I came across this beautiful photograph of a chimpanzee while searching for new subject matter for a painting. I was taken with the portrait of a creature projecting so much strength, yet sporting a comical scarf wrapped around her neck, made with “80’s troll-dolls”. The image stuck with me, and I knew I had to paint it.
Researching a bit further, I learned her name is Jamie, and is one of seven apes currently residing only a little over an hour from the Greater Seattle Area, at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, WA. "Eyes on Apes", is an advocacy group and program of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, providing tools to empower individuals to create change for captive and free-living apes in need.
Situated on a 26-acre farm in the Cascade Mountains, 90 miles east of Seattle, CSNW is one of small sector of sanctuaries in our country that cares for chimps.
CSNW has been providing a safe haven for chimpanzees abandoned by the entertainment and biomedical testing industries. On June 13, 2008, a private biomedical facility in Pennsylvania turned over seven chimpanzees to the sanctuary. The backgrounds of the apes ranged from either being kept as pets and used in entertainment, to some being captured in Africa as infants. But ALL of them endured the hardships of being subjected to the biomedical research industry to test hepatitis vaccines. During there years living in the lab, the majority of the females were used as breeders, and their babies were taken from them shortly after birth to continue the brutal cycle.
After many years of suffering, the animals have come to rest in a beautiful environment that offers them healing from years of anguish and misery. You can read about all the individual animals on the CSNW website.
From what I have learned, Jamie was born in captivity in 1977 and extremely intelligent. She enjoys playing with toys, such as her friend Foxie’s troll dolls, as well as working on projects and playing games. Jamie apparently has a “thing” for cowboy boots. She likes for her caregiver to wear her favorite pair when walking around the enclosure. It is so painful to imagine a creature so intelligent forced to live in a cage no bigger than that of a large parrot cage.
YOU CAN HELP
I encourage you to visit the website to learn how you can donate, volunteer, assist with fundraising, and shop in the store. Visitations to the sanctuary can be made with reservations… Please check the website for details.
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
PO Box 952
Cle Elum, WA 98922
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Below, I am working on the 16" x 20" oil painting of Jamie. I used a combination of knife and brush strokes with very thick paint. If I can make the deadline I will be donating this piece for the Summer Biddin' auction, otherwise if not, I will put it up for sale on my Etsy Ship, donating a percentage of the proceeds to the CSNW. To see all my paintings and art prints for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop: Amy Fulton Art
"Jamie" by ©Amy Fulton
Now complete, "Jamie" will be available for shipping soon!
Learn more about how you can join Eyes on Apes, to create change for captive and free-living apes in need.
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