Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Animals Want to Communicate.

The Edge of Time, 1996 38" X 46" oil on canvas
 I have been interviewed a few times over the last month or so and the question that keeps coming up is... "Why did you decide to paint animals in the landscape?" 

Above is the first painting I managed to complete after I left the advertising business. I wanted to do landscapes and this was the view in my back yard, through the cedar post and rail fence, across the plowed field and into the fog.  While sketching there a field mouse had run into my view.  (You can see him/her on the spade in the foreground.)  Everybody who looked at the painting, seemed drawn to the animal.  I think the strong graphic was somewhat intimidating and the animal offered some relief and provided something for people to talk about, rather than say what they really thought about the art!

Soon after, I read this:
"Let a man decide upon his favorite animal and make a study of it, learning its innocent ways. Let him learn to understand its sounds and motions. The animals want to communicate with man."
Brave Buffalo, Teton Sioux, Winter 1897

Subsequently, I decided to always put an animal in a painting because I liked the additional layer of meaning that it provided.  The animals soon became a bigger element and to me they began to say something about us as humans. What that is exactly is something I like to explore.

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