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A Typical Box Turtle
How do turtles affect the art world? After walking the earth with prehistoric dinosaurs and now co-habitating with humankind, turtles remarkably have maintained their basic appearance with a body and protective shell. However, the major noticeable mutations through their long existence on this earth include a reduced size, lack of teeth, and the new ability to tuck their heads safely inside their shells.

The turtle's long life span and slow sturdy movements motivate many cultures to use turtles as a representation of longevity. The turtle also finds themselves as the subject of many mythological creation stories and various artwork, such as paintings, sculptures, poems, and songs.

Popular Turtle Creation Myths :
  • Greek - Apparently Apollo constructed the first lyre by stretching strings across the shell of a sea turtle, who sacrificed his life for music.

  • Hindu - The belief is that the world was created by three elephants rising out of the ocean on the back of a gigantic turtle

  • Chinese - The turtle is the inspiration for the creation of the I-Ching, the Chinese book of change. On the turtle's shell, 12 scutes are located on each margin, representing the 12 months of the year. The four lateral scutes that flank the sides of the shell resemble the four seasons. Lastly, the five central scutes represent the five elements.

  • Mexico - Praise the turtle along with the same passion as the Goddess of Flowers.

  • Famous Turtle Cartoons
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles :
    Created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in a comic parodying poplar comics of the 1980s, such as Marvel Comics' Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim's Cerebus and Frank Miller's Ronin. The four fictional turtles fight crime from their home in the sewers of Manhattan using ninja skills taught to them by their sensai, Splinter. The comic spawned a television series and a collection of movies devoted to the turtle action figures.

    Yertle the Tertle
    Written in 1958 as a anapestic tetrameter by Dr. Suess, Yertle the Tertle is a book that expresses Dr. Suess's dislike of absolute power and fascism. The story is about a turtle who gains absolute power over the other turtles, much like Hitler at this time, but he falls off his perch and ends a ruler of none.

    Koopa Troopa
    Koopa Troupas are a set of turtles led by Bouser that are the mortal enemy of the Super Mario brothers family. The digitized turtles march on foot as little drones with the sole goal of twarted the plans of the Super Mario Brother protagonists.

    Franklin the Turtle
    Move over Barney, a new reptile has stolen the hearts of preschool children looking for fun and adventure with a cute little cartoon turtle. Franklin goes on learning adventures with his friends Bear, Snail, Rabbit, Beaver, and Goose in order to discover the world around them.

    The television series is based on the best-selling books by Paulette Bourgeois (writer) and Brenda Clark (illustrator) and published by Kids Can Press Ltd. in Canada and by Scholastic Inc. in the U.S. Franklin, TV series, originally aired on Canadian Family Network in 1997. Its popularity spanned to American and even was translated into other languages, such as French.

    After five seasons, the show ended production in 1999, but various straight to DVD movies such as Franklin and the Green Knight (2000), Franklin's Magic Christmas (2001), Back to School with Franklin (2003).

    Meet Koopa - The Box Turtle Artist

    Koopa The Turtle Artist
     Yes, a cute little box turtle from Connecticut paints with water colors on a canvas. His owner, Kira Varszegi, chooses the paints, then dabs them onto a canvas. Koopa slides across the paints splashing around like he is playing in the mud. His little belly helps form the swirls that give his paintings character. The end result is a magnificent watercolor painting that often times sparks bidding wars between multiple people on ebay.

    Koopa has sold his paintings in many countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany. The proceeds from the sales of his paintings help benefit turtle charities, such as the Massachusetts Turtle Rescue Inc. in Springfield, Massachusets. Koopa was even featured in the 2006 edition of Ripley's Believe it or Not. As of 2008, Koopa the turtle artist is 27 years old and has settled into retirement after 5 years of painting over 800 unbelievable works of turtle art.

    Koopa was made famous by displaying artwork all over the web on sites like ebay and myspace. Many bloggers and turtle enthusiasts are mesmerized by Koopa the Turtle's artistry. According to his owner, Kira, Koopa loves to watch Wheel of Fortune and deems Pat Sajak as a personal hero. Hmm -- I would have expected Donatello, Michealangelo, Leonardo, or Rapheal, but he is obviously into more cultural entertainment like word games.
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    Cool Stuff
    Box Turtle Yard Flag Size: 12 X 16

    Art Poster Wood Framed Print - Turtle with Plaid (PP) III - Artist: Megan Meagher- Poster Size: 13 X 9

    Art Poster Print - Spotty Turtle - Artist: Harrison Cady- Poster Size: 28 X 19

    Interesting Facts and Trivia About Turtle Art
    1. Guided by the strength of the oceans waves due to the magnetic pull of the earth, turtles remarkably find their way back to their place of birth.
    2. Franklin The Turtle's movie debut 2000 with Franklin and the Green Knight also introduced his sister, Harriet, to the cartoon turtle loving world.
    3. What is the difference between turtle and tortoise? The word, "turtle" is a term that chategorizes all turtles that swim in the water, like box turtles, sea turtles and the like, but the word, "tortoise" is the term used to describe turtles that are only found on land that have tall shells and elephant like legs.
    4. In China, enormous status of turtles support the memorial tablets that mark the graves of Chinese Emperors.
    5. The Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles were named after masters of the art world, such as Raffaello Sanzio, Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo Buonarroti.

    Crafts related to Turtle Art
    how to make a paper plate turtle puppet
    How to Make a Paper Plate Turtle Puppet
    How to Make a Paper Plate Turtle Puppet

    Find instructions to make a partiotic paper plate turtle puppet using basic materials such as a paper plate and sipping straw, kid imagination, and pride for your country. Learn how to make a paper plate turtle puppet

    how to make a oragami paper plate turtle
    How to Make an Oragami Paper Plate Turtle
    How to Make an Oragami Paper Turtle

    Find instructions to Make a cute little box turtle out of paper using oragami paper folding techniques. All you need is some paper, scissors, glue, and your imagination. This is a great paper turtle craft to make a creative greeting card as well! Learn how to make an oragami paper turtle

    Links to other Turtle Art sites
    1. The Wandering Turtle Art Gallery and Gifts - This is an art gallery in Indiana whose owners are extremely fond of turtles and therefore do carry quite a bit of turtle art and turtle related materials in addition to many other cool non-turtle artworks.
    2. The Funniest Turtle Cartoons - This turtle page takes you to a colorful turtle comic strip that was orginally designed for a coloring book by coloring book designed by Noreen Strehlow.
    3. Sea Turtle.org - Find images, journals, current headlines, and other turtle related topics about sea turtles.
    4. Tropic Accents - Handpainted Tropical Gifts and Accessories - Brightly hand painted metal geckos, butterflies, frogs, dragonflies, turtles and more. Tropical designs for your home decor or garden art.

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