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#302 Red-finned Blue-eye

Critically Endangered

I decided to do another life-size painting. I think I will have to do a life-size of something much larger where I can only fit a foot or the eye into the painting.

These are a really tough little fish that are hanging on in spite of serious hardships. For one thing, the water they live in can range from 37°F-104°F, though they prefer water around 75°F. Since the 1800's there have been holes bored into the Great Artesian Water in order to provide water for livestock. Unfortunately that has lowered the levels of water left for the fish, which of course will make the water have more serious temperature fluctuations. They habitat is incredibly small too, and if you add up the streams it equals not quite 1¼ acres. The biggest problem though is the Mosquitofish. They were introduced into the area in an attempt to control mosquitoes. The population exploded, and it only takes a few seasons after they find a spring any Red-finned Blue-eye are in before the native fish are gone. That is because the Mosquitofish are much larger, and they will harass them and attack their fins. I do have a lot of hope for these fish though. The area they live was bought by Bush Heritage Australia, and they seem to be doing a lot of great work trying to help bring the fish back

I've set up a poll on my twitter and am trying to set one up here as well. I would love to get some input on what animal I should do for the last of the project. I think narrowing it down to something like Mammal, Bird, Invertebrate, etc., would be my best shot. If you want to vote, you could go to my Twitter post and vote there. Once I've gotten it narrowed down a bit I will come up with another poll to get even closer to what animal I will do. I was hoping to put a poll here, but it seems that I can only do that on a different page altogether.

Oh, and I promised I would tell you what I heard from the woman the Nike's Squeaker is named after said. First, her name is Nike Doggart. She has done a lot more than discover a frog. For me though, I'd think I had accomplished quite a lot if I could say I found an animal never before seen. As I said, I did the composition yesterday because of what she had said about the frog being a powerful leaper. Well, she said she loved it and that I can let you know who she is. Really, I think having someone who knows an animal I paint tell me they love the painting means more than having all the art critics in the world tell me I'm amazing. I will admit that having some people well known in the art community find out about and appreciate my project would be amazing. That is probably the best way to get your art noticed by more people. Plus, all artists want to be told by people who know art that what they have created is good. When I have a show though, my ideal one would have family, friends, the art community, and a whole lot of herpetologists, ornithologists, and the like. It would be so fantastic to be able to talk in person with people who know so much more about my subjects than I do while also talking about the actual painting with other artists!

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