I was out walking one morning and spotted beautiful red-tailed hawk circling in the sky above me. We walked together for a while and then suddenly, he swooped down, chasing something in the field. He was pure energy…and like that, he was back in the sky, far above me, searching again.
How do you know it’s summer? The gold finches arrive! Their exuberance and joy fit right in with the sunshine and warmth of the days. Just seeing them brings a smile to your face.
My latest watercolor painting was inspired by an arctic wolf whom I photographed at Lakota Wolf Sanctuary many years ago. While the arctic wolf is not “on the brink,” as are many wolves in the US, they are still threatened by humans. Climate change and industrialization both affect their habitat, and hunters pursue them for their beautiful coats…which personally, I think look much better on the wolf!
Remember, wolves are essential to the environment. They help maintain the balance by keeping grazing herd populations under control, which in turn allows vegetation to grow, helping to minimize erosion, and on and on.
And, they are spectacular!
I grew up reading stories about the big bad wolf terrorizing sweet little pigs and eating grandma, and yet, I never developed a fear of them. The fact is, I also grew up with large, fuzzy dogs who gave me a love for all things canine…includng the big bad wolf. I wonder, though, where the hatred so many people have for wolves comes from. Why is the bad wolf a central figure in so many tales? Why do we hunt them to near extinction? We love our dogs, but hate their closest relative…why? I am always inspired by their grace, their love, their beauty. They need to be cherished…they need to be saved!
I declared this one done yesterday. Then I worked on it again last night. Then I tossed and turned all night thinking about how I was going to repaint it. This morning I got up early and with just a few final touches, really finished it. Somehow the picture I had of it in my head was very skewed. It didn’t require a complete repaint, just a few well positioned highlights and a clear head. I think I need a nap now!
I took a break from my “Personal Best” series painting today to work on a new watercolor. I had taken a great photo of a cow at one of our local farms last year and had been meaning to use for inspiration one of these days. Well, that day was today!
I may never finish a marathon, or even a half, but for me, the triumph is in getting out and doing it. That’s the passion and energy I want to capture in this series.
All of the paintings are based on photos that I take at various races that I attend…sometimes as a runner, sometimes just to watch. None of them is any person in particular, but an essence of the runner. Someone in which we can all see ourselves.
For the most part, the form of the runner is fairly accurate, but what I really want to capture is the energy…that dynamic place where will meets ability and becomes something amazing!