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June 9, 2009
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Bilbies with Bite by donnaquinn Bilbies with Bite by donnaquinn
Lucky travelers venturing deep into the outback may chance upon a burrow of the highly sociable, extremely delectable chocolate bilby. Despite a myriad of flavours including fruit and nut, toffee chip, raspberry mallow and sugar-free rice crisp, the egg-laying bilby can be broadly classified into three main varieties: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. The latter is by far the rarest- predators, such as dingoes and foxes, are all too aware that milk and dark bilbies contain theobromine, a chemical in chocolate that can be fatal when ingested by animals. However, white chocolate is free of theobromine, and these bilbies are sought after gluttonously, with many newly-unwrapped babies gobbled before their first Easter.

Chocolate bilbies are unrelated to regular bilbies, and their similar appearance is regarded as an extraordinary example of convergent evo-cookery. An inability to generate their own body heat fascinates scientists and disqualifies them from being classified as mammals, though may be explained logically. A chocolate animal making body heat in a desert is a recipe for disaster... or fondue. Therefore, chocolate bilbies incubate their eggs in the sun for a few minutes each day to maintain optimum temperatures, risking possible melting in the process. Skilled parents are able to judge the amount of heat needed to ensure perfect consistency in their offspring. Unfortunately, this strategy exposes the eggs to predation, and milk and dark chocolate bilbies will defend their white babies ferociously, in the hope their toxicity may deter predators from attack.

It should be noted that, although chocolate bilbies are harvested from the wild for sale at Easter, this is heavily regulated by the Chocolate Bilby Act 1987, and harvest quotas are considered sustainable.

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Background info:

The bilby is an endangered marsupial omnivore closely related to bandicoots. Chocolate "Easter bilbies" are sold throughout Australia (the more traditional rabbit is a serious pest which competes with bilbies). "Darrell Lea" is the only manufacturer to donate a portion of their profits to bilby conservation.
This artwork has been donated to the "Save the Bilby Fund" [link] , which is based in Queensland, Australia. I hope they can auction/ raffle it and raise a bit extra to ensure the survival for these cute little critters!
Other species shown include the Centralian blue-tongue (a skink), Sturt's desert pea (red flowers), and desert oak (trees with weeping foliage). These endemic species were chosen to contrast with the feral red fox- arguably Australia’s most devastating pest.

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Acrylic, 71 x 51.5 cm (28 x 20). You may follow this work’s step-by-step progress: [link] , or see a concept sketch: [link] .
Add a Comment:
 
:iconadam-ant2:
adam-ant2 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014
Happy Easter, foxy!
Reply
:iconeverch:
Everch Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just love the humorous description! I was halfway through looking at your gallery when I noticed that most of your work includes these clever little stories... so I start to start looking through your gallery all over again. You do some great work.
Reply
:iconjames-dark-blue-wolf:
Nice I like it
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cheers; thanks mate.
Reply
:iconjames-dark-blue-wolf:
James-Dark-Blue-Wolf Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
Your welcome
Reply
:iconfartsmasher:
FartSmasher Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011
What a cute and strangely delicious looking critter :)
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Speaking as someone who has devoured plenty of chocolate Bilbies at Easter time, yes, they are delicious!
Reply
:iconx-ray0128:
X-Ray0128 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
This is pretty cool. I love your art
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a bunch, glad you liked it!
Reply
:iconx-ray0128:
X-Ray0128 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009
You're Welcome
Reply
:iconbueshang:
Bueshang Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2009   Artist
I like how you brought out the assie aspect of Easter will the bilbies that we have instead or rabbits :D
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely! Go bilbies! Down with bunnies! Etc. But why do the bunnies have to be so CUTE? Oh well, bilbies still win.
Reply
:iconbueshang:
Bueshang Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2009   Artist
Ether way you still eat there ears first :D
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh yes. Man I'd love some chocolate right now. Would take the afterburn of all those red chillies out of my mouth. @_@
Reply
:iconmilkykittycookie:
MilkyKittyCookie Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009
For sale?!
I love it!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I donated it to the "Save the Bilby Fund" based in Queensland, Australia; hopefully they can make some money off it.
Glad you liked it! Thanks very much. :)
Reply
:iconmilkykittycookie:
MilkyKittyCookie Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009
Are they still selling it there?
I cannot access that page.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As far as I know, they were planning to auction it off, however they'd probably be very pleased to arrange a private sale. If you can't access the pages I've linked below, just let me know and I'll note you with their e-mail address (I don't know if I should put it in a comment).

The Save the Bilby Fund homepage is: [link] and the page of contacts is [link] .

Hope these links work! Best wishes,

Donna.
Reply
:iconmilkykittycookie:
MilkyKittyCookie Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2009
If I can't find it I'll think about others. I need some art for my room.
Many thanks!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know the feeling- I need more art for my place too. You're welcome! Hope you have a good week. :)
Reply
:iconravenfeatherangel:
RavenFeatherAngel Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
LOVE this piece! It combines good humour - the idea of CHOCOLATE-Bilbies hatching from tinfoil-eggs! :heart: - with education! New things I learned:

- The fact that in Australia Bilbies got the job of the easterbunny - makes sense, I knew that rabbits are a pest down there

- The fact that the fox is SUCH a danger to the local wildlife. Heard about foxes and cats and dogs being a serious problem, but didn't know details, e.g. that the fox seems to be especially problematic... it's such a sad thing that men f***ed up Australias ecosystem so much! Hope that we WILL learn from it!

-I'd never heard of those curious looking trees called desert oaks, neither of desert peas :)

So thanks for broadening my horizon! Shows that you actually CAN teach serious things in a funny way :)
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why thank you! I'm glad you learnt so much stuff from this. And thank you for such a thoughtful comment. You'll be pleased to know that this painting has been donated to raise funds for the "Save the Bilby Fund", so hopefully it can used for both education and, ultimately, conservation. :)
Reply
:iconhotmetal53:
hotmetal53 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
Lovely! Altho it looks like the fox is about to take a leak on the poor bilbies. What a waste that would be!
--
Allen Brown [link]
I must decline your invitation owing to a subsequent engagement. --- Oscar Wilde
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:rofl: That's possible, given that they're probably yelling out rude things to the fox! Thanks for the entertaining comment!
Reply
:iconhotmetal53:
hotmetal53 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
And still the fox refuses to leave... the country.
--
Allen Brown [link]
Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice"? --- George Carlin
Reply
:iconyelhalk:
yelhalk Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
I love the descriptions of your paintings! Very nice work, and keep it up!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much. I wish I could paint as fast as the ideas come, but I bet every artist here has that same problem!
Reply
:iconshadowwolf:
Shadowwolf Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aw jeez this is just fantastic. The texture of the eggs are so cool :omfg: GOOD JOB!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much. :) I was pretty happy with how the eggs turned out, particularly the one nearest the lizard. Best wishes.
Reply
:iconwendyf:
wendyf Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2009
Oh Donna :D...is wonderful...but now I want choccies!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've been having so much chocolate lately- I blame this pic. Thanks Wendy. :hug:
Reply
:iconwendyf:
wendyf Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
Doing research for the pic...that's what it was!:giggle:
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why does it always have to end in tears for the subject matter? :/
Reply
:iconsorrowking:
sorrowking Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
Do I even have to say it?.....Socks rocked!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
We're online at the same time, mate. :) That means I can read your mind, I think....
Anyway, silliness (momentarily) aside, thanks for the comment!
Reply
:iconsorrowking:
sorrowking Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
Indeed it does! Please ignore any filthy thoughts that randomly wander through my mind. Im a male and its what we do ;)
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fair enough, I appreciate your warning, but I doubt even the most sordid thoughts would stop me thinking about chocolate. (I've been thinking about chocolate a fair bit since uploading this.)
Reply
:iconkoishii-kitty:
koishii-kitty Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
truely you have some amazing stuff, but i really love this one! it is so amusing, and i love how you arranged the composition! the foil wrapper eggs is just great.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much. :) If the pic wasn't so busy as it is, I would have put pretty patterns on all the eggs. I'm glad you liked it, and thanks so much for the comment. :hug:
Reply
:iconvioletice:
violetice Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
This totally cracked me up as I scrolled down. Having the chocolate bilbies "break" out of their eggs is a genius idea. And man the way you've rendered the crinkled metal foil is amazing
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
At first I had the foil right in front of me, but it was virtually impossible to keep track of the reflections- turn your head and the whole thing changes. I took some photos- photo references work a treat for tackling things like this!
Thanks for the comment! :hug:
Reply
:iconkatmomma:
Katmomma Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Professional Artist
wow this is a beautiful painting! I'm really speechless from the fantastic depth this piece! Has great harmony, unity and balance in color and shapes as well. Wonderful job here! :love:
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, thank you very much! I had such a hard time balancing this pic, so to hear your comment has boosted my confidence. Thanks so much! :D
Reply
:iconsada-chan:
Sada-Chan Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Both cute and cool looking! I love it~<3
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much. :) I think they're cute too, but I couldn't guarantee their safety at my place.
Reply
:iconsada-chan:
Sada-Chan Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yeah... same here XD
Reply
:iconleahck:
LeahCK Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very beautiful! Your attention to detail is amazing and the whole concept of the piece is plotted out really well. Great piece!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks; Easter made me think of painting nothing but chocolate!!
Reply
:iconleahck:
LeahCK Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconheadphonerexic:
Headphonerexic Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009   Traditional Artist
A well-though out story, and the detail is amazing.
Reply
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