Raju The Elephant, Freed, Cries Tears of Joy

The Day the Elephant Cried

The rescue took place under the cover of darkness, as fewer people would be around for the dangerous rescue and the animal could be protected from the heat of the sun   This is the incredible story of Raju, an Indian Elephant held in spiked chains for FIFTY YEARS by over 25 different owners, beaten, starved, using Raju to beg.  The North London charity “WILDLIFE – SOS” was alerted by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Deptartment, then they arranged for a secret court order to rescue him, and transport him in the dark of night to a game reserve 350 miles away.  Once rescued, he was loaded into an open-top lorry, given additional sedation and escorted 350 miles to the charity's Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura  The veterinarian (below) who cut his shackles said Raja cried, Wildlife SOS vet Dr Yaduraj Khadpekar tries to free Raju from the chains which he was kept in for 50 years tears rolled down the elephant’s face when he was freed. Raju knew, the team said, they had come to help him. The long, arduous journey that followed has brought him to safety inside THE ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND CARE CENTER in Mathura.  And his life begins.  And it happened, they all noted, on America’s Independence Day, too.  Freedom. Freedom is the most essential element of life.  >>>(Full Story, UK Daily Mail)<<<

(UK Daily Mail) “Raju the elephant was left bleeding from spiked shackles and living on hand-outs from passing tourists after he was capured and tied up by his ‘owner’.

Ms Binepal said: ‘The poachers either slaughter the mother, or they drive the herd into traps that are small enough only for the babies to fall into. The mother cries for her baby for days after he’s been stolen – it is a sickening trade. The calves are then tied and beaten until they submit to their owners – their spirits are effectively broken.

‘We discovered Raju’s case was particularly tragic.

‘He’d been poached as a calf and then he has been sold on and sold on. Incredibly we believe he has had up to 27 owners – he’s been treated as a commodity every two years of his life.

‘By the time we found him in July 2013 he was in a pathetic condition. He had no shelter at night, and was being used as a prop to beg from dawn until dusk from tourists visiting the sites of India.

‘He hasn’t been fed properly and tourists started giving him sweet food items and because he was in a state of hunger and exhaustion he began eating plastic and paper. 

But, after 50 years of torture, the animal cried tears of relief after he was rescued by a wildlife charity in a daring midnight operation – fittingly on American

Over the weekend, Raju received emergency medical attention to his wounds as well as a bath and food

Independence Day.”

Safe at last.  Bless the hearts of all who saved Raju:  the 10 Veterinarians and Wildlife Workers of Uttar Pradesh Forest Department of India, the 20 Forestry Officers, 6 Policemen, the Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Mathura, and the North London Charity Team: WILDLIFE SOS.    

Bless Raju most of all.

North London-based charity Wildlife SOS stepped in to save Raju after learning of his plight in IndiaWILDLIFE SOS (London) is hoping to raise £10,000 for Raju’s continued care in the ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND CARE CENTER in Mathura, India.


SPARHAWK PAINTINGS ~~ Now on Tote Bags & Pillows!!

A brand new feature on my fabulous RedBubble~Australia site! 

Trevor's Treasure Island by Barbara Sparhawk

They now offer prints of ALL MY HUNDREDS OF PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS displayed with them, printed on TOTE BAGS and PILLOWS !! They’re really pretty, sturdy canvas, black handles, and the paintings on both sides.  They’re an excellent price, in the range of $15 – $20.  And of course, there it is, every day you head out the door or to the beach,

Jody's Fragrant Garden by Barbara Sparhawk

the hills or dales, office or playing field, an original piece of Sparhawk Art, totally unique, beautiful colors, and on top of that….practical. 

The Cat Who Loved Flowers by Barbara Sparhawk

(From the Redbubble Site:) “Enter the Redbubble Tote bag.

An especially durable, poly poplin fabric, double sided, full bleed printed, incredibly beautiful carrying device. With a comfortable black cotton shoulder strap and available in three sizes there’s no limit to the exciting things you can carry about. Or the amount of alcohol you can sneak into work.


  • Selected design printed on both sides
  • Three square sizes available: 13”, 16”, 18″
  • 1” wide super strong cotton shoulder strap
  • Soft yet hard-wearing 100% spun Polyester Poplin fabric
  • Capable of carrying a potentially infinite amount of exciting things.”

Dragon Fly Paradisio by Barbara Sparhawk

Xena, Yellow Rock Star Lab by Barbara Sparhawk          Lady Bug Voyager by Barbara Sparhawk


      Take a look on RedBubble ~ Australia.  Thanks for coming by!

Click here>>>>>SPARHAWK on REDBUBBLE      for a Visit

PS     I’ve been with RedBubble for about 5 years and have never once disappointed in the work they do for me. They’re always first class, totally professional, to be trusted for good products!

Back From the Wars~~ I’m Home Again. (New Painting.)


I’m Home Again. 

New Painting. Oil on Canvas.  24 X 18 inches.

This is a new oil painting filled with rich color from the early sunlight hitting land and man.  I guess I’m still a New Yorker at heart, today the 9-11 memorial museum opened on Ground Zero. Apparently they got it right, it’s moving to witness. 

This is for the survivors of wars, and for remembering those who did not.  I’ve been working on it about a month and this is a good day to call up the importance of vibrant life, of plowing in again, and heading for whatever comes next. Thank you American soldiers, firemen, NYPD, all of you on the front lines…..for your service and your sacrifice.

A returning American soldier.  Back From the WarsHe’s come back from the wars, back from far away places to the farm he had been working the years before he left.  Land that is his, and familiar, his friend, his tough enemy, land that he loves and in many ways what he’s been fighting for.

Back From the Wars, Center Detail

Early this morning in the light of dawn the soldier farmer fires up his old tractor.  He plows head-on into land that needs civilizing, that needs him, and filled with the joy of it, he keenly feels his survival. 

Back From the Wars, upper left detail

The house and shop he built get the first rays of sun in the upper left hand corner, daylight pouring through the woods and over the hillside; his pick-up on the road, just emptied from a haul of materials. Center and leading right, his trees, his bridge, still shrouded in mist, lead to his barn and cow. They face his pond in air bright and moist. Bits of blue sky above them signal the beginning of his new day.Back From the Wars, upper right detail

Original Oil Painting on canvas (24 X 18 inches)  



Available for Sale at

The  Hawks  Perch  Gallery  of The Historic Farm Center

Carmel Valley Road at Robinson Canyon Turnoff

5  Miles from the Coast.

Open 11-4 Every Day.

Back From the Wars


Cradle of the Sun


Oil on Canvas  50 X 30 inches

New Seascape Painting

Cradle of The Sun, fullDetail ~~ Cradle of the Sun

Cradle of The Sun, detailCRADLE OF THE SUN

There’s a storm coming in from far away places 

~~ sweeping up water, spray marking its path ~~ dark and fierce on a gentle cove.  Still visible inside fast-moving formations, the Sun is cradled by its cloudy banks. The golden strength hits boulders and quiet foreground pools which will be next to feel the crash of wind and sea. Large birds take  frenzy flight. And a viewer’s ready chair says ”Come to me”….a kind of magic seating….a match to the heady seascape beyond, and below, and around it.

This is a large canvas, the painting in oils. I started it several months ago, it went through considerable evolutions.  But when I began to surround the sun with clouds I could suddenly see their purpose.  It was to cradle the heavenly body, all fiery and gold the Sun, for the duration, then to open up and bring it back again to land swept clean, the Earth, its province.

Garden Rising

New Painting, May 2014


Oil on Wood. 36″ X 30″

Garden Rising, fullDetail of The Garden Is Rising

Garden Rising, left topGarden Rising, Right bottom

Come see this oil painting by Barbara Sparhawk

and so much more at

The Hawks Perch Gallery

The Historic Farm Center

9700 Carmel Valley Road at Robinson Canyon Road

Gallery Hours 11-4 Every Day



Thought to do some painting on the lovely bits of wood about the studio. Whole different experience, painting on wood.

This is  new. I don’t know if the view is through an opened door or window, maybe standing outside under the moon. I liked the cozy feel of it, the varied background from left to right. Very much really the way I live, as if inside a greenhouse. And I am at work continuously to bypass walls between two such events. Mentally and physically.

It’s name is   Night. Outside Inside.  Oil on Wood.  Old plank of pine. Probably. Maybe 12 X 36 inches

Night, Outside Inside, full image

Night, Outside Inside. Outside

Night, Outside Inside, Detail 1

Night, Outside Inside, Detail 2Night, Outside Inside, lilyNight, Outside Inside, full image                       Available for Sale. 

The Hawks Perch Gallery of the Historic Farm Center. 9700 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. Or email sparhawk@barbarasparhawk.com

for more details.

Better yet come for a visit! Open 11-4 daily.

Thanks for stopping by.



NEW PAINTINGS ~~~March 2014

                  Here are 4 brand new, original Sparhawk oil paintings. 

The original of    The Water LiliesLilies, Rowboat, Dock. Full. Dark has been re-worked since I first posted it. It’s a large canvas, about 36 X 30.  I had a splendid time continuing, developing and enriching the details, adding much including a rowboat and oar with an invisible enthusiast, the rope left behind wrapped ’round a sunken tree limb, and draped up at a dock. It is the product of a childhood memory.

Lilies, Rowboat, left


The Dawn Pond is two 12 X 12 inch canvases side by side. Farm Pond, Ducks, TwoFarm, Pond, Ducks. Right



Farm Pond, left, upper detail

  Road to the Pond 

Road to the Pond, full, bright

Both Dawn Pond and Road to the Pond (12 X 12 inches, oil on canvas) are from my photographs of the wild in the woods farm I’d rented in Virginia, less than a mile from Harper’s Ferry. It was sixty acres in the Blue Ridge range, log cabin, out buildings and barn from the mid 1800′s, and so striking in its varied landscape from meadows and ponds, hills with thick underbrush and tall trees, wild roses and wild flowers, an abandoned asparagus patch near the old stone garden house, wild berries, thousands of birds, owls and eagles, frogs and snakes, fox, bear, and mountain lions…..you name it….the lively and fabulous American woods.  I’m going to start painting more of those years. 

Camelias in Glass Bowl, FullThe Camelias, Camelias In Glass Bowl, detail whitewhich were painted from local bushes here, white Camelias to the left and hot pink camelias to the right of my Carmel Valley Gallery door, The Hawks Perch.  I believe I found myself slipped into Gauguin’s palette here. In the process I discovered that Gauguin came to his marvelously intense darks, which he used abundantly in shadows and plants, by adding an off yellow like Turner’s Yellow maybe, to black, producing a wonderful green highlight.  He’d also use rust/orange in interesting blocks or spots, and blues nearby. I don’t ordinarily use such combinations but was pleased to find it for the dark Camelia leaves, and the colors around them.

Come for a visit! THE HAWKS PERCH GALLERY, The Farm Center, Carmel Valley Road at

Robinson Canyon Road.  Open 11 ~ 4 Every Day!