"The Journey"
18x24" acrylic on canvas
(C) Cara Bevan 2010
The journal fall autumn landscape creek river otter acrylic painting
I was called upon to donate to the North Carolina Zoo’s annual benefit auction, Zoo-to-do 2010. The theme for the year wasn’t an animal like it usually was – it was Fall Ex-zoo-
berance. It focused on the colors and beauty of North Carolina autumn. The auction is helping to raise funds for the zoo and open up woodsy walking trails on their many more
acres of land. I couldn’t just paint a fall scene though. I love the colors, but I’d rather focus on an animal! I did both, by choosing the adorable local wildlife of the river otter and
using reference from the woods at my own backdoor.

River otters are an uncommon sight where I live, for our creeks are too irregular and shallow. But not far away, the playful animals have been seen in rivers and, sadly, in roads.
River otters generally live in small families consisting of a mother and her offspring. They’re always playing and can move equally well on water and land. When used to people,
they can even be posers. The two otters at the NC zoo posed for me last time I visited. They gave me the wonderful reference for this painting! Having otters in the local water is a
lucky thing to have – not just because they’re uncommon, but because they’re sensitive to pollution. Otters can tell when waters are damaged and they will leave their home to
safer areas. In the past years, ohttp://fineartamerica.com/featured/arctic-sovereign-cara-bevan.html?newartwork=truetters have been in a “threatened” status because they were
hunted for their shiny, soft fur. Several tens of thousands were hunted in one year, killing the entire population is New Mexico, Florida, and most of South Carolina. They’ve been
reintroduced to many of the affected areas are bringing back these beautiful creatures.

No matter where the river otter goes, they’re always on a journey. Maybe to the next den, maybe to fresher water, or possibly the next adventure. I’m proud to call river otters my
neighbors (even if the creeks nearby are empty…for now.)
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