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Posts Tagged ‘bears’

Bear Painting From Start To Finish

Here’s the start to finish on Griz. (Photo left is cropped detail)

I really enjoyed stepping out of traditional coloring on both this and the Red Buffalo painting. I am pretty sure more of these wackado wild critters are yet to come.

As it is Sunday I am looking for a muse to start something new. We’ll see what comes.

Original Painting Size (not including the deckles) 10 1/2 x 13
oil pastel on handmade paper.
Overall Framed Size (including frame) is 15 1/2 x 17 and is mounted on Ultrviolet Blue linen. (The linen is actually the same color as the bears nose but just photographs really dark.)




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Bear Painting Completed


Griz
10 1/2 x 13
Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper

Wild Things vs. Primarily Wild
I’ve been needing to title my brightly colored critter series because at some point it will have a page on the website with prints for sale. So after much thought. (well . . .some thought, much like painting I tend to just wait for the universe to inspire) I finally decided to call this series Wild Things. (of which this Bear is #10) Okay, so it doesn’t have the fun child-like nature of Crayola Critters (nor the alliteration) but it also doesn’t come with a trademark infringement lawsuit.

I asked Mike what he thought and he was all “Nyeh.” Which is his way of saying it’s nothing impressive but I really don’t care enough to discuss it further.

But I’m sticking with it. (I think) A few short days ago I was pretty convinced that it would be called Primarily Wild. I liked that title because it is sorta descriptive (meaning most of the animals in the series are actually wild.) As well as a play on words with primary colors. Which of course no-one would get because it leans so heavy on the esoteric. But I would be okay with it being my own private little amusement.

But for now I’m back to Wild Things. Well . . . unless the universe offers me up something better I mean I just make up these rules in my head sometimes. Or until it gets printed on the bottom of one of the prints. When that happens I pretty much gotta stick with it.

Anyone got any opinions?

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Bear Painting in Oil Pastel (still a WIP)


Griz
10 1/2 x 13
Oil Pastel on Handmade Paper (work in progress)

Technicalities
I think she’s more yellow than I want so will be adding more reds to her today.

She is actually an Alaskan Brown Bear, but if I remember correctly from my Bear Country days the only difference between the Grizzly and the Alaskan Brown Bear is location. They are genetically the same species. Grizzlies are coastal (and tend to get bigger because of the fish diet) and Browns are inland bears.

Spray Me! Spray Meeeeee!
You may remember that at one time I worked in a small wildlife park/zoo. (That was back in the day that I actually used my degree in regards to earning my living.) While there I had the daily experience of being hands-on with all sorts of North America’s finest predatory animals. Bears, Wolves, Mt. lions and Badgers.

But do you know the critter than struck the most fear in my heart? Racoons (um hum . . . thaaaat’s right) followed closely by Pronghorn antelope.

Walking into a pack of hungry wolves holds no comparison to entering a mob of coons that have zero fear of me. They climbed me like a tree, pulled my hair out, scratched me, squabbled amongst themselves while dangling from my clothes and put their tiny little hands into places they shouldn’t.

As for the pronghorns, they also had no fear of people. And if the male caught sight of you, he came at you full tilt. In case you aren’t familiar they are one of the worlds fastest land animals, (second only to the cheetah.) And there’s nothing I’d want less than being speared in the butt (they’re kinda compact creatures so that’s where they’d hit you) at 40 mph. More than once I just closed the gate as he bounced off the chain link fence behind me.

My secret weapon against the raging, scary, vicious, out for blood antelope? The common garden hose. That little length of green plastic kept me from dangling by my keister off that nasty little critters horns more than once. (Also worked really well with the mountain lions.)

Unfortunately the racoons thought it was great fun. They were all like “Hey over here, Spray me! Spray meeeeee!” Though I would think “truly” wild racoons might fear it.

It seems most wild critters hate to be sprayed with a hose as much as domestic dogs, cats, horses and . . . well . . . husbands. Who knew?

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(For Real).
Now in case you’re all wondering, but because I made you all pinkie-swear that you wouldn’t ask, my rooster painting did not go down (or is it up) in flames. (at least not yet) It is coming along. But truthfully it’s not coming along easily. Which is no big deal except I really wanted to do this bear painting.

But I was all like “I’ll just knock this rooster painting out quickly, and then I can do my bear painting.” First of all that is a huge failure of logic on my part for a couple of reasons.

1. Since I have already tried to do my rooster and failed, the belief that I could just “knock it out” is kinda ludicrous. I mean really.

2. Um . . . Okay so maybe there is only one reason. but it is a really good one.

So as it is Sunday I have the whole day to work on my art uninterrupted (yes even the husband is forbidden to come in.) I think I’ll just “knock this bear painting out” and then I can get on to my rooster painting.

Uh huh.

Yes I’m still in a mood. I think it’s because I’m not doing an art fair for like 21 days or something. And the lack of pressure is making me giddy.

And now for something totally unrelated
At 3am yesterday morning my husband starts shouting at me from the kitchen. It seems the water softner was backing up and spilling like a geyser (maybe more like a waterfall) out of the kitchen sink. Long story short we worked for over an hour cleaning up upteen gallons of water.

And when I woke up the next morning, I stagger bleary eyed out of the bedroom, and say in my best petulant child voice. “I don’t wanna go to work.”
Mikes like “Okay”
Me: “I wanna play hookie.”
Mike nodding like, I understood you the first time babe. “Okay”

and so we do. We run to Ft. Dodge and I buy clothes that I don’t need and go to a movie. Which is actually the whole point of this post.

We went to see Julie & Julia and it was simply charming.

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Back To The Bear

I hesitated to post this today, but I have nothing else to show, soooo . . .

I hesitate because I am unsure whether I will continue to work on him. Tomorrow, I may feel that my time is better spent trying to create 2 or 3 small pieces in the time I have left. By that I mean, (yes, I know I keep saying it) but I am really busy with the gallery, plus in 2 weeks my artfair season kicks in to full swing. Also, I am going to be starting a new project soon, that I will tell you all about in a few weeks. (hopefully) We need to hammer out some details and possibly get some lawyers involved. But suffice it to say, that it involves art, horses and doing some good for those in need.

About the Bear
I am struggling finding the colors that I want to portray him in. I’ve been adding some heliotrope type of violet which I rarely use. Still not quite nailing it. I had Pondered doing him in water color pencils. I could get the colors I want but don’t really feel like I have the time to complete a watercolor pencil piece. So I will move ahead with the oil pastels and see what happens.

Crash and Burn
I have to say that it is slightly disconcerting to blog about this painting since I have so many issues with it. Normally, I figure “Oh just go ahead, whats the worst that could happen? I fail and start something else.” I am not used to failing in public view though. Maybe Mike or my art group are told about it and shown the evidence, but other than that it is a pretty private moment. But now that I am putting it out into the universe, for all the world to watch me possibly fail. We’ll as I said it is a bit disconcerting.

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A Small Break From Painting Horses

I’ve got a couple of good excuses as to why I haven’t been posting new artwork. Honest First of all, I finished up my article for the next issue of Apples N’ Oats magazine, a week early! That’s two times in a row. WhooHoo! Also been doing loads of bookwork, like preparing my sales tax figures. Not really a whoohoo, but nice to get it done. And then of course, tis the season for the gallery to get busy. So now that I feel perfectly righteous in my slacking off with the art thing, I thought I would go ahead and show you some of what I have been doing art-wise.

I am putting aside my draft horse by the trailer and moving on. He is almost done and I am sure I will finish him up some time this week. I am hankering for a change. So on this past Sunday, I got three different non-horse critters drawn out. The one that is calling to me the most is this, an Alaskan Brown Bear. I was actually looking for a small bear image to put onto handmade paper, but when I ran across this photo I had an Aha! moment.

So I decided to go large-ish. And of course to add to the challenge, I not only used a reference photo with water, but also decided to move his legs around. This is a zoo bear and it is overweight. Or I may have taken this photo in the fall when it was gaining for hibernation. But it is still more pudge than I want. I am not sure that my painting will reflect any particular season, so best shed a few pounds. I imagine it would be hard to keep a captive bear at its ideal weight. I mean it’s not like zoo bears are running after elk or anything.

I don’t think I am completely satisfied with this pose. I most likely will extend the foremost, hind leg back farther. This will help give him more movement and not make such a straight line along the edge of my painting. Also I may raise a front paw as well, leaving it slightly held in the air. Not sure, but I don’t like the square, boxy shape that I have right now.

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