Work in progress
The concept for this painting began with a photograph of Athabasca Falls, a view a bit below the river where indirect light diffused by the spray from the falls lent a quality of mystery, other-worldliness. Becuase I wanted to submit the painting as an entry for the Society of Animal Artists annual show, I had to come up with an animal to include in the composition. A grizzly bear seemed to be the best choice for emphasizing the mood of mystery. But why would a grizzly be walking out to the edge of a waterfall? I could say "because she wanted to" but in actuality, artistic license put her there. The challenge in executing this paiinting was to paint the rocks, the water, and the bear in darker values (except the very top right where the top of the falls is illuminated) and yet delineate those elements satisfactorily. It was a pleasure to deviate from the tightness I usually deploy in realistically painting animals and backgrounds as I loosely depicted the swirling water and misty rocks. I am proud to report that "Living on the Brink" was juried in the SAA annual show for 2023; you can see the final painting in the "Mammals" page on this website.