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Amazing Video of Elephant painting self portrait

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just watched this YouTube video of an elephant painting a self portrait holding a flower. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LHoyB81LnE

Wow... It's better than I can paint! I've also seen videos of cat's painting too. There's something about animals expressing themselves with art that make me think that their souls cannot be much different from ours.

Has anyone had a cat that liked to paint?
post #2 of 11
Wow!!!

It's really interesting that the elephant in the drawing looks like he's almost standing up. Sort of like an elephant-human mix.
post #3 of 11
I saw that one - was totally amazed! DH couldn't believe it either - you just sit and keep watching!
post #4 of 11
Even though I've long believed that animal life on this planet is all part of a continuum and the differences in intelligence and emotional capacity among the species -- including US -- are often not nearly so great as we presume... still, this video just takes my breath away.

Even if you assume that the elephants are painstakingly trained in every single detail of what they're doing, my god, look at the complexity of it! Even to learn every stroke by rote would be astounding. Even simply to handle the brush with such precision and not knock over the easel would be enough to amaze me!

But what if it's not entirely training? What if some part of it is the spontaneous imitation of human examples? And what if, dare I say it, what if at some point there is genuine self-expression involved? What does that say about the mind and heart and character of elephants, one of the countless species that man has so ruthlessly and shamelessly exploited at every opportunity?

What a beautiful and moving piece of video. Thank you so much!
post #5 of 11
I'm surprised at the use of color...do elephants see in color????
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
I'm surprised at the use of color...do elephants see in color????
Yes...I believe they do.

When I was younger my parents were associated with the Phoenix Zoo. There was an elephant there named Ruby who painted. Here is a link to a few of her pictures:
http://www.gettheloop.com/artshow/themaster.html

My Mom saw her paint many times. I really wished I had gotten one of her paintings.

The above link also shows paintings by other elephants and animals.

If I didn't have white carpeting I think I'd let my cats have a try at it.
post #7 of 11
wow!

post #8 of 11
I'd hate to think of what would happen if I gave a paint set to Smudge!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
I'd hate to think of what would happen if I gave a paint set to Smudge!
aww LOL!

post #10 of 11
It's tempting to try, isn't it? Fingerpaints are nontoxic to children, but are they safe for kittycats? Or maybe it would be better to make "milk paint" with food coloring...

Even if all you ended up with was some multi-colored kitty pawprints, it would be pretty!
post #11 of 11
That drawing was incredible!
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