𝑩𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑻𝒉𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓©2022 oil/board 30" x 36"
Scottsdale Art Auction
The inspiration for "Beating Thunder" was sparked by a building storm on the prairie that I witnessed some years ago. I want my paintings to represent an honest portrayal of traditional western wildlife. Early on, I wrote this on a scrap of paper as a reminder.
1) Wonder. Never cease in the wonder of nature. Approach it with a childlike naivety.
2) Dedication to the truth of the impression of nature. Tell its story with honesty and integrity. Work diligently.
3) Respect our natural world. Do not allow technology to creep in through the use of projection or computer programs. Do not commercialize with excessive print production. Or to paint paintings lacking the complexity of the animal or scene.
I later added...Nature can be pretty and poised, but it can also be random and ordinary. Remember this!
So with "Beating Thunder", I approached the painting with this mindset. Some years ago, I viewed a building storm on the eastern plains of Montana as summer shifted to fall. The enormous sky enveloped all. Everything appeared as a grain of sand under the towering blue.
The bison belong there. The scene is not complete without them. Distance from the animal is respectful and natural. I sat in my old red Tahoe, viewing this scene, snapping pictures, and hearing the thundering hooves in my head.
The rush of a transcending scene plants a memory seed that sometimes sits forever before it sprouts. I seek to relate the story faithfully. Naturally, wildlife has a story that is intertwined with the landscape it calls home. I can't separate the two. My path is to depict it in paint. That is the journey.
"Western Winds" 24" x 36"
Just doing their thing. That is strength. That is the feeling I had when watching these bison. Blustery weather arises. Grit can blow and wind can sweep, yet they carry on. I aimed to capture their genuine strength.
The internet and social media are hurdles. I'm only on Linkedin not because I'm not social; I don't do my best work when I see too much of the same content. I have also found a need to limit technology in the studio. I have internet, I stream music, but I limit browsing. I've heard it argued that artists from the past would have used the tools of modern technology if available. Maybe so, but would their art be better for it? Probably not.
Others have differing viewpoints, but this is what works for me. I'm not a technophobe, I just believe it can homogenize and sterilize, like synthesizers in music. The quirks of the human hand bring warmth and soul.
I really don't like talking much about it. The art should say it. Proof should be in the painting.
Looking forward! Gearing up for some Texas whitetail! Our bucks are the best yet. Almost all have rubbed off their velvet and are beginning to bulk up. Can't wait for the show!