Friday, October 05, 2012

Do You Feel More Emotionally Attached to a Painting if You have Seen the Animal in its Environment?

.I'm currently working on a grizzly bear, mixed media on Arches hot press watercolour paper

Whilst on holiday in Canada I was lucky enough to see grizzly bears in the wild although not close enough to get good photographs. However a couple of days after seeing them in the wild we visited the British Columbia wildlife park. They had two young grizzly bears, a brother and sister who had arrived at the park when their mother was killed. I took a lot of photographs of the bears interacting and doing their own thing. Eventually I want to paint a large picture of them play fighting.
As I've never painted a bear I decided to start with one bear in a straight forward pose.
I was drawn to this photo both because of the bears expression and the lighting.
I'm not planning on adding a background although I might airbrush some blurry foliage later.

As I'm working on the bear I can remember the details of the day, but more than that I can picture the wild grizzlies in their natural environment. I certainly have a stronger emotional attachment to this painting than some of my others.
I had already seen grizzlies in captivity and one distant view of a wild bear on previous trips to Canada but this was the first time I'd watched one for quite a long time behaving in a totally natural manner which to a greater or lesser extent captive animals don't.
It's leading me to think that not only should I use my own reference material but in order to give something of myself to the work perhaps I should only draw or paint animals or birds I have seen in the wild.
That doesn't mean I'll never paint another tiger or snow leopard but perhaps less often than in the past.


Raspberry Doodles said...

Wow! Looking forward to seeing this developing.

Lisa M Griffin said...

I do think there is a more emotional attachment to a piece of art that comes through when the artist themselves have been effected by the subject in some way. This bear looks amazing... love the eyes and all of the details and color shifts in the fur.