Baby Orangutan


Original Painting Medium: Graphite Pencil
Scientific Name: Pongo pygmaeus
Region: Borneo

From childhood, drawing in pencil has always been a pleasure. To study and draw this Baby Orangutan was an even greater pleasure. As soon as I saw this little chaps face, I knew I wanted to portray him and pencil seemed the appropriate medium for his portrait.

My baby orangutan portrait, was photographed at a rescue centre in Borneo by the photographer, David Barker.  and thanks to the Orangutan Foundation for giving me their permission.

Birute Galdikas, the founder of the Orangutan Foundation, has worked for the past 30+ years in the tropical rain forests in Kalimantan, (Indonesian Borneo). Birute has dedicated her life to studying, conserving and protecting orangutans, known locally as ‘men of the forest’.  Whilst doing so she has also been protecting their rainforest environment, sometimes under extremely difficult conditions.  Along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Birute is one of my heroes and I admire her tremendously for all that she has achieved to help protect our precious orangutans.

In November 2003, I learned that Birute was giving a seminar at the Zoological Society in London. I booked my tickets for the event and was absolutely delighted and honoured when, a week later, I was contacted by the O.F and asked if my ‘Baby Orangutan’ drawing could be used for the Guest Invitations for the event.

A couple of weeks later I received another call, this time inviting me to display and sell my artwork, fine art prints and greetings cards at the seminar.  I couldn’t believe my luck,  and the following weeks were extremely busy whilst printing and preparing for the event,

The evening was a super success and included speakers: Ian Redmond and Sir Terry Pratchett. I met some lovely people and sold many ‘Baby Orang’ Fine Art Prints and Greetings Cards. To be supporting Birute at the Zoological Society in London, at an Orangutan Foundation event – was a dream come true!

After the seminar Birute asked if she could purchase my ‘Baby Orangutan’ fine art print. I couldn’t believe that I was actually speaking with the lady I have admired and supported for so many years. I gave Birute my ‘Baby Orangutan’ print and she asked if I would include a personal message for her.  Whilst chatting, she explained that she recognised the baby as one she had cared for at Camp Leakey in Borneo….I was overjoyed!

To have met Birute Galdikas; my hero for so many years was a delight. For this lovely, gentle lady to also like and recognise my artwork; I was on cloud nine!

Thank you to Ashley, Lisa, Martha and everyone at the Orangutan Foundation for a great evening and Thank You Birute, for All that you do and have done, for our Orangutans.

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