Bears and art… drawings, sculpture and Photoshop

"Blue Bear", Graphite drawing and Photoshop, 2014, Karen Gillis Taylor

“Blue Bear”, Graphite drawing and Photoshop, 2014, Karen Gillis Taylor, click for larger view

There is a BIG renewed interest on bears lately on the Hue Bliss blog. What’s the buzz about bears? Are they waking up from their long winter’s nap and so people are seeing them around again? Bears are great subjects for artists because of their big size and imposing, often scary nature. I don’t ever want to meet one on a hiking trail, though my friends have had that experience!

I had some fun coloring my bear graphite drawing in Photoshop tonight. Please do click on the blue bear image to see some (enlarged) nice effects! I’m fascinated with nature and love expressing that awe with art.

Bear Drawing, Graphite, Karen Gillis Taylor

Bear Drawing, Graphite, Karen Gillis Taylor

This is the simple pencil sketch I made a few months ago. Graphite and colored pencil sketches are very nice to work with in Photoshop if you want to play with new color ideas and the various filters. Exploring Photoshop is really inspirational and useful for artists in so many ways!

Blue Bear Sculpture, Lawrence Agent, 2005, Denver Convention Center

Blue Bear Sculpture, Lawrence Argent, 2005, Denver Convention Center

Here’s the 40 foot high blue bear, created by Lawrence Argent for the Denver Convention Center. I love the playfulness of the idea that the bear is echoing people’s sentiments as to wondering, “what is going on now in the Convention Center anyway?” Lawrence later found out that the black bear was very important to the Native American Ute tribes that lived in Colorado – and also, that one level of spiritual enlightenment for the Utes was the “blue” level. Lawrence called that discovery “serendipitous”. I agree!

Our family recently visited my husband’s boyhood home in Libby, Montana in summer. Bear sightings were a common occurrence, he says. In Libby, during the filming of the movie, “Always”, with Audrey Hepburn, Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss, a black bear was seen trotting down the middle of main street. A movie fan?

Logging competition, Libby, Montana. Women's event.

54th Annual Libby Logger Days double-buck competition, Libby, Montana. Women’s event. Photo by Jackie Coffin. Shannon Agner and Leslie Neu competing.

Rob’s high school called themselves the Libby Loggers. The logging industry is now in the past for Libby. But the heritage goes on. What will be the jobs to support the community in the future? Just wondering…

Grizzly Bear, Glacier NP MT, by Erwin Peggy Bauer

Grizzly Bear, Glacier NP MT, by Erwin  & Peggy Bauer

Then there are the Montana Grizzlies. It still amazes me that these giants roam the land, and are scarcely seen by but a few of our population, including me. Yet the Native Americans were more familiar with these creatures.

2 Jul 2012, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada --- Canada, Manitoba, Churchill, Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) peers above melting ice floes on summer evening --- Image by © Paul Souders/Corbis

2 Jul 2012, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada — Canada, Manitoba, Churchill, Polar Bear peers above melting ice floes on summer evening — Image by © Paul Souders/Corbis

I adore this Polar Bear photograph by Paul Soders.

Bear sculpture, wood from tree trunk, Niwot, Colorado, frosty morning with child's lost jacket

Bear sculpture, wood from tree trunk, Niwot, Colorado, frosty morning with child’s lost jacket

This brings me full circle back to the home town of Niwot, where I spotted the child’s lost jacket draped over the Black bear carving in front of the Niwot Tavern one cold morning. We did have a Black Bear up in the big Cottonwood tree, two blocks away, a few months later, for all the neighbors to watch with amazement. We all wondered, how far did this Black Bear travel from his mountain territory in the nearby foothills? Or has he lived among us, tucked away in the scattered wild ravines here and there, around the plains in Boulder county, like our coyote families?

Animals and art. Perhaps one of the earliest traditions in human history since the days of cave paintings. I would like to revisit this subject in my art life sometime…

Do you take inspiration from the world of nature too?

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2 Responses to “Bears and art… drawings, sculpture and Photoshop”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    You forgot your brother in law who is fondly called BEAR. :0)

    Like

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