Protecting Our Treasured Animals

an artist's perspective: by Isabelle du Toit

Inspiring art by Isabelle du Toit focuses the viewer on the importance of protecting our world's animal treasures, many of whose numbers are dwindling at frightening rates. Ms. du Toit is an incredible artist in her own right and those interested in viewing some of her other pieces on this theme are encouraged to visit her website, here.

Below are a couple of examples. With Ms. du Toit's permission, I will be adding other of her inspired works to this page.


"Sentinel" 90x76 inches oil on canvas.

It was a sense of irony that has inspired me to call this painting Sentinel. In addition to being large, powerful and beautiful, elephants are also highly intelligent, very sensitive, emotional beings.

At first glance one might therefore assume that the title of the painting refers to the elephant, but in fact, it is the human baby that is the sentinel. I think it is important to understand that elephants are part of the world's heritage and as such deserve international protection and respect.

As a South African I've had the privilege to watch wild elephants roam freely and I strongly feel that all children should have that same humbling, awe-inspiring privilege in the future. Yet, ironically, the elephant's tusk safely holding the child is the very feature indirectly responsible for the demise of these beautiful creatures."

~from the artist~


"Conservation II" 48x72 inches, oil on canvas.

I decided to paint Bald Eagles because they asked to be painted! There are dolphins that come hunt fish right in front of my window. Something I didn't know about dolphins is that they like to play with their food. They like to catch it, throw it in the air and catch it again. One afternoon while enjoying their antics this huge dark shape came out of nowhere in the sky and plunged towards dolphin and fish. The dolphin was lucky, the bald eagle just missed his airborne fish. It was decided right then that a creature so magnificent, cunning and sneaky needed to be painted. It was months later while I only had a few weeks left to finish the painting that my husband saw the same thievery going on. By the time I reached the window, the eagle was flying off with the prized fish. With binoculars I watched him land on a pole and eat it's loot.

I decided to call the painting conservation II, as a reminder that these beautiful birds came close to extinction and that when we make efforts in conservation the rewards are vast and undeniably precious.

~from the artist~