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Immortalizing murdered elephants on canvas

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James Picard’s Elephant Series is currently being featured on the official Ellen Degeneres YouTube channel

My Elephant Series of drawings & paintings was inspired by an article I read about a family of elephants that were well known on an Elephant Sanctuary Reserve in Africa. They were always together and a favourite among visitors to the reserve.

One morning park officials found them all murdered…their tusks and feet removed and their bodies left to rot in the sun. I felt sick for days and had many sleepless nights at the injustice of it all, but happy I could immortalize them in drawings and on canvas.





Late night musings

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james1It’s 2:36 am and I’m studying Michelangelo again.  It’s my 12th time reading this 597 page book… I’m sure it won’t be my last. Art isn’t just about painting. It is about seeing, looking and understanding. It is about learning and about how we see the world and the history of those who came before us. It is constantly studying  how they saw things and how they interpreted it and what they were trying to say. It’s about pushing the envelope of your mind and the endurance of your body.

It’s difficult to create great art without knowledge or experience- it’s not something you just pick up a brush and do. You first learn from a master who learned from their master who then learned from their masters and so on.

And it is something that requires your undivided time, energy and dedication… Every day you must look at the world differently, take in a new awareness … a new idea, a new creative breakthrough, and then you work. You create. You stop thinking. You draw, you paint, you unleash all you have learned throughout the day, the week, your life … There are no excuses, you just work.

Not many choose this path as it is one that is so difficult, exhausting and all consuming, and, if not careful, can lead one straight to madness as it requires a continual walk along the edge of the abyss. … But, in my mind, it’s all worth it.


A Lifelong Pursuit

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This painting I did titled “Two Wooden Ships at Sea” has insight into my own personal artistic journey. Like many European colonists, who risked death, starvation, storms and disease in order to get to the “New World,” I have chosen to raise the bar in terms of what an artist can do.

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The Power of Creativity

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I have always been compelled to create. Drawing always came naturally to me, even at the young age of three, so I guess I was “born to be an artist” (so to speak).

I became aware of the power of creativity when I would become lost for hours at a time drawing and painting in my youth. It was like a meditative trance and I always felt rejuvenated when I re-entered reality. That awareness of the power creativity had was once again brought upon me when my father, feeling threatened by my artistic compulsion, gathered up my art and burned it in the fireplace in front of me.

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Living with Synesthesia via the Huffington PostREAD MORE