This a collaboration between myself and a
Métis artist friend of mine, Timothy Mohan, who lives and works in British Columbia, Canada.
I live in Ontario, so with the help of the internet and e-mails,
we can work out how our final images will appear, prior to putting
a lot of painting hours into the work. This fall, we have
an exhibition at a prestigious Canadian gallery, so we have
a lot of work to do.
Working together, we decide on a design concept and then Tim
does his design magic, leaving space for me to fill in with
life-like realistic animals. "Harmony" is our
first attempt, and so far, we're pleased with its progress.
I'm really pleased
that we've started with this one, as it's my own totem animal,
the wolf. I also love music, so it's particularly apropos.
I'm including a cub as well, since
they are a significant part of pack life, and happily join in
the "howl" with their parents and the rest of the
Wolves in a pack often have different
markings. This one is slightly darker than her pack-mates.
One of the hardest parts of any
painting is finding exactly the right reference images.
Often I have to take my own photos. I was fortunate in
having an extensive collection of images for this painting.
Many of my wolf photos came from
a wonderful wolf park in Indiana. Some of these pictures
were taken by photographer Monty Sloan.
There was an odd little shape
at the bottom of the painting I wasn't sure what to do with.
I finally decided to have another wolf leaping out of it.
It also gave me a chance to play around with trompe l'oeil and
The final piece is the wolf's face
in the middle.
Now all that remains is to do a
bit more detail on the smaller wolves so that they match the
main wolf and it will be done and ready to scan, print and frame.