Friday, October 18, 2013

Fixing the World With an Angry Russian Fox

I was walking to Starbucks the other day, and in front of me on the covered walkway was this little toddler.
In the body language book I just read, this is the most relaxed, open and receptive posture possible for a human being. Arms wide open, belly exposed, nothing hidden, nothing feared - ready for anything. It was such a joyful little trot. Now look at the arms on his dad. While I doubt that his dad felt that he was going to be eaten by a shark at that particular moment, he has been taught that adults don't run down to Starbucks with their arms wide open, experiencing everything sort of recklessly.  So he holds his arms close to his body, guarding all the soft spots, not drawing attention to himself unnecessarily.

When does that switch get flipped, I wonder?

Then, my sister told me to watch the NOVA show - Dogs Decoded. This is a must watch if you have never seen it. They just reveal some incredible things about dogs and the dog-human relationship. It was absolutely fascinating.

During a sequence at the end, where a woman in Russia was studying some very angry foxes to see if they could develop a similar relationship with humans, she made a very profound statement that reminded me of this little boy.

In discussing selecting and breeding foxes specifically for gentle personalities, she said:

When you select against aggression, you're selecting juvenile traits.

Unless your baby is Damien from the Omen, he's not aggressive. Same with puppies and kittens and foxes. Babies are fun. Little things tend to be more fun, more relaxed, less bitey than big things.

When you're having just a howler of a good time, laughing until you're about to pass out, odds are you're feeling a little juvenile, no?

I thought it was a very interesting statement.

I bet if we all ran through the world with our bellies exposed and our arms in the air, it would be a more peaceful place. A sillier place.

I made you a juvenile card today to illustrate my point. Today's Mix-Ability challenge is to do a CAS mixed media card.

So I thought since I was thinking about childlike attitudes, I would use only primary colors.

All three panels are watercolor paper.

The red panel I sprayed with rubbing alcohol and dropped Adirondack Watermelon and Sunset Orange alcohol inks onto.

The yellow panel I painted with Golden Fluid Acrylic in Hansa Yellow Medium and Liquitex Cadmium Orange.

The blue panel is watercolor - Tempting Turquoise, Bermuda Bay and Orchid Opulence reinkers.

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Joy to the world. :)



  1. Beautiful! And yeah, we need to be more like that kid.

  2. Oh, and that reminds me...


  3. Love your CAS card. Each panel is pretty just on its own too!!

    I watched that documentary on dogs too. I was surprised to learn that you can't just take a fox or a wolf, raise it in a domestic environment and expect it to turn out like a dog. My son wanted one of the domesticated foxes after we watched the show. :)

  4. I love your card. Interesting thoughts about childlike behavior. Of course from someone who loves crayons, markers, paint, paper...I think I'm in a constant childlike state. HAPPY!

  5. Well, it took me all day but I finally had a moment to come and read the post about this card and see how you created these three panels. They are gorgeous and I am so glad you shared how they were created.

    Fascinating reading! Wouldn't it be fun for just a minute to run down our favorite shopping area waving my arms. My teens don't even let me sing in the car, can you imagine what they might do if I started raising my arms and running to Panera!

  6. This is absolutely Wonderful! The colours are delicious and rich. I love your blog and find it so inspiring. I am off to Starbucks and promise to run at least part of the way with my arms up! :-) Thanks, Janet


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