Gentle Giants of this Wild World

the skeptic, 24x20, acrylic on canvas


Alright, friends, here goes a start.  A big start.  And this is blog post number three (so far) regarding these "buffalo".

How the general process of painting was BEFORE the bison: After my lengthy studio visits, I am wired for hours and have a challenging time coming down.  I am not saying this is a negative experience.  And I am definitely saying this experience can be addictive.  Also, I can forget to eat.  An entire day can become one long moment.

How the general process of painting is IN THE MIDST OF these bison: INTENSE and exhausting.  I am completely wiped out after wrapping up in my studio on a daily basis.  I find myself starving for food and have been eating my biggest meals at 11:30 am.  After closing my studio door for the day, it feels like there is nothing left.  But then I go to bed and this cycle starts all over again,

to lay me down, 30x40, acrylic on canvas

To the best of my ability, after much processing, this segment tells the story so far:

This is not about your first impression.  This is not about western art or plains art or even buffalo (although I’ve just recently learned that the proper term is bison).
 This is about an intuitive painter who has been struggling with the weight of the world, her close knit world, the world at large and everything in between.  And when seeking direction, all this artist heard was “buffalo”.
 At first she balked, denied that this had anything to do with the “real” struggle.  But this message wouldn’t go away and, because of this, she did a little research.  That’s what artists do.  They follow their nudges.
Bison are survivors of extreme conditions: very hot, dry summers and very long, cold winters.  Bison are anatomically built so they are able to plow through the heavy snow to find their nutrients.  A bison's primary predator is the wolf.  The only time a wolf has any success in maiming or killing a bison is from behind.  Because of this, bison can have stand offs  with wolves for days at a time.
 I cannot help but notice parallels with what has been brought to a head in our country: Those survivors of extreme conditions.  Those forced to have stare downs with "authority" for the length of their lives (can you imagine the effect this has on one's physical, emotional and spiritual immune  system?), unable to turn their backs because it's been proven time and time again to NOT BE SAFE.  This isn’t a pretty world and I definitely don’t consider bison to be a pretty subject.
These paintings do not  represent what you think they do.   But then to think that “the buffalo” were needlessly slaughtered, brought to the brink of extinction, having been victims of our false sense of superiority, entitlement, sheer ego, and obsessive need to control.  Well, there’s that too…
These are my paintings and I am the artist and this body of work is titled, Gentle Giants of this Wild World.

To view a collection of the bison so far, visit THIS LINK

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