Art in the environment cartoon

Modern art in nature cartoon

A modern art sculpture set in a natural setting.

The cartoon shows a modern art sculpture, similar to the work of Barbara Hepworth or Henry Moore, set in the environment. A bird is nesting in the hole in the sculpture.

The sculpture is titled Art in Nature.
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Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art021
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Prehistoric early bird catches the worm

prehistoric bird cartoon

Cartoon about the saying “The early bird catches the worm”

The joke is that the ‘early bird’ is literally an early bird in evolutionary terms, such as an archaeopteryx.

A cartoon about evolution, prehistoric creatures.

sayings and proverbs

Ref: a620

Garden cartoons – noisy neighbours cartoon

Gardening cartoon - noisy neighbours cartoon

Noisy neighbours cartoon

Cartoon showing problem neighbours hanging a loudspeaker outdoors in a tree.
A gardener is hanging a bird nesting box in a tree. The loudspeaker looks very similar to the nesting box, which is part of the joke

A humorous observation about neihbors from hell, encouraging birds in the garden, inconsiderate neighbours
Cartoon reference number: a578

See my book of gardening cartoons here.
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Tufted duck illustration

tufted duck illustration

Tufted duck illustration
Stylised illustration of a tufted duck

An ornithological illustration of a tufted duck (Aythya fuligula)

This design was inspired by the tufted ducks in my local pond in their breeding plumage – specifically the bright yellow eye against the black plumage of the head.
Cartoon reference number: a506

Dodo cartoon – live dodos discovered on Mauritius!

dodos not extinct - cartoon

Dodo extinction cartoon

Tourists discovering a live dodo on the island of Mauritius.
The dodo is asking the tourists not to reveal that they’ve found it, as it doesn’t want to be pestered by hoards of natural history film units making natural history documentaries

A cartoon about endangered species, dodos, extinction, natural world television programs

Cartoon reference number: a438

Flying crow chasing an insect – illustration

crow chasing dragonfly art

An illustration of a flying crow chasing an insect
A digital painting of a crow

A cartoon crow that looks rather sinister and menacing

Crows are amongst my fovourite birds

An illustration or clipart about birds, crows, flight.

Cartoon reference number: a404
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Drawing of a flying crow – taking off from a branch

crow flying from branch - drawing

A drawing of a crow in flight
Illustration or sketch of a crow

A drawing of a crow taking off from the branch

This is an impressionistic drawing, hopefully capturing something of the dark, sinister presence of crows, which is one of the things that make them such impressive creatures (along with their great intelligence too).
Cartoon reference number: a401

Garden bird feeder and bird seed cartoon

bird feeder and bird seed cartoon

Cartoon about garden bird feeders, feeding stations and bird seed

Cartoon showing a bird feeder full of bird seed

The gardener is asking his wife if she has seen his prize marrow seeds

The implication is that the gardener’s wife has used the prize vegetable seeds as bird food.

Cartoon reference number: a248

See my book of gardening cartoons here.
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Bird nesting box cartoon – a bird box with classical facade

bird box with classical facade cartoon

Cartoon about garden birds and bird nesting boxes

Bird nesting box cartoon – a classical facade for a bird box

A gardener nailing a classical facade in front of a hole in a tree that’s being used by a bird as a nest

A cartoon about attracting birds to gardens, bird box design, wildlife merchandising.

Cartoon reference number: a247

See my book of gardening cartoons here.
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Cartoon about garden birds and bird nesting boxes

Bird nesting box cartoon

Cartoon about garden birds and bird nesting boxes

Cartoon showing a gardener looking at a bird that is nesting in a birdbox in his garden.
The bird is building a nest in the nesting box and is carrying nesting material to the nest.

The man is thinking “Isn’t that one of my prize delphinium seedlings?”

Birds as garden pests taking seedlings.
The cartoon also about the subject of being taken advantage of – the gardener has thoughtfully and kindly provided the bird with a nesting box, but the bird has then proceeded to take the gardener’s plants. Of course in real life the bird wouldn’t realise what it was doing, but this is a cartoon, and in cartoons animals are often as conscious of their actions as humans are – in fact they are humans in animal form.

Cartoon reference number: a246

See my book of gardening cartoons here.
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Wildlife gardening cartoon – a nesting box for robins

robin bird box - cartoon

Garden humour – putting a nesting box for robins

Cartoon showing a gardener putting a bird box in a tree to encourage birds to nest in his garden

The joke is in the fact that there’s a robin building a nest in the packaging or packing box that held the nesting box kit rather than in the nesting box itself.
Robins are well known for building their nests in unusual places, such as in discarded kettles, tin cans etc.

Cartoon reference number: a218

See my book of gardening cartoons here.

Joke about the arrival of summer – the first swallow and first hay fever sneeze

 first swallow and first hay fever sneeze joke

Cartoon about the arrival of summer – the first swallow arriving at the same time as the first hay fever sneeze

Showing gardeners in a garden seeing the first swallow of summer and hearing the first hay fever sneeze at the same time.

Traditionally it’s the sound of the first cuckoo that heralds the summer, however cuckoos are now becoming rarer. Meanwhile, hay fever is becoming more common, so the sound of a hay fever sneeze is replacing the call of the cuckoo as the harbinger of summer.
A cartoon about allergies, seasons.
Cartoon reference number: a207

See my book of gardening cartoons here.

Using Christmas decorations as bird scarers

using christmas decorations as bird scarers joke

Christmas cartoon. Using Christmas decorations as bird scarers

A joke showing a gardener hanging up spare Christmas decorations to scare birds away from the seedlings in his garden

A cartoon about bird deterrents, protecting seedlings, birds as garden pests.

Drawn: Dec 2010

Cartoon reference number: a199

See my book of gardening cartoons here.

Garden birds cartoon

bird box cartoon

Cartoon featuring a bird box with a bird feeding station attached

A humorous illustration about how to encourage birds into the garden by providing nesting boxes and feeding areas such as bird tables.

A joke about encouraging wildlife into the garden.
Cartoon reference number: a195

See my book of gardening cartoons here.

Solar power cartoon – solar panels on an artificial sunflower

solar panels cartoon

Solar energy cartoon -solar panels on an artificial sunflower

Showing a plant harnessing energy from the sun. The plant in the cartoon is artificial (a sunflower) and the energy it is obtaining is being used to drive a speaker which is producing the sound of birdsong.

A humorous illustration about alternative energy, sustainable energy, renewable energy sources, electricity generation.

Drawn: Aug 2011

Cartoon reference number: a184

See my book of gardening cartoons here.

Art cartoons – birdwatching cartoons. Looking for birds in paintings in an art gallery

Art cartoon - birdwatching in an art gallery

A birdwatching cartoon from my selection of art cartoons.
Showing birdwatchers spotting birds in landscape paintings in an art gallery

Birdwatching cartoon. Chris Madden cartoon.
Birdwatchers spotting birds in landscape paintings in an art gallery

A cartoon showing people in an art gallery looking for birds in landscape paintings. The people are birdwatchers kitted out in birdwatching gear, complete with binoculars.
A cartoon about animals and birds in art, twitchers, bird spotters, nature in art.
Cartoon reference number: a151
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Birdwatching cartoon – and misuse of English cartoon (should it be less or fewer?)

birdwatching cartoon and language cartoon

Birdwatching cartoon – and English usage cartoon

Birdwatching cartoon. Misuse of English cartoon.

A cartoon showing a father and son birdwatching. The father is correcting his son’s use of English – on seeing a lesser spotted woodpecker the son has mistakenly called it a fewer spotted woodpecker.
This isn’t just a cartoon about birdwatchers. It’s also a cartoon about linguistics and specifically English usage or misuse.
The mixing up of the words fewer and less is a common error.
Getting annoyed or irritated by the misuse of English, especially at the less/fewer level, is commonly seen as a sign of grumpy middle age.
The cartoon’s idea came to mind because of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Big Garden Birdwatch, an annual event in which people are encouraged to count the different garden birds that visit their gardens.
Cartoon reference number: a104
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Cartoon – shooting the dove of peace

tank shooting dove of peace cartoon

Cartoon showing the dove of peace being shot at by a military tank.

Artwork showing the dove of peace being attacked by the miltary.

An anti-war illustration showing a peace dove.
A cartoon showing military antagonism to anti-war movements.

Cartoon reference number: a040
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Dove of peace defecating on armaments

peace dove cartoon - shitting on tank

Dove of peace illustration.

Artwork showing the dove of peace crapping on a military tank.

An anti-war illustration showing a peace dove.
A cartoon related to the peace movement, campaigns against militarism and campaigns against the arms trade.
A possible peace campaign poster.

Cartoon reference number: a038
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Peace movement dove of peace illustration

peace dove cartoon - taking tank

Dove of peace illustration.

Artwork showing the dove of peace carrying off a military tank (and being pursued by a soldier who wants his tank back).

An anti-war illustration showing a peace dove.
A cartoon related to the peace movement and campaigns against armaments and the arms trade – a possible peace campaign poster.

Cartoon reference number: a037
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Flying penguins cartoon. Penguins flying using balloons

penguins flying using balloons cartoon

Penguin cartoons. Penguins flying with the aid of balloons.

A cartoon showing penguins in flight.
Who said penguins were flightless birds?

A cartoon about overcoming adversity, overcoming physical restrictions or disabilities, ambition, ingenuity, enterprise.
This cartoon would probably make a very nice greetings card.

Original version drawn: 2001
Cartoon reference number: a026
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Penguin cartoons. A penguin sunbathing on a tropical beach

sunbathing penguin cartoon

Penguin cartoon. A penguin sunbathing on a tropical beach.

This cartoon isn’t a joke so much as just a slightly silly and humorous image of a penguin sunbathing on a subtropical beach.
The penguin is obviously on holiday.
The cartoon has no specific meaning. It’s just that a penguin on a tropical beach is somewhat incongruous, therefore funny.

Cartoon reference number: a023
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Cartoon penguin with Mickey Mouse ears

penguin with mickey mouse ears cartoon

Cartoon penguin with Mickey Mouse ears.

I’ve been drawing quite a few penguins recently, and they’ve started mutating.
This one means whatever you want it to mean.
I probably thought up the idea because Mickey Mouse is a very simple black and white shape, just like penguins.
I like its air or slight weirdness. An ambiguous mix of cute and unsettling.

Cartoon reference number: a022
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Global warming cartoon. Penguins and polar bear march against shrinking polar ice caps

 environment cartoon - polar bear and penguins against global warming

Global warming cartoon.

Global warming cartoon showing polar bear and penguins marching to protest against global warming and the shrinking ice caps.

One of the humorous points about this cartoon is that polar bears and penguins live at opposite poles (penguins in the Antarctic and polar bears in the Arctic), and thus never meet in normal circumstances (apart from in cartoons). In this cartoon the fact that they are in the same cartoon is meant to convey the notion of solidarity and of the whole world mobilising to fight climate change.
A cartoon about shrinking ice caps, shrinking polar caps, climate change, global warming.
Cartoon reference number: a021b

A longer version of this cartoon (with more penguins) can be found here, and a slightly different version here.

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Global warming cartoon. A polar bear and penguins marching

environment cartoon - polar bear and penguins cartoon

Environmental cartoon. Global warming cartoon showing polar bear and penguins marching to protest against global warming and the shrinking ice caps.

One of the humorous points about this cartoon is that polar bears and penguins live at opposite poles (penguins in the Antarctic and polar bears in the Arctic), and thus never meet in normal circumstances (apart from in cartoons). In this cartoon the fact that they are in the same cartoon is meant to convey the notion of solidarity and of the whole world mobilising to fight climate change.
A cartoon about shrinking ice caps, shrinking polar caps, climate change, global warming.

Cartoon reference number: a021a

A narrower version of this cartoon (with fewer penguins) can be found here.

“Bad penguin” cartoon. A penguin dressed as a gangster

penguin gangster cartoon

Penguin cartoons. Even bad penguins look cute.

A cartoon about anthropomorphism and penguins and the fact that penguins always look cute (which annoys some penguins who want to look tough).

This cartoon is funny because it has a penguin as a gangster or similar criminal type, which goes against penguins’ anthropomorphic character type of being cute and clown-like.
A secondary joke is that the gangster penguin is carrying a machine gun case that is shaped like a fish (rather than the usual violin case).
Original version drawn: 2001
Cartoon reference number: a020
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Penguin cartoon. Penguins look like little people: people look like penguins

anthropomorphism and penguins cartoon

Penguin cartoons. It’s impossible not to look at a penguin and anthropomorphise it into a person. Do penguins do it back?

A cartoon about anthropomorphism and penguins.

The joke in this cartoon is that the roles of the penguins and the people are reversed. It is also funny because of the use of the work ‘cute’, partly because we don’t normally think of ordinary people as being cute – but penguins (which we think are cute) seem to think that we are cute too.
It’s a cartoon about anthropomorphism, projection, role reversal.
Original version drawn: 2001
Cartoon reference number: a019
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Penguins cartoon. A penguin playing a guitar

penguin playing guitar cartoon

Penguin cartoons. A penguin playing a guitar.

A cartoon showing a penguin playing the guitar in a band. Another penguin is playing the drums.
The guitar playing penguin is thinking “Playing chords is really hard when you’ve only got flippers”.

This cartoon is partly funny because penguins look like humans but don’t look like the sort of humans who would be in a band playing guitar and drums.

Original version drawn: 2001

Cartoon reference number: a018
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Penguin cartoons – a penguin up a tree in a tropical jungle, with a parrot

penguin and parrot cartoon

Penguin cartoon. Showing a penguin up a tree in a tropical jungle, with a parrot.

A cartoon showing a penguin perched on the branch of a tree in a tropical rain forest or jungle.
The penguin has just told a parrot about the existence of snow. The penguin was saying that it has forty different words for snow (similar to the eskimo or inuit claim to have many words for snow).
The parrot is surprised, as it doesn’t know what snow is, having never experienced it.

The penguin is probably a tourist on holiday from the cold Antarctic, visiting a hot tropical holiday destination.
One of the funny aspects of the cartoon is that the penguin is perched in a tree – which is incongruous as penguins can’t fly and most of them have never seen trees as there are no trees at the South Pole or in Antarctica.
Cartoon reference number: a017
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Penguin cartoon – penguins at a fancy dress party in drag looking no different to normal

cartoon penguin fancy dress party

Penguin cartoons. Penguins at a fancy dress party, wearing drag.

A cartoon showing penguins wearing drag at a penguin fancy dress party – they look no different to normal, as male and female penguins look identical and indistinguishable from each other.
The problem for penguins as female impersonators, as there are no obvious (to humans) sexual identifiers or distinguishers between the sexes of penguins.

Original version drawn: 2001
Cartoon reference number: a016
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Nonconformist penguin cartoon. One penguin standing out from the crowd

penguin cartoon one different colour

Penguin cartoons. A flock of penguins all the same – apart from one penguin which is a different colour.

A cartoon about uniformity of fashion or social conformity and conventionality. The colourful penguin is a rebel, nonconformist, individualistic penguin following the dictum ‘Dare to be different’.

A cartoon about conformity, uniformity, following the crowd, how to stand out from the crowd
The title of the cartoon is ‘One in a Million!’.

Original drawn: 2001

Cartoon reference number: a015
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Penguin cartoons. A rebellious teenage penguin

cartoon teenage penguin

Penguin cartoons. Penguin with rebellious teenage son who is a typical stroppy youth.

A cartoon showing adult penguins and an adolescent or teenage penguin. The teenager is going through a typical teenage rebel phase. A cartoon about stroppy youths. .

Original version drawn: 2001

Cartoon reference number: a014

Penguin cartoons. Hiking penguins

penguin hikers studying map

Penguin cartoons. Penguins planning a hiking expedition, trek or walk.

A cartoon showing penguins looking at a map to plan a recreational walk. Part of the joke is that the map is showing nothing but ice everywhere, because the terrain or landscape in which the penguins live is the same featureless ice everywhere. So it really doesn’t matter where the penguins go for their walk.
The cartoon makes reference to the long march carried out by emperor penguins, made famous by the film ‘March of the Penguins’.

A cartoon about Antarctica, the South Pole, rambling, the ramblers, orienteering.
Original version drawn: 2001
Cartoon reference number: a013
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Penguin cartoon. Penguins that are any colour except black

penguin cartoon fashion colours

Penguin cartoons. Penguins that are all different colours – because black is no longer fashionable (for penguins)

A cartoon showing multicoloured penguins.
The joke is that penguins are all black, which happens to be a fashionable colour in some areas of human fashion. Penguins are often thought of as wearing dinner jackets, so in this cartoon I’ve given drawn brightly coloured penguins as though they can change their colours to suit fashion.

Original version drawn: 2001
Cartoon reference number: a012
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