#262 Samoan Moorhen or Puna'e

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 54

Samoa would not be anywhere near the route that Phileas Fogg would have been traveling, but it would have been way way way far off the starboard side completely out of view.


These are classified as critically endangered, but pretty much everyone believes they are extinct. There is a small amount of hope that there could be a few in the depths of the forest, but local hunters have been shown pictures of them and have never seen them. The last time we know for sure they were found was in 1873. Almost 150 years of no reliable sightings does seem like extinction is likely. Also at least one of the last surveys done looking for them, if not the last, there were sightings of introduced predators. Most likely cats, pigs, other introduced animals, and especially non-native rats have lead to the moorhen going extinct long ago. The reason they are called Puna'e by native people is because it means "one that jumps up" and the moorhen was known for jumping up and bolting when startled. They were probably not good at flying, if they were able to at all.

I am contemplating a few things now for what I will do after the year is over. I know I want to go bigger, and probably do oils or acrylics. I would do those once a week. There is no way I could afford to do more unless I can get support of some sort. I am thinking that maybe for a daily picture I could do drawings instead of paintings. They could be bigger than the paintings I'm doing currently, but not as time consuming as paintings. I kind of like the idea of doing unfinished ones sort of like this owl. The owl wasn't unfinished on purpose, I was doing it while getting an iron infusion and had to stop at that point and finish it at the next infusion. My first infusion I was able to do an animal and a half, and as all the appointments after that were much shorter, I generally was able to finish one picture and then get halfway through the next by the time I was done (4 infusions). The thing is, often when I'm working on a painting or a drawing I really like them at the point where you begin to notice the personality and can tell what the animal is, before it is finalized. Something about that makes me almost feel as if there is untouched potential to the picture. It is almost as if the picture is linked to a live animal and the real one is too strong for me to truly capture it. It is hard to explain exactly what I feel, but I usually stop at the point the painting or drawing begins to come to life for me and have to take a break for a second before finishing it. I like to let it sit for a while unfinished. That may sound a bit crazy, but hey, I'm an artist, we are supposed to be weird.

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