In the cold waters of the Arctic, the largest member of the sea tuber family is the great tusked yam. Weighing up to two tons, the yams of the north are ungainly on land but sleek and graceful in the water. Both male and female yams have tusks, which they use to root around the sea floor, and very rarely, in combat between large males. The yams travel in large family groups, and while a polar pear may occasionally snag a very young or old and rotten yam, the adult yam has no natural predators. They can often be found sunning themselves on rocky outcroppings in summer, or rooting on the shifting icefloes in winter.
Acrylic, 16 x 20. I promised you more Weird Fruit! (Okay, it’s a Weird Vegetable. Close enough…) While I painted this mostly to tackle painting the ocean in acrylic, which I’d never really tried before, I think the color contrast came out well. The downside, as I realized early on, was that a yam on a rock looks a bit like…well…Something Else on a rock. I obsessed about this for a bit, until I realized that a walrus flopped on a rock, as much as I love them, is also kind of a brown tapered lump, and there was no getting away from the resemblance unless I made Boreal Artichokes or something. The original is for sale, and whether the buyer tells guests that it’s a painting of Boreal Yams, or of…Boreal…something else…is Not My Problem. - Ursula Vernon