Sovereigns of the Forest
This painting honors tigers in their natural habitat. The tiger in the foreground senses something. A potential mate or, perhaps, a territorial rival, emerges in the distance.
In the early 20th century, wild tigers, found throughout Southeast Asia, had a population hovering around 100,000. However, due to legal and illegal hunting and habitat loss, by 2010 the tiger population was decimated to around 3,200. Since then, because of ambitious conservation efforts, tiger numbers are on the rise. The tiger population in India, home to 80 percent of the world’s wild tigers, has doubled, and other countries, like Nepal, are not far behind. That brings the wild tiger population to around 4,500 today.
As conservation efforts continue to succeed, there will continue to be challenges along the way. Unless more land is protected and restored, and unless more species are permitted to flourish, tigers will face a backlash as they find themselves in confrontations with people.
With this painting, I hope to portray the majestic wonder of witnessing tigers in their natural ecosystem. It’s where they deserve to exist, and it’s where they should be for many years to come.