Life size otter



31.5" x 24" x 18"

Edition of 7


I was commissioned to create an American River Otter with a sheepish look on his face as he turned with a small trout in his mouth. I only work from life, and, having no friend or acquaintance from whom to borrow a live otter, I turned to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and zoos.

Ned Gilmore, Collections Manager at the Academy, generously took me into the bowels of the Academy where he handed me a box of bones. So I set about assembling them and studying the anatomy of my otter. For me it’s all about proportion and angles. Where would each bone be in relation to the others in the pose I wanted?

Then it was on to the zoos. The Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware had two American river otters. At the Philadelphia Zoo, I observed South American river otters; always in constant motion, having far too much fun to pose for me. It became clear that I must observe and then trust my memory to capture their spirited movement. The result is Tarka.