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July 27, 2014
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Despedida Vaquita ( 'Goodbye Vaquita' ) by namu-the-orca Despedida Vaquita ( 'Goodbye Vaquita' ) by namu-the-orca
Species depicted: Vaquita, Gulf of California porpoise or Desert porpoise (Phocoena sinus)
Time taken: unrecorded, but many
References used: www.whaletrackers.com/wp-conte… 3.bp.blogspot.com/-1-RQ-6Emytg… www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2008/0… cdn1.arkive.org/media/43/43C27… cdn1.arkive.org/media/0F/0F175… d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/272521… coolbackgroundscreen.com/wp-co…
Tools of the trade: Photoshop CS5


The Vaquita, or Desert porpoise, is not only one of the smallest of all cetaceans but also the most endangered of all marine mammals. Only an estimated 150 remain in the northernmost tip of the Gulf of California, and dozens die each year in the gillnets of local shrimp fishermen. Vaquitas are gorgeous little porpoises, handsomely marked with big black spots around the eye, varying shades of grey on their flanks and black-lined lips that give them a haunting smile, even in death. With the Baiji lost to us only so recently, it would be horribly sad to lose another cetacean species to human activity. And we will lose the Vaquita, soon, if nothing is done about the situation. Several groups are working hard to find a solution that will not only help the Vaquita, but will also allow the fishermen to keep making a living. You can go to www.vivavaquita.org/ for more info on the Vaquita, what's being done and how you can help, or watch this beautiful video:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA8X9a…

As a member of the Muskwa club, a student-based organisation whose aim is to prevent the Vaquita from going extinct, I had promised a painting like this for quite a while. The early beginnings were already made in April, although the painting looked very different back then; it showed a couple of Vaquita, dead on a stainless steel table - the whole inspired by this very sad photo: ww1.sinaimg.cn/large/657e3a51t… However, I got stuck trying to make an actual, finished painting out of my quick primary sketch, and it was then that I threw the whole idea out the window. In a flash of inspiration out came the sunset, the beach and the unfortunate Vaquita, and it's the idea I stuck with. So now, almost three months later, it is finally finished. Some parts were fun to do, some hard and some plain boring, but I am overall very pleased with the end result.

I hope you enjoy it as well and maybe have learned, or will learn more about this exquisite porpoise's plight. If we work together, we hopefully never will have to say 'Despedida Vaquita' and can cheer 'Viva Vaquita!' instead :)


COPYRIGHT NOTICE
All submissions in this gallery, be it photos, paintings or drawings, are copyrighted to me, Namu-the-orca (Frédérique Lucas). No one has the right to alter, distribute, copy or use my art without my written permission unless stated otherwise. My submissions are NOT stock
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:icondolphingurl21stuff:
dolphingurl21stuff Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
i want to make vaquita OC now! poor babies, DIEING NEAR MY STATE? NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!
Reply
:iconahzuriel:
Ahzuriel Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a beautiful and extremely moving piece. You are an incredible artist. Thank you for raising awareness of these poor little guys!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for your wonderful words! It's very sad indeed, but at least not sad without a cause. If only a few people have learnt about the Vaquita's plight this way, I'd be extremely content already :)
Reply
:iconhysazu:
Hysazu Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Stunning and heart wrenching. Your art continually inspires me! 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a very sad thing indeed, especially with the latest news on the species. Very glad you enjoyed the painting though :)
Reply
:iconthementaljournal:
TheMentalJournal Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014
Vaquita recovery fund:
Please take a moment to vote for 
Monterey Bay Diving for a grant from Chase for their Side Scan Sonar to help clean the Ocean from lost fishing gear and trash. Currently in the Monterey Bay area a fair number of whales and other marine life are getting caught/trapped in fishing gear. Cast your vote at the link below! Thank you for your support!
www.missionmainstreetgrants.co…
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Voted! Thanks for letting me know :D
Reply
:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
This is one of the most beautiful paintings I've ever seen.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much :love:
Reply
:icontwiggystone:
TwiggyStone Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Wow, this is very good. Poor little thing. ):
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! Very sad indeed though :(
Reply
:iconaltair75:
Altair75 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014   Photographer
How impressive. So detailed. The red sunset symbolizes the fact that time is running out.

There's no doubt that many whale species have lost much of their healthy, safe and peaceful habitats. I have read how common the harbour porpoise was 60 years ago. For instance, they were common in the entire Baltic Sea, they had even been observed all the way to Lake Ladoga. Nowadays, the situation is very different due to a number of factors, including over-fishing, environmental toxins and noise pollution.

Thank you so much for letting us know of this extremely endangered, but such beautiful species. I appreciate it. :) (Smile) 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for your kind comment :hug: Creating art like this is the least I can do to help our Desert porpoise, especially since there's so little else I can do from over here. I'd also heard about the Harbour porpoise's decline, it's very sad indeed. People seem to be rather easily satisfied with what they have right now in terms of animals - if only people could see what used to be, and how much has been lost already. Maybe then they'd work a little harder to preserve, and perhaps even bring back, some of the amazing animals we share the planet with.
Reply
:iconaltair75:
Altair75 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014   Photographer
You're welcome. :) (Smile)

Agree. I hope that people's short-sightedness would stop in time.
Reply
:iconlunchi:
Lunchi Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
Great art! Featured it on my facebook. It looks so realistic and is an important topic.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! Also for featuring it on fb, the more people it reaches, the better (I just hope you did put a link back to this deviation in the post?)
Reply
:iconlunchi:
Lunchi Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014
yes. And yes when I put the link into facebook it puts a thumbnail of a screenshot of your work on the deviantart site and if people click on it to enlargen, they land right here on your work so its a real link even.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah okidoki, that's great, thanks :)
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for this gorgeous, incredibly sad artwork. It breaks the heart of every viewer and helps to raise awareness for all the unique endangered species on this planet. :heart:

I've heard about the Vaquita before and I truly hope that all the efforts for saving it will be successful.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's wonderful to hear you'd heard of the Vaquita's plight before - let's hope many more people like you will follow. Thanks so much for your comment :hug:
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank YOU for creating and sharing this wonderful artwork and raising awareness for this beautiful species. :hug: I'm sure it will be seen by many other people who care. :)
Reply
:iconanoorca:
AnoOrca Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The realism of your work never ceases to amaze me, and you always perfectly portray the mood you seem to be going for in each painting! Such a tragic image and situation, but a beautiful species.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so very much AnoOrca, truly great compliments you sent my way there :hug: Vaquita indeed are stunning looking porpoises, such a shame if they'd go extinct.
Reply
:iconanoorca:
AnoOrca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome! :hug: :aww:
Indeed :( Truth be told, I had never heard of them until I saw this painting; I fear the same is true for many people :(
Reply
:iconbb-bullets:
BB-Bullets Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014   Digital Artist
  • Not only is this piece an incredible testament to the Vaquitas' that are dying out and need to be preserved, but an incredible piece of art that stands out. The title "Good Bye Vaquitas" is so sad by itself. Seeing the actual Vaquitas in the net looks like the real deal. At first I thoght it was a picture it's that well drawn. It really emotionally provocative and brings attention to the harsh reality of these poor creatures. It's so sad this is the reality we face right now, but if people can draw more attention to it like you then maybe this active travesty can be stopped before it becomes a tragedy.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so very much for your kind words :hug: The realities of our times are extremely sad ones indeed, and we'll all need to muster up the courage to face them, and do something about it. Sadly it was recently announced that the latest survey revealed less than 100 Vaquitas are still remaining, so I'm afraid this might be a fight we've already lost :(
Reply
:iconbb-bullets:
BB-Bullets Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014   Digital Artist
It is unfortunate that this is a reality and that it does appear to be a loosing battle. Though maybe like the bison that nearly went existing in the United States the Vaquitas' can make a come back? So long as there are a few left there's still hope. However small it may be, maybe something will change. One can always hope, and so long as we don't stop bringing awareness they may not go by the way side as a species! 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, who knows, some species have truly come back from the brink (think Arabian oryx who went from 'Extinct in the wild' to Vulnerable and the amazing story of the Black robin whose population was restored with only 5 remaining birds, only one of which was female). If those gillnets are taken out of the water pronto, the Vaquita may still have a fighting chance :)
Reply
:iconbb-bullets:
BB-Bullets Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014   Digital Artist
I concure, there is still a chance. Though it may be small maybe they can survive. Hopefully they will extract the gill nets. 
Reply
:iconitsgoose2u:
Itsgoose2u Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow this painting is so incredible Namu. Your paintings are always so gorgeous but this one is especially haunting. It looks like it could be a photograph. The poor Vaquitas, they're so beautiful. Their situation is so sad, but I'm glad you brought attention to it. I'm sure many more are now aware of their plight because of this :hug:
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much Goose, very glad you like the painting as well :aww: I too hope many people will see this and, as a consequence, learn a little about our little Desert porpoise. Hopefully it's not too late yet, if only those gillnets would be taken out..
Reply
:iconinfinitenosferatu:
InfiniteNosferatu Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Cry run 
Reply
:icongoldenliontamarin:
goldenliontamarin Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student General Artist
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, thank you Aidan, that's fantastic! :D Let's hope it reaches many, many people
Reply
:icongoldenliontamarin:
goldenliontamarin Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Student General Artist
I know it will.
Reply
:iconharrojessica:
Harrojessica Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
this is so sad
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah it is, but luckily it's not too late yet - there's still time to turn this around and save the little Desert porpoise :)
Reply
:iconwickedlovelyfaery:
wickedlovelyfaery Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Very powerful piece, well done! 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much :D
Reply
:iconbunnybiscuit:
bunnybiscuit Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Holy moly i feel so sorry for the Porpoise, looks just like a photo!! Incredible work especially on the shine of her skin!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, it's so sad to realise how many drown in fishing gear like that. Vaquitas can actually hold their breath for quite long, but when they get entangled they panic so much that they die really quickly :( Thank you very much, that was one of my favourite parts as well to paint :D
Reply
:iconshadow-and-flame-86:
Shadow-and-Flame-86 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
this is amazing Namu, beautiful work put to brilliant use to highlight a species in distress. Love it so much, great work!
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much Kelly, let's hope many people will learn about the Vaquita because of it :D
Reply
:iconhermundure:
Hermundure Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fascinating painting for a sad situation :-/
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much :hug: It's a sad reality indeed :c
Reply
:iconauroradragon2272:
AuroraDragon2272 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
TT_TT
Reply
:iconeatenribs:
EatenRibs Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
did you entered to the contest????
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What contest do you mean? :)
Reply
:iconeatenribs:
EatenRibs Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
the one in the facebook page about  La Vaquita, it says something about students and in his website asks about sending drawings to united nations to ask help mexico with their efforts to save La Vaquita :(

please send it , its really sad that these animasl will become extinct very soon :(
thanks to ur drawing made me notice about it and i will donate to them asap 
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I found a mention of a drawing contest on the Viva Vaquita facebook page, but it doesn't say anything about sending your drawing to the United Nations - could you maybe send me a link?

Oh and it's great to hear you will be donating!
Reply
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