My latest painting features a Florida Panther and her cubs. The Florida Panther, all that’s left of Pumas in the eastern United States, nearly went extinct in the 1970s. Thanks to conservation efforts, however, the number of panthers has increased to around 200. Today it is critically important to purchase land for conservation, specifically Florida’s wildlife corridors, in order to save the Florida Panthers’ home and extend their native range.
As an artist, and a Florida native, I hope to bring light to these vulnerable cats. This is why my work portrays animals looking at the viewer. I want people to connect with the animals, to look into their eyes, and understand that there is so much more there than we’ve let ourselves believe.
In this piece, I chose to include Florida’s native plants. The weeds at the bottom with the white flowers are called Bidens Alba. This plant is an important part of Florida’s ecosystem. It’s an incredible plant which is both edible and provides nectar to the bees. Bees, of course, are very important pollinators. The fern the panthers are sitting on is called Resurrection Fern because it appears to come back to life after withering away. The Florida Panther, thanks to the help of conservationists, is being revived. But it’s up to us to make sure they don’t fall back toward extinction. It’s up to us to protect their home and welcome them back to their native range.
Florida doesn’t have to be paved over with concrete. We can save the Florida Panther, so long as we save the forest and protect the ecosystem.
Hope of a Florida Native
24″ × 36″ Acrylic on Gesso Board
Original available for purchase! Contact Nathan at 813-452-8963 or [email protected]