“We are all creatures of one family.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
Did you know that today is World Animal Day? What a wonderful day to celebrate the richness that animals bring to our lives!
As much as I love and advocate for animals, I did not know that there was a designated day to celebrate them. In fact, World Animal Day began in 1931. October 4 was chosen as the day to celebrate it because it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi who was the patron saint of animals.
According to the official World animal Day website, its mission is as follows:
- To celebrate animal life in all its forms
- To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
- To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives
- To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives
I find this mission to be very compelling. I could easily adopt their mission and proclaim it my own, as each tenet speaks to what my animal artwork is all about.
My art not only depicts animals, it celebrates them. Not only does my art celebrate animals, it celebrates the relationships that we form with them. My art acknowledges and expresses the diversity of our connection to animals, and it celebrates our wonder and fascination with the joy that they bring to our lives. And my art is created out of an awareness and appreciation of the enrichment that animals bring to our lives.
I remember as a child that my church had a special “blessing of the Animals” service every year, and it was always my favorite spiritual celebration. My family never relented in my desire to take my cat Pyewacket to the service (he was probably grateful that I didn’t take him), but I was always thrilled to see the animals of others who did bring their pets.
Today, I will give some extra hugs to my own cats, and I will be especially mindful of the world’s tradition of remembering all animals on this date as I work on a couple of pet portraits. When people entrust me to paint a portrait of their pet, they are allowing me into their world of love, wonder and appreciation of their cherished pet. It is an honor, and a very special opportunity for me.
What will you do to celebrate World Animal Day?
Life is an Adventure!