Saturday, February 16, 2008

IF : Theory...do animals have souls?


I usually try to come up with an animal related theme when contributing to the word of the week at Illustration Friday. Animals are such a big part of my world, it doesn't feel normal to leave them out of my posts. I knew what I wanted to do for this week's word, "Theory", but I first had to find the right model on Google. I was looking for an animal with a soulful expression to represent a point I'm going to make which is, I find it hard to believe there are people out there whose theory is 'animals don't have souls.'

Animals are known to make choices to help people, their own species, and often times other species. Animals come from a place of pure kindness unless someone has beaten it out of them. They're unjudgemental and love unconditionally. They respond to our emotions, and even if they're ill-treated, they're quick to forgive. They love us no matter how fat, thin, bald, ugly, or ignorant we may be. Animals are used as therapy aides in hospitals, nursing homes and classrooms all over the world. They can even detect when we're ill by picking up certain chemical signals our bodies give off. Many dogs and cats have been known to actually nudge their owner in a place where there is a growth starting, and thus saving many lifes. They lie grieving by the bodies of loved ones who have passed away, and many have waited for years and years by a door or on railroad tracks, wherever, for their owners to return, never knowing they passed away. Just waiting, waiting at the last place they saw them. It breaks my heart.

So, do I think animals have souls? You bet. They're pure kindness of heart and my life is richer because they're here.

Now look into this guy's eyes and tell me you don't see an old soul.

I thought so.
Click here to see what this post has caused :)


acrylic and colored pencil on scrapbook paper for Illustration Friday's promt: Theory.

58 comments:

  1. WOW! What a sight. This ape is alive. Amazing and intense illo.

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  2. wonderful illustration - great composition

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  3. Great work, as usual. This piece captures a high degree of compassion, generating instant empathy on the part of the viewer.

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  4. beautiful, and I definitely know that animals have souls, and very old souls at that...they grow more patient with us with every generation...my son uses a therapy dog, and without him I don't think my son would be progressing like he is!! love your illustration!

    a : )

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  5. I sure do see an old soul in those eyes! A beautiful illustration & a thoughtful gorgeous story accompanying it. I often think animals are spiritually superior to us humans! I always love your work :)

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  6. I totally agree with you and believe that the world would be a sadder place without believeing that our loved animals have souls. Wonderful piece

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  7. Oooh what a beautiful illustration. Lovely composition, and moving meaning. Really lovely.

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  8. This is beautifully done.
    You're right, just look in their eyes and it's there.
    Thanks for sharing this message.

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  9. Guest what, I got tears in my eyes, thinking of my sweet kitties, who have left me to the heaven. Yes, they sure have souls!

    This really is an enchanting piece, very good rendering!

    P/S: I received a mail notification from you while I'm reading your post and wiping my eyes!

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  10. Wwo, beautiful piece and sentiment. I do not know if animals have souls, but they sure do posess something special. I believe they are messengers from God, put here to love us and teach us about love. They show us unconditional love and acceptance, and teach us to show the same in return. They truly are amazing. And your illustration shows that so clearly.

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  11. Love the color, the level of detail and especially the expression of the ape. This image has soul (as does the animal)!

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  12. A gorgeous piece of art, it must be very satisfying to finish off a piece like that and know that you've achieved what you set out to do - on the other hand no artwork is ever finished is it ?

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  13. wow, i applaude your mastery, this is really well done!!!
    i believe that everything has a soul somehow, even the smallest drop of water...

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  14. oh my goodness, no- oh your goodness...it shines through these eyes and radiates from the page. he/she is wondrous and wonderful, and you are too.

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  15. This illo is gorgeuos, and you have perfectly captured his soul (sorry for my bad English).

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  16. you have a nice touch with those pencils!

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  17. Very thoughtful take on theory! Well done (sorry for the double comment - I was in the wrong place).

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  18. Not only do I think animals have souls, I think you found the gorilla's soul in this piece. Absolutely beautiful!

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  19. What a beautiful, beautiful piece of art. The eyes tell it all!

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  20. Oh, and of course we KNOW they have souls. That's a no-brainer. Gosh, I just really love this illo.

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  21. This is hauntingly beautiful-- and what an impassioned post. Thank you for sharing!

    And thanks for stopping by my post. No I most certainly do not mean Red Sox!! Yikes. :)

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  22. wondefurl work, i like very much the colours and composition.
    THank you for your comment, my pice is for sale, but is very big (about 160 cm long) and is not easy .....

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  23. Beeeeyyyoooootiful painting. That guy definitely has soul! I can't stop looking at him. Your words are moving and also brought a tear to my eye.

    I have to say I also love Aynaku's theory: "i believe that everything has a soul somehow, even the smallest drop of water..." That's gorgeous.

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  24. First off, wonderful work Laurel--love the angle especially. Simply beautiful and touching.

    As for souls, the word "soul" itself has very abstract meaning to me--I find it an elusive concept subject to a multitude of interpretations. As for animals, I consider humans as animals, only on a far more evolved level. The unfortunate thing is the arrogance we humans have developed along with our evolution, thus concocting theories that animals are "soulless" beings unworthy of respect. The apes, like this one, are indeed our closest relatives. However, one can look into the "soulless" eyes of a snake and (should) have the same level of respect.

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  25. his eyes are so expressive. lovely work

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  26. Exactly!
    The precise reason why I love animals other than the human ones more in general. They should surely be able to teach us a lesson or two, even though if "we" choose to listen is another matter. Lovely drawing.

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  27. Of course animals have souls! No doubt.
    Very nice gorilla.

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  28. You made me cry at work! That means you are an amazing artist! Yes, animals have souls. People who don't have one, will never know...

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  29. The eyes are soooo beautiful!!!
    Bellissimo.
    Cata

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  30. Such beauty in the blue and gray colors. Very touching.

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  31. Your image and text moved me as usual. You have very interesting takes every week. My favorite was your hats but this is a close second. Keep 'em coming! Gorgeous illustration!

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  32. Beautiful, beautiful illustration! And, yes, I do believe animals have souls. I cannot imagine any other way. I feel closer to God when I'm near them...

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  33. This is wonderful! Since moving from country to city, I miss the comfort of the old animal souls that used to keep me company everyday! I admire your depth in image and words!

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  34. I think this wonderful creature is wondering if humans have souls...
    PamPod

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  35. Beautiful! Great thoughtful take on th topic of theory. You really managed to show us the gorilla's soul. Just look at those eyes! Truly beautiful.

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  36. ohh yes they do! 8) this is a wonderful sketch!

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  37. Wow Laurel! A powerful entry this one! Great illo and great story!

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  38. An amazing rendering! And your post made me think about Max, my dog. I miss him. Their love is wonderful, isn't it?

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  39. Your painting is truly soulful, and your rendering is always so excellent. I do think animals have souls, and I even think that some animals have the souls of people who have passed on and have decided to come back and keep someone else company. Sounds silly, I know... but I am certain that my cat Jezebel is really a person... and I don't care if i sound like a crazy cat lady:> Beautiful work and post, Laurel!

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  40. lolo!!!!! he is GORGEOUS! the soft colors, the hairs, the blue...just just lovely. lookit those eyes...pure sweet emotion. :))))

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  41. his eyes are full of wisdom

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  42. Look at the those eyes! Wonderful illo. Lovely blog. Thanks for visiting my blog by the way.

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  43. This is a beautiful piece and really captures something in the eyes, if not a soul at the least emotion and sentience.

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  44. Oh goodness me, your post nearly broke my heart! And I could not agree more! I love animals, and I truly believe that they have a soul.
    wonderful illo! Just look at those eyes...
    Love,
    Carra

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  45. wow this is absolutely amazing rendering, well done! I would have to agree that animals have souls. they are just as feeling as we are ("animals are people too!")

    thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  46. WOW, this's a powerful illo!!! I love it!
    (^v^)

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  47. This is both a wonderful post and a wonderful painting. I love animals also ... I currently have a dog and 3 cats. I really like the colors you chose for the painting ... they are very serene.

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  48. Lolo. You have really tapped into your amazing gift with this post. I can't even find the words to tell you how amazing this artwork is. You truely have a gift, thank you for sharing it with us all.

    National Geogrphic has a wonderful article "Inside Animal Minds" in the March Issue. Really terrific photography in it for the piece too.

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  49. This is absolutely beautiful, lolo ! Congratulations ! This ape seems alive and is so expressive, I love it !

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  50. So sensitively illustrated!!! Though the jury certainly is still out on if animals have souls or not, they are amazing creatures indeed.

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  51. wow how very cool! i saw this art on etsy when i was searching for something that matched my blog post to go with it, and immediatly loved it! who knew you made it just the same topic!

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