Over the past six months I have been working periodically on a drawing of Paddy the chimp from Monkey World in Dorset UK. I have recently finished the picture and I must say it has stirred up many thoughts and memories. I find it quite ironic that as I finish the picture it will almost be the time that Jim Cronin passed away seven years ago. I cannot believe that time has flown so quickly and I have to pinch myself sometimes as it still feels like only last year. It has also reminded me that the first ever picture Jim commissioned me to draw for monkey world was that of Paddy.
Whilst watching Paddy, preparing for the drawing I noticed how much older he was and how tired he looked, I cannot help but feel a sympathetic reflection in myself. It has been lovely returning to draw a character so long after I originally drew him with so many memories and so much history in between. Paddy has reminded me how much I miss Jim Cronin and what a mentor he was to me, a kind generous visionary who shall never be forgotten not only for the work he did with animals but for him kindness and friendship.
Paddy is a rescue chimp from Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset. He is an alpha male of a strong group that makes up one of the largest communities of chimpanzees outside of Africa.