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This painting was originally created in Acrylics.
Trust me, there is nothing like viewing whales in person. While living on the California coast, we would occasionally spot California Gray Whales, spouting far offshore as they passed on their annual nonstop 9,000-12,000 mile round-trip migration journey between their winter birthing grounds in Baja, Mexico’s Gulf of California and their summer feeding grounds in the arctic’s cold waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas off the coast of Alaska. I have also observed Minke Whales in Washington’s Puget Sound, but those distant sightings were a world away from watching Humpback Whales up close and personal in the rich waters of Icy Strait in Alaska, south of Glacier Bay. Having whales surface and blow within 40’ of the boat was an experience of a lifetime. Watching these huge leviathans, water streaming off the huge tail flukes as they began their dive, then the sheer exuberance of breaching as they launched themselves into the air, finally crashing back into the waves was breathtaking. Whales are very attentive new mothers, helping their calves surface for air, as this one is doing with her new calf. The calf has many dangers to face and much to learn in a short amount of time. Northern Pacific Humpback Whales spend their winters in the waters of Hawaii, where they will mate, and give birth and nurse their calves, helping them grow strong enough to withstand the 3,000 mile migration journey that lies ahead, back to the rich summer feeding grounds of Alaska and British Columbia. This work pays tribute to all mothers everywhere, caring for, protecting, and nurturing young in preparation for life’s journeys ahead.
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