The bulk and majesty of a solitary bull (male) moose moves deliberately through a forest of aspen. He appears and disappears as he weaves through the trees in deep snow. The mating season completed, this bull will drop his antlers soon in order to conserve energy for the winter. A new set of antlers will grow in the spring. The moose and the American aspen are native to much of the same North American territory. “A Walk in the Woods” is an iconic Stephen Lyman image: a spectacular wildlife subject, ensconced in its habitat.
Simon Combes is best known for his paintings of African wildlife, but his deepest passion was the great cats of the world. In 1994, Combes, along with Greenwich Workshop founder Dave Usher, circled the globe to find and paint ten of the world’s most magnificent felines. The jaguar of South America proved to be the most elusive of the collection and the resulting portrait became one of Combes’ most celebrated works.
“I spent time with Reina, a thirteen-year-old female jaguar, at a 125,000-acre ranch in Venezuela called Hato El Frio where wildlife is protected,” wrote Simon Combes in his journal of the trip. “Previously, I had been concerned about how to show in my paintings the difference between jaguar and leopard. Having seen Reina, I will never forget. A jaguar is a bigger and more thickset animal, with powerful legs and a heavy head and jaw. Her coat was very short, shiny and a rich russet-gold that made her invisible in dappled sunlight, only ten yards away. The spots are bold and those on the flanks are large rough circles with several black dots inside — very different from a leopard’s rosettes.”
Bev Doolittle explains her painting: “When I sit at home in my art studio, I always have my CD player on. The music is more than a background; it is an inspiration. Paul Winter‘s music paints pictures of nature for me.
“Music and painting are two forms of art and all art is essentially a method by which we communicate on an emotional level. ‘Prayer for the Wild Things‘ is our attempt to surround you with an emotional, visual and musical message concerning our place in the natural world and our connection to all wild things.
“Real art comes from the heart. In ‘Prayer for the Wild Things, I’ve tried to express my feelings about our relationship with the wild animals we share this Earth with. Paul is doing the same thing in his own way, by reaching out with his music to touch our feelings. Paul and I have tried to express, in harmony, our love for all the wilderness and its creatures.”
It is autumn in the Pacific Northwest – glory days for the wilderness traveler. This elk has achieved full growth on his antlers. He has just rubbed off the velvet from the summer’s growth and he’s feeling good. He’s feeling energetic – and also amorous so when he sees another bull in the distance getting too close to his cows, he’s ready to fight him off. For all the elk, these are glory days!