Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Pair O' Bison

Recently, we took some friends up on their offer to spend some time at their place in the Wisconsin heartland.  While perusing the local newspaper over breakfast one morning (all three pages of it), we came upon an ad for tours of the local bison farm, and decided "why not?"  We finished our eggs, and off we went.

The farm was beautiful, and the tour was quite interesting.  After being guided through the various barns and corrals, our little handful of tour-goers climbed onto a tractor-pulled wagon, and were driven out into one of the pastures to commune with one of the bison herds.  While other wagoneers fed ears of corn to interested herd members, I was busy snapping pictures of some of the more photogenic bison.  One that particularly caught my eye was one of the large bulls in the herd, stoically keeping an eye on the proceedings.  His head looked to be approximately the size of a Volkswagon Beetle, and his coat was starting to thicken up prior to the inevitable arrival of winter.  He was gorgeous, and patrolled the herd with the self assured air of the 'Big Man on Campus.

Big Man on Campus
Acrylic Ink on Bristol board

And just for some loosening-up fun, I did a wet-into-wet, high key version.

Big Man 2
Acrylic Ink on Bristol board

The dog portrait is temporarily on hold right now.  Did you ever have trouble 'seeing' where you're going with a painting, and aren't sure of the next step?  Now every time I go into the studio, it stares at me from the easel, seemingly mocking my Artistic Brain Freeze.  I am hoping doing some quick studies, like the bison, will thaw out my creative neuropathways.


Cynthia Schelzig,Cynnie said...

I love your bison!!! Both versions!.....super coool!

Jeanette said...

Bison are just the most amazing animals aren't they? All that bulk and texture comes across beautifully in your painting.

Sometimes things just have to sit and percolate for awhile before the 'aha' moment comes to us.

I think your dog portrait at this point is excellent. You don't have far to go with it to achieve perfection.

RHCarpenter said...

Ooooo, I like this painting a lot! Having just returned from the land where the bison roam free and you better stay 25 yards away from them, it's good to see that there are still farms where you can get up close and personal. I did this once, in the Pipestone, Minnesota area - went out on a feed truck and they were close enough to touch, the young ones golden and looking like calves.

debwardart said...

Now I'm thinking "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play, yada, yada" which will be stuck in my brain for a few days, thank you very much! Love how you always incorporate so many colors into your animals - maybe play up some of the dog's colors?? Glad you are back!

L.W.Roth, said...

I was wondering what happened to the dog. " Open sky Lighting on Black Fur Blues" is a song I've sung myself. The bison break was the right step. Both look good.

Margaret Bednar said...

Love your slide show of "The Polar Bear". Also your neat and orderly side bar depicting blogs from challenges. I'm very impressed. Your dog is very personable ... Can't imagine you have much further to go. And your bison has wonderful color and I really like the composition.