October 18, 2012

By Gabrielle.

Do you ever have an inexplicably emotional reaction to something that pops up in your view, and find yourself hard-pressed to describe what it is that’s making your heart break a little, your eyes overflow a little, and everything on your massive to-do list fade clear away?

I think it’s because this mind-blowing piece of art was created in pencil. PENCIL! Incomprehensible, isn’t it?

Or maybe it’s the elephants. Did you know that an elephant herd is considered one of the most closely-knit societies of any animal, it’s led by the matriarch and made up of mostly females, and they’re one of the few animals known to have compassionate death rituals? And I don’t care how many years have passed since the first time I read Horton Hatches The Egg, I’ll forever see an elephant and think of the line: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.”

P.S. — Elephants are my favorite animal. Do you have a favorite?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hayley October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Elephants are my mother’s favorite, she Loves them (with a capital L). She has them in every, shape, form, fashion all over house (except live, of course!) I don’t discriminate…except against snakes. I hate snakes!


2 Anne October 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

We went to Art Prize (where this won the first place prize) and saw the artist putting finishing touches to the piece, she is such a deserving winner and an amazing artist


3 johanna October 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I love elephants. This summer I went on a safari in Tanzania and was in total awe of the elephants we saw. After I came home, I saw this article in the new york times about elephant slaughter for ivory and it broke my heart.


I want to do something about it…but it’s hard to know how to make a difference.


4 aubry October 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

oh, gabby! horton hatches an egg is my all time favorite, ever. it was a theme through my childhood. one that my mom used at every turn to teach us loyalty and commitment. i’ve taught it in sunday school classes, i’ve preached it from the pulpit when i’ve been asked to speak in church. i even painted those very words – “i meant what i said, i said what i meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent” on an over sized canvas that hangs in my living room.

that horton is so steadfast and i just know he’s the reason i’m not a flake!


5 Hayley October 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm

On the Horton front, when I taught 8th grade English, we used Horton Hears a Who when we did our unit on the Holocaust. It was part of our background knowledge before beginning the Diary of Anne Frank.


6 Meg October 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Monkeys – followed a very close second by birds, in particular raptors.

Who doesn’t love an elephant?!?! So beautiful, majestic, and magical.


7 Grace @ sense and simplicity October 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I loved reading Horton Hears a Who to my children when they were young. It always made me think it was a good analogy for adoption – caring for something steadfastly that wasn’t yours to begin with with your whole heart and mind. A lovely story and a beautiful piece of art!


8 Michelle B. October 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I love the bison/buffalo. They are such amazing looking animals – so majestic and stoic. To think that up to 30 million of them roamed free across the United States less than 200 years ago breaks my heart.


9 Sherry October 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Seriously! Less than 4 minutes ago I sent this link to my daughter. We love elephants! Watch until the end when the baby and mama are reunited. You’ll need some kleenex….


10 Amber, theAmberShow October 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Oh my goodness! I cried.


11 Lauren October 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Elephant landmine survivors + new prosthetic legs = elephant-sized tears! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjWwFNn9qpg&feature=youtu.be


12 Amber, theAmberShow October 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Elephants are my favorite, too. It’s on my Life List to kiss one on the trunk, and has been for years. If anyone knows an elephant that needs a smootch, you call me, ok?

Have you heard about baby Moses? He’s 7 months old and was recently rescued in Kenya. Google it – he’s so stinking cute!


13 Corinne October 18, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Have you seen the IMAX film Born to be Wild? Ahhh… Talk about inspiring. My kids and I have seen it probably 4 or 5 times and each time it takes my breath away. I don’t want to spoil it, but lets just say there are two inspiring women, some animal conservation, beautiful music and cinematography, and elephants. Our favorite IMAX of all time hands down.


14 Sharon @ Discovering blog October 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I saw that movie at Liberty Science Center in their IMAX, and I can understand how you’ve watched it 4-5 times. It is amazing, beautiful, inspiring, and humbling. I can’t recommend it enough!
When the one guy puts a blanket on a baby elephant going to sleep – restored my faith in humanity.

My favorite animal is the Zebra. I am just amazed at their beauty. We went to the Bronx Zoo last weekend and they were as gorgeous as ever. Last year we saw a baby zebra there!


15 Carter Higgins October 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Oh, elephants! My very favorite. I had a stuffed one that played ‘You Are My Sunshine’ when I was a wee one, and it’s been love ever since.


16 Laura October 19, 2012 at 3:25 am

Each of our children has gravitated to an elephant stuffed animal – they just seem to exude such a deep, quiet, patient, kind, wisdom…right? Not to mention mystical…Maybe I’ll call on my elephant-self the next time I’m having a stressful moment: ) Thank you for that break – it was much needed.


17 Ivonne October 19, 2012 at 6:33 am

There is a lovely children’s book called “Emma Kate” by Patricia Polacco. It´s about the friendship between an elephant and a girl. The illustrations are in pencil and a bit of red. If you like elephants penciled and sweet stories , I think you will love it… and your little girls too.


18 Diana October 19, 2012 at 7:43 am

Oh my gosh, Gabby. These are breathtaking.


19 ememby October 19, 2012 at 9:02 am

I love this piece because the drawing in pencil and detail amazes me and I love this post because ArtPrize is in my hometown – it’s awesome!


20 TracieMcOB October 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

Penguins Rule!! :) I have always loved penguins. They are all dressed up and ready for a party! Now one of my sons loves the too. That drawing is A – Maz – ing!


21 Erin October 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Did you hear about this elephant mourning the loss of her best-friend, a dog? Heart-wrenching. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57319021/tarra-and-bella-elephant-loses-mans-best-friend/

It is easy to anthropomorphize elephants.


22 kristi October 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm

wow – this art made my jaw drop! absolutely incredible.


23 Jessica Poelma October 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

This is in my hometown! Artprize brings such amazing art to my city each year. I love it!


24 Melanie October 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

I just added this to my Elephants pinboard. Yes…I have one just for elephants. Right after Nathaniel was born I kept seeing them everywhere – in artwork, books, toys, clothing, magazines, online, photographs of a friend’s vacation to Thailand. It was weird, and cool. Nathaniel is 2 and I still love them. :)


25 Amy October 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

I’m from Grand Rapids where Art Prize happens!! This was the coolest piece! You should also check out the other entries and winners from previous years. It’s the largest Art Prize in the world (250K I think?) and brings together art and the community! Way to go GR!


26 bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com October 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm

elephants are mine too. I always tell my husband that if I was in charge of the world — I’d make miniature elephants the size of those little miniature ponies that people have that are no bigger than a large dog… so people could have them as pets!


27 julia g blair December 18, 2012 at 8:02 am

I also love ducks and “Make Way fork Ducklings!”


28 julia g blair December 18, 2012 at 8:03 am

I also love ducks and “Make Way for Ducklings!” Hope that’s the right title!


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