan Carter
This airplane is equipped with special radio telemetry equipment to monitor the progress of collared cats being rehabilitated in expansive fenced natural habitat areas for future release. It was exciting to be in the air and see the benefits of this technology first hand.
This collared leopard was located with radio telemetry and darted with sedation for a physical exam. He's doing beautifully and is one of AfriCat's many success stories as he will ultimately be released back into the wild.
photo by Ivan Carter


photo by Ivan Carter
To learn more about AfriCat and how you can help, visit their web site at www.AfriCat.org

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September 12th 2004 - Envision desert palms lining the horizon and huge salt pans stretching as far as the eye can see. Experience the sense of endless space where land and sky merge and you believe you can see the curvature of the earth in the far distance. Find yourself in the most perfect place to stargaze……and then watch as darkness falls. We were at Jack's Camp, located in the Makgadikgadi Pans in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in time to witness a total lunar eclipse.
Lunar eclipses occur during a full moon when the earth lies between the moon and the sun. The only critical element required is an unobstructed view. We were in the perfect place at the perfect time.




In anticipation of the event, we headed back to camp after a rare opportunity to observe an animal unique to this area - Brown Hyena.



photo copyright Becci Crowe



photo copyright Becci Crowe


Then, as the sun dropped from the horizon with a fiery finality, darkness set in.


The full moon began to rise and off in the distance was a flickering glow and small lights piercing the night. This wasn't camp! Approaching the lights, we found ourselves on an immense pan with a roaring fire and a wonderful dinner before us. In this surrealistic setting we had a truly celestial show.


photo copyright Becci Crowe
As a brightly illuminated full moon rose over us we saw the first shadow appear on it's edge. We were mesmerized for over an hour as a circular shadow crept across the moon's face until, ultimately, the moon was completely covered by the earth's dark shadow. There was silence at that moment - each of us deep within our own thoughts.
This year will see another total lunar eclipse on October 28th. Where in the world will you be?
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August 1st 2004 - On my recent safari to Botswana, I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a couple who are world renowned for their wildlife films and photography. You will likely have watched Derek and Beverly Joubert's films on the National Geographic or Discovery Channels. The Joubert's award winning work is the result of over 20 years of living and filming in Africa.

Becci with the Jouberts on location in Botswana

The Joubert's are currently on assignment in Botswana for National Geographic and allowed me to join them in the bush as they filmed the subjects for their latest documentary - a female leopard and her cub. It was exciting to visit with them and observe them in action.
photo copyright Becci Crowe

Not only was I able to observe the Joubert's at work, but I also observed and photographed the leopards.

Since returning from Africa, I've been working nonstop on new pieces. The new art work includes this leopard, lots more wildlife, and tribal portraits. It will premier at Ideation Gallery in Olympia, WA, August 20th - September 15th. If you miss the exhibit dates you can still visit the gallery to see some of my originals from this series.

photo copyright Becci Crowe
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June 27th 2004 - Journeying to a remote corner of Botswana during my recent safari, I had an unforgettable encounter with the San Bushmen. Bushmen are the last of the original hunter-gatherers of Africa. I had the opportunity to witness a way of life that over centuries adapted perfectly to raw nature. Unfortunately, their numbers dwindle and their traditional way of life may soon be lost.

photo copyright Becci Crowe
With bows and poison-tipped arrows hand crafted from resources provided by nature, these bushmen stalk their prey.
Starting a fire using fire sticks the bushmen carried with them. Creating fire this way is an empowering experience!
photo copyright Becci Crowe

photo copyright Becci Crowe
A new generation. What does the future hold?


Learn more about the Bushmen and see video clips and Original Art from my recent month long journey back to Botswana at
Ideation Gallery
Olympia, WA
360-352-4920
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May 24 2004- Just home from 3 more weeks of adventure in Botswana and where do I start? Each trip to Africa is planned for new experiences. One highlight was joining a clan of Meerkats in the Kalahari Desert. I was at their den to greet them as they emerged at dawn for their 'sunning ritual', and then followed their antics as they busily foraged for frogs and other delicacies through out the day. At sunset, they led me to another den to groom and socialize before entering it's safety for a well deserved sleep.

photo copyright Becci Crowe
Filming fun. This clan of meerkats has been followed by researchers so they were comfortable having me in close proximity.
These meerkats even seemed to be posing for my drawing.
photo copyright Becci Crowe

photo copyright Becci Crowe

photo copyright Becci Crowe
Field Sketch
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April 11th 2004 - Which is the biggest - the Black Rhino or the White Rhino? Which would you rather be confronted by while on foot in the African bush? I can speak from personal experience. Although the White Rhino weighs more, the Black Rhino tends to be the most territorial and aggressive. Led by a professional guide I've had the rare opportunity to track both on foot.

Tracking Black Rhino

The day begins at first light when I leave camp and join my Zimbabwean guide and two trackers in an open vehicle to begin our search for the endangered Black Rhino.

While driving in a remote part of the bush where they sometimes pass to reach water, we're in luck - Rhino tracks! The guide can 'read' the tracks to determine how old they are and how fast the animal is moving.



photo copyright Becci Crowe
It is time to leave the vehicle and strike out on foot. We follow the tracks, stealthily walking downwind. Being on foot is a great equalizer in the African bush. It felt like I had now entered the food chain.

Time passes and the trackers fan out ahead of us searching for clues to the Rhino's movements. We remain alert to our surroundings and any potential threats. The sun now beats down on us from high overhead.

We continue to walk. The afternoon shadows grow deeper. It seems this Black Rhino has eluded us.


photo copyright Becci Crowe
Suddenly, we are surprised to see a big male just ahead. We quietly slip into the bushes where we can see but not be seen. But he's looking in our direction - hearing our movement. Have we become the hunted? What an incredible moment.

photo copyright Becci Crowe


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March 12th 2004 - What's your favorite Safari animal? One of mine is rather unconventional but as amazing as they come. It has evolved numerous biological and anatomical adaptations that make it a supreme hunter and master of camouflage. It's distinctive shape, slow motion movements, spring-loaded tongue, and eyes at the end of conical turrets make it an unmistakable reptile. The continent of Africa is home to many species.

What is it?







photo copyright Becci Crowe


Email me the name of your favorite safari animal and I will feature the most requested in my journal for April. Tell me now at Becci@Becci.com.
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February 5th 2004 - Plans are complete for my return to Africa this spring. Anticipation of another adventure also makes me reflect on prior safaris. I remember the first animal I saw in the African bush was a giraffe. What an amazing animal.
Did you know?
*Giraffes are the tallest mammal and males can reach 18 feet.
*Giraffe's long necks contain the same number of vertebrae as our own: seven. They are often found with other animals who may rely on them as "living lookout towers".
*After 15 months in the womb, calves are born headfirst and dropped six feet to the ground from the standing mom.
*The newborn calf weighs close to 150 pounds and is almost 6 feet tall. It usually stands within an hour, a vital defense against enemies. Up to 75% of calves fall prey to lion and hyena the first year.

photo copyright Becci Crowe
*To drink, a giraffe must either straddle or bend its forelegs. They exercise great caution at the watering hole because of their vulnerability when bending down.
photo copyright Becci Crowe
*The giraffes's purplish tongue is nearly a foot and a half long.
*As vegetarians, giraffes feed on many species of plant life, but their favorite is the acacia tree.
Dream It...Plan It.....Do It....
Join me for the Safari of a Life time. Travel to Africa with me August 11th - 28th, 2005 on a Guided Safari to South Africa, Victoria Falls, and Botswana.
18 days.... 14 Travelers....... Booking Now! Email me or Contact The Africa Adventure Company for Complete Details at 1-800-882-9453
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January 1st 2004 - Although my focus the past twelve months has centered around African wildlife and tribal cultures, I'm keen on all wildlife. The plight of two polar bears recently caught my attention and I dedicated the commissionned Pen & Ink I created below to "Boris & Kenneth".

"Boris & Kenneth"
Original Pen & Ink copyright Becci Crowe
Boris & Kenneth were among six polar bears seized by US Fish and Wildlife Agents from a Mexican circus touring Puerto Rico. Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington agreed to provide sanctuary for the two bears. Prior to their rescue, Boris & Kenneth spent their lives in filthy, cramped quarters. Underweight and diseased on arrival at the zoo, the staff has nursed them back to good health and are integrating them into their new home. These marine mammals never experienced a swim in their former lives, but are now taking the plunge into the zoo's 90,000 gallon seawater pool. I had the opportunity for a personal
behind-the-scenes introduction
to each of them.
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December 5th 2003 - As 2003 draws to a close, I am busy planning adventure travels for 2004 and a new series of original art which inevitably evolve from these trips. I am very excited to be returning to Africa twice next year! There will be many incredible wildlife encounters in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
My primary goal on safari is to go as remote as possible and immerse myself in the bush experience. Many hours are spent in close proximity to wildlife in open 4x4 vehicles and on foot with expert guides.

Becci with elephants
On location in the Serengeti
elephants
"Play Mates"
Original Pen & Ink copyright Becci Crowe

I keep a journal, take photos and video footage, and bring all this back to my studio to create my art and develop slide & video programs. (Groups interested in these presentations can email me for booking information)

lion cub
Serengeti lion cub
Little Lion King
"Little Lion King"
Original Pen & Ink copyright Becci Crowe
Stay tuned for more.....
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November 1st 2003 - Baby animals of all species are engaging. While on safari in Zimbabwe I was captivated by the antics of this baby elephant.
A Day in the Life
The birth of an elephant calf is a big event for the herd. The calf becomes the center of attention, receiving care and protection from all members. The ones that show the most interest are the juvenile females. These females, ranging in age from two to twelve, are often called “aunties”. They play an important role by helping to watch out for the new baby.
Sniffing
baby elephant
photo copyright Becci Crowe
An elephant calf can learn about its environment through chemical and tactile information received through its trunk. However, it takes time to acquire trunk coordination. At first the calf may only be able to wave it around in the air, suck on it or trip over it.
An elephant calf can stand and walk within a few hours of being born, but it may take up to three months before it has conquered the motor skills to navigate the landscape without assistance from its mother or aunties.
baby elephant
Chasing Birds
photo copyright Becci Crowe
Playing in the Bath
baby elephant
photo copyright Becci Crowe

A female calf will stay with the herd her entire life, creating the extended family.

Through this social system, infants gain the time and experiences needed to learn essential life skills.

Dusting
baby elephant
photo copyright Becci Crowe
Here is a baby elephant's Safe Haven
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October 1st 2003 - Ongoing research projects in several African countries are providing interesting data. My future plans include participating in Lion Research in Botswana.
Did you know?lion & baby
photo copyright Becci Crowe
*Lions are the only cats that are distinctly social, living and hunting in prides.
*A pride of lions consists of a group of related females, their dependent offspring, and a "coalition" of resident males which joins the pride from elsewhere.
*Female cubs usually remain with the pride they are born in.
*Male cubs are typically chased out of the pride around 3 years of age by the adult males.
*Females rely on protection from their resident males to raise their young. If a new male coalition takes over they kill all the young cubs in their new pride to bring the females back to reproductive readiness.
*Lion stalk their prey, moving slowly and carefully into striking distance before making their move. The hunt itself is likely to be a short charge and will more often fail than succeed.
*Lions have distensible stomachs that allow them to gorge at a carcass and then wait several days before feeding again. It is not unusual to see lions full to the point of bursting, and looking distinctly uncomfortable.lion
photo copyright Becci Crowe
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 September 6th 2003- National Geographic Adventure Magazine's November issue will feature the 25 greatest adventure trips in the world. Tracking Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda's Virunga Mountains is on that list. Having just made this journey in February, the magazine interviewed me as part of this article to find out what it was like to be so close to these rare primates. You can see my answer and check out some more great adventures. Look for the November issue of National Geographic Adventure!
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 August 11th 2003- Those attending my Gala Opening Night " Art of Africa" had the opportunity for a Sneak Peek Preview. Ideation Gallery of Olympia, WA has produced a DVD film from video highlights of my February adventures in Rwanda and Tanzania along with selected art images inspired from this safari. The 20 minute DVD contains exciting close encounters, beautiful settings, art, music and background narration. *You can order your own copy here.* And don't miss the Opening night photos.
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July 15th 2003- Gorillas are fascinating and I receive many questions about our experience in Rwanda with the Mountain Gorillas. I was recently interviewed by Sarah J.M. Tuff from National Geographic Adventure Magazine about our journey to Volcano National Park in the Virunga Mountains in search of these rare primates.
 Did you know?
 *Typically, mountain gorillas live in groups that contain one or two adult males (12 years or older, called silverbacks), several younger males (called blackbacks), adult females, juveniles and infants.
*The dominant silverback (named for the gleaming silver saddle of hair on his back) is in charge of the group's daily travels in search of food. He also protects the group from outside dangers.
*Mountain gorilla females can begin motherhood around age 10, and will carry a single baby for about 8-1/2 months.
* Adult male gorillas can reach 400 pounds and females can reach 200 pounds.
*A newborn gorilla weighs only about 4-1/2 pounds!
*When a silverback is standing upright they can be as tall as 5 and a half feet.
*Mountain gorillas eat mostly plants like celery, nettles, bamboo and thistles. Sometimes they find ant nests along with an occasional worm or grub.
* Full-grown mountain gorillas can eat up to 60 pounds of vegetation a day!
Mountain Gorilla
photo copyright Becci Crowe
*Mountain gorillas communicate in a variety of ways, including facial expressions, sounds, postures and gestures. Of course, there's the classic chest beating by male gorillas, used to show stature, scare off opponents or even to prevent a fight.
  * The future of the gorillas is most dependent on the protection and survival of the forests in which they live, since they depend on this land for food, safety and normal activities. But the forests are in danger from growing human populations and from civil war in the region.
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June 15th 2003- As 'Show Time' approaches on August 8th for the Gala Opening Night Reception that unveils the new body of work from my February safari to Rwanda and Tanzania, people want to know what I'm doing to get ready. Preparations actually started months ago with Ideation Gallery in Olympia, WA while discussing plans to spend a month in Africa. My primary goal on safari is to go as remote as possible and immerse myself in the bush experience. Many hours are spent observing behavior of animals in the wild and gathering information from local guides. I keep a journal, take photos and video footage, and bring all this back to my studio to create my art. Ideation Gallery decided it would be a great opportunity to not only premiere new work based on this trip, but to also share video highlights of this adventure in the bush.
Since returning from Africa, I've been working nonstop on new pieces. Those attending the show will be the first to see these finely detailed drawings and paintings which include Gorilla encounters from Rwanda, the great Beasts & Predators of the Serengeti and images of Masai Warriers. In addition, you will be immersed in the African continent through music and a special video show!

lion_&_cub
photo copyright Becci Crowe
Two subjects in my show
Photos from the Opening Night Reception
360-352-4920
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May 26th 2003- My art and wildlife travels have just taken me to Paris where I had the opportunity to explore some of the greatest art galleries and museums in the world. This gave me time to study the work of the great masters and share with you an incredible technique I use today that was actually created in the late 1800's by Master Painter Georges Seurat. It is called 'Pointillism', a method which involves creating an image on paper dot by dot! The shading is accomplished by varying the number of dots which means that some pieces have millions of dots in them, and have taken hundreds of hours. It has a beautifully unique visual effect. See for yourself Click here
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April 28th 2003 - I just completed the first piece in my new Mountain Gorilla Series based on my recent adventure in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. The image represents the biggest Silverback we encountered during our four days of tracking on the steep slopes. It was great fun to actually work on this drawing 'live' during the Olympia Arts Walk here in Western Washington. The throngs of people who stopped during the Event to watch this Silverback emerge were also instrumental in determining one of the final details. As an Artist, one of the great pleasures of working live in public is sharing the process of creation and the interaction it generates!

Gorilla Drawing Rwanda
Want to see what they're seeing? Go to Gorilla
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April 12th 2003 - One of the special sightings we had on our recent safari was what is known as "Big Tuskers". These are Elephants with massive tusks that can hang to the ground. They are quite an impressive sight!
Did you know?
* Tusks are fundamentally no different than ordinary teeth. They are actually considered the elephant's incisor teeth.
* Elephants begin getting tusks about six months of age. Permanent tusks start to protrude beyond their lips at 2-3 years, and continue to grow thoughout life.
* Tusks grow up to seven inches a year. The heaviest known single tusk weighed 235 pounds & the longest tusk measured 11 feet, 5 inches.
* Both sexes of the African elephant have tusks but male tusks are heavier and thicker than females.
* One of the tusks is typically used more than the other (a parallel in humans is right handed and left handed people). Because one tusk is likely to be used more, the two are seldom of equal length.
* Tusks are used for digging, ripping of bark, foraging, and as weapons.
* It is not uncommon to see elephants resting their trunk over a tusk.
elephant trunk on tusk
photo copyright Becci Crowe
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March 21st 2003 - Part of the incredible experience of our recent safari was living in a Light Mobile Tented camp in the Serengeti to follow the huge mass of animals known as The Great Migration. The vast endless plain that is the Serengeti stands alone - not only for it's huge expanse - but also for the drama that unfolds day to day. The Wildebeest and Zebra continue an ancient and relentless mass movement following the cycle of fresh grass and water. They, in turn, are followed by powerful predators and the scavengers which follow them. All converge in a battle for survival. It is in the midst of this chaos that a new generation is born. To live amid this is to live in the moment - immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, smells, and emotions all competing for your attention. Nights are no different. The sky is black and heavily laced with brilliant stars. It is impossible not to gaze upward as you gather around the fire and the warmth and light it provides. That's when you hear them. Lions roaring - and they're close. Flashlights immediately scan the darkness. Then fearful bellows from Wildebeest and the sound of hooves stampeding confirm lions on the hunt. Tomorrow we will look for the remains. Tonight we find our way in the darkness to the shelter of our tent.
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March 7th 2003 - I've just returned from an incredible journey to find the rare Mountain Gorillas still surviving in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. Accompanied by armed militia and local trackers many hours were spent climbing the steep slopes of this volcanic range over 4 days. The bamboo and jungle growth was so thick in places a path had to be hacked out with a machete. The first family group we managed to find was the largest - containing 35 gorillas including two Silverbacks. We were literally surrounded and had to shift our position several times as individual gorillas approached and then passed close enough to touch - an equally intimidating and amazing experience. As in most wildlife encounters - running away is the worst thing you can do - but it is such a strong instinct!
Becci and silverback gorilla
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February 2nd 2003 - The next entry you read from this journal will reveal news from my most recent adventures in Africa. I am off to Rwanda to search for rare Mountain Gorilla in the Virunga Mountains bordering The Congo and Uganda. I will be in the same area where Dian Fossey did her research. If you haven't seen the movie "Gorillas in the Mist" check it out. I will then travel to the Serengeti in Tanzania to follow the Peak of the Great Migration. By day I will track wildlife on foot with a guide and follow the huge mass of migrating animals in an open vehicle. By night we will gather around a fire under the stars until retiring to the shelter of our tents.

This journey will be chronicled by still photography, video, sketches, and a diary. On my return I will be presenting slide shows and video clips from my safari and exhibiting a new body of paintings and drawings. Of course, photos and news from this latest adventure will be posted here on my web site. Stay tuned!
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January 24th 2003 - My average lifespan is 7 years in the wild and as an adult I weigh between 80-140 lbs.
I originated about 4,000,000 years ago and today Namibia has the largest wild population of us in the world.
There are two groups of us in the wild - the family group and the males. Males often form a coalition of 2 or 3.
Depending on sight rather than smell, I like to scan the countryside from a tree limb or the top of a termite mound.
The dark tear marks beneath my eyes are believed to enhance my vision by minimizing the sun's glare.
*What am I?*
I am a hunter and can accelerate up to 70 miles an hour for short distances.
Know now?
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December 31st 2002 - Like many of you, I reflect on the events of this past year while anticipating the many possibilities for 2003. I eagerly look forward to the new experiences and adventures which are in store... some I have been planning for months, but many await unknown to me. I embrace both... the known, where I can make my dreams reality.... and the unknown, where the field of all possibilities exists. I challenge you to set in motion plans to make one of your dreams a reality for 2003. As for me, I'm headed back to Africa. Becci riding an elephant in Zimbabwe
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December 1st 2002 - I'm often asked if I do my safari drawings and paintings while on location in Africa. My primary goal while on safari is to go as remote as possible and immerse myself in the bush experience. During this time, I find it more enjoyable and productive to focus on observing the behavior of animals in the wild than to sit in one place and paint or draw. I keep a journal, take a lot of photos, obtain information from local guides and bring this and my personal experiences and observations back to my studio to create my art. I also plan to write a book chronicling my adventures in Africa that will include my photos, drawings and paintings.
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Tracking White Rhino
 
All images Copyright Becci Crowe 2000-2012 All Rights Reserved