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Illustration Friday—Toy

March 25, 2011

I read such sad news the other day: Knut, the polar bear born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden in 2006, who had been rejected by his mother at birth but raised by zookeepers, had died unexpectedly. Great controversy surrounded this guy but I always saw footage of him happily playing with some sort of “toy.” It is with a heavy heart that I post this, but with the hope he was happy here  but even happier now—swimming in waters cold, traveling on icebergs large, and finding fish abundant.

Click image to enlarge.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2011 7:28 pm

    aww, so cute!

  2. March 25, 2011 8:22 pm

    Too adorable!

  3. March 25, 2011 8:37 pm

    vert nice thought and post

  4. March 25, 2011 11:25 pm

    Yes, I was sadden by that news as well..
    Very heartwarming illo 🙂
    Hope he’s at a happy place!


  5. March 26, 2011 12:43 am

    OMG! How I love your drawings! And this one, so sweet and sad. Farewell beautiful bear.

  6. March 26, 2011 12:57 am

    sweet drawing

  7. March 26, 2011 2:28 am

    Wonderful again.

  8. March 26, 2011 6:57 am

    Really precious Penelope. So heartfelt too. Love the little penguin wrapped around his leg!

  9. Marjory permalink
    March 26, 2011 7:38 am

    Yet another great drawing, thanks I love your work

  10. March 26, 2011 7:53 am

    Thank you so much for your comment, Penelope.
    I’ll visit your blog from now on.

  11. March 26, 2011 8:26 am

    This is simply amazing work.

  12. March 26, 2011 9:12 am

    Thanks so much for your kind words on my site, and for visiting my son’s fledgling blog. I loved your story about being swooped upon by an owl “spirit”. Funny…the other day I told my family, “If I ever get another dog, I might get a coonhound. One of my online artist friends has one, and she seems like such a wonderful dog.”

    The story of Knut saddened me as well. I read a follow-up story that said that his post-mortem revealed he had some kind of mental illness. If that’s the case, then I’m very happy to imagine him as you’ve depicted him so beautifully… And that little penguin hugging him from behind is so amazingly sweet.
    I honestly don’t know how you create such gorgeous, life-like drawings from your head and/or photo references. I can’t seem to draw except from the real thing. I think that’s one reason people so positively to your work…it retains the artistic quality of work created by hand, with those beautiful lines, yet is so full of life!

  13. March 26, 2011 10:07 am

    Love this. The little penguin hugging him is just to sweet for words.

    RIP Knut.

  14. March 26, 2011 10:20 am

    oh… made such a beautiful ,sweet and sad illo -it was and it is such a sad story… strange enough Knut died in a mysterious circumstances 4 yo and Thomas D. his died also unexpected at 44…at least now they are again together..

  15. March 26, 2011 2:02 pm

    I am sure lots of people felt sad after reading about Knut’s sudden death.
    I guess that being rejected by your mum is a bad start in life, despite the great care of the zoo keepers that came after the rejection.
    Sad story, beautiful illustration.

  16. March 26, 2011 3:49 pm

    Süß! The penguins are terrific too!

  17. March 26, 2011 4:51 pm


    I also heard the sad news on TV.
    He was always so funny.
    You have honored his memory in a discretionary manner ;:OD)

  18. March 26, 2011 5:19 pm

    Sad story…. wonderful work and tribute Penelope.

  19. March 27, 2011 2:10 am

    What a beautiful illustration and wonderful tribute! The are ferocious beauties!

  20. March 27, 2011 1:03 pm

    There are very few pieces that make me gasp when I open them in Reader. But yours always do…the expressions are just divine and my heart breaks with falling in love every single time. You have such a gift, P! And such a moving tribute to a little bear that moved a nation and the world.

    p.s. – thanks for making me CRY this morning. XO

  21. Lili permalink
    March 28, 2011 8:07 am

    Oh so sad – I love this drawing.. You must watch ‘Polar Bear: spy on the ice’ amazing footage shot with cameras inbedded in look a like snow balls and all sorts of other things that floated or skied with cameras… a must see

  22. March 29, 2011 6:52 pm

    Awwwwwwwww. That little penguin that is hugging mr. bear in the back seems to be trying to keep him. Poor little Knut.

    Very cute and apropos. Glad to see some new work! I like that the left penguin and the bear seem to be smiling at the same scene.

  23. June 18, 2011 9:31 am

    What a beautiful tribute. Your artwork, of course, is stunning. I can’t say it enough–you are AMAZING, Penelope. One of these days you’ll be discovered and find yourself famous. ((hugs))

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