DANA POINT, California (Royters) - Some artists suffer for their work. Maggie, an 11-year-old sea lion at the Dana Point Aquarium, gets to eat dead fish for hers. Dr. Ralph, a zoo trainer, has been teaching the animal to paint since last year.
"It's, in a way, enriching," Dr. Ralph told the San Clemente Sun Tribune-Review Times for Wednesday's editions. "Sea lions are very smart animals, and painting keeps their minds active."
It took three months to get the animal to hold a paint brush and touch the bristles to paper.
Dr. Ralph picks the paint colors — sea lions are colorblind — and puts paint on the brush. The paintings are done one stroke at a time, with Maggie getting a fish after each stroke.
If the animal can be said to have a style, it is this: She tends to put more paint on the right side of the canvas than the left.