Artwork / Baby Sees ABCs / X Is for Xylophrog

part orangutan and part frog, wildlife painting
Gwenn Seemel
X Is for Xylophrog
acrylic on panel
14 x 14 inches


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The first names embedded in this image are Xabi, Xander, Xandra, Xanthippe, Xanthos, Xanti, Xavier, Xena, Xenia, Xenon, Xerxes, Xhafer, Xia, Xiang, Xihlamariso, Ximena, Xing, Xiomara, Xiulan, Xochitl, Xochipilli, Xoel, Xoese, Xola, Xolani, and Xylon.

So far as we know, there is no such thing as a xylophrog. Just like all the other animals in Baby Sees ABCs, the the x animal was chosen by one of the Kickstarter backers, but, unlike with the others, the decider for the x was invited to invent the name of a whole new species!

Upon hearing I’d be painting a xylophrog, the first thing I did was to deconstruct the word. “Xylo” is Greek for “wood” and “phrog” sounds like “frog” but with a nod to the “phone” in “xylophone” so my imagination went right to a tree-like frog who makes a lot of noise.

The first iterations of this creature got a bit silly, but they eventually led me to this huge hairy frog with external gills resembling those of the axolotl. The xylophrog acts as guardian to the jungle—as Mother Nature’s avenger incarnate, fittingly frog-like considering how many small amphibians our pollution kills every year.

made-up animal art
detail image