Minding Mamma
Young African leopard
Acrylic on Composition Board
Image: 27" x 45"
Frame: 35" x 53
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The above painting Minding Mamma, was selected as a finalist in the Animal Art Catagory of the 21st Annual Artist’s Magazine’s Art Competition. Linda’s accomplishment is one to be proud of, especially
since there were over 13,000 entries in this years competition.

While on safari in the Samburu region of Kenya, we happened upon a female leopard with two cubs, a male and a female. We discovered this family early in the morning before any other safari groups had heard about this siting. The leopards took over a huge fallen tree as a temporary home, which for us was very conveniently located in a small clearing. Having no other vehicles around gave us the advantage of being able to comfortably move our van into various positions for the best photo opportunities without disturbing the leopards.

I suspect that mom had a kill stashed somewhere nearby, because every once in a while one of the leopards would disappear for a short time, then return once again to the tree. Mom was always vigilant, but when she did go off she clearly instructed her offspring to stay put. And they did!. That's not to say that they behaved themselves! The little female was content to just snooze, but her brother had other plans. He sat on her a few times, nipped at her ears and used his paw to bop her on the head a couple of times. When she had had enough, they chased each other all over that tree. Upon mom's return things quieted down a bit, except for junior, who still wanted attention. He nestled under mom's chin which triggered some big licks, but when she got to the point of cleaning his ears, he decided that he had had enough and leapt from her grip.

Minding Mamma is about this little energetic male leopard who didn't really want to stay still. If you know anything about cats, you know that you can sometimes read their thoughts by watching their tails -- a flicking tail often denotes frustration. Look at this painting again, and you will see that this cub's tail appears to be in motion. While mom may be taking a cat nap, you had better believe that she is aware of everything around her, including junior -- and he knows that he had better mind Mamma!