She's no Jackson Pollock, and her work may not be ready for the Museum of Modern Art. But she has joined one select group of artists: painting pachyderms.
Annabelle the Asian elephant took up painting early this year and completed her first solo effort Feb. 19. Her work is hanging in the Anchorage Zoo coffee shop.Will Soho be next?
She is only a novice, of course, but her trainer, David Hall, is convinced Annabelle is a 4-ton bundle of talent.
"I think it's good, but I'm prejudiced," he said. "I think it honestly equals any of the abstract art I've seen, but I never understood that anyway."
Annabelle's work has impressed so many people at the zoo that her works will be displayed at a show at the end of June, Hall said. And he added that he expects several of her works to sell.
Soho may be next.
Hall is Annabelle's only art critic at the moment. He says she probably does not paint as well as an elephant at the San Diego Zoo. So far he has kept seven works, including a favorite that has what looks like a black arrow on the paper.
"I don't know how she did it," he said.
To demonstrate her technique, Annabelle had a painting session Tuesday afternoon. Hall loaded a brush with blue acrylic paint and handed it to the 8,000-pound artist. Grasping the brush with the end of her flexible trunk, Annabelle began making vertical strokes on the paper.
She missed the mark about half the time and hit the mounting board. Hall had to reload the brush every few strokes because, as might be expected, Annabelle has a heavy trunk.