This is a wolf painting I did in oil paint on gallery wrapped canvas. It's 30x40 in size. It is available and is $3,000. Leave a message on my website if you are interested in purchasing.
I painted it after hearing a lot of controversy about the reintroduction of the wolf into Yellowstone National Park. This was an interesting project for me. I have friends and relatives that have strong opinions on both sides of the argument.
Some believe that the reintroduction of the wolf is the greatest thing to happen to Yellowstone in decades. Others believe that the reintroduction of such an efficient predator is a large threat to livestock and the way of life for ranchers that surround Yellowstone National Park.
The wolves have been in Yellowstone for quite a while now and have demonstrated the efficient effective way to thrive. They do what most top predators do by killing the slow, weak, and old animals. The result so far has been reported as good for the biological habitat of the park. I wonder what do these top predators have as their predators to keep them in check, but that's a discussion for another day.
If you talk to a rancher the introduction of the wolf has been bad for their herds. Wolves don't really care about boundaries and will roam far and wide in search of good hunting. The modern ranchers cow and sheep herds are easy pickings for the wolf. Ranchers have been loosing a lot of livestock to the wolves. This is money out of their pocket. Many of the ranchers come from generations of ranchers and have had to deal with predators before. They were happy that they eradicated the wolf from their range lands.
Anyway, this creates a bit of conflict. For some it's the best thing to have happen, and restores the natural order of things. For others it's an expensive threat to their livelihood that has been part of their family for generations.
For me it is a challenge. I love to paint wildlife. I love to see the animals and get a sense of what they are about in person if I can. I have had the opportunity to see the wolves in Yellowstone, and the Grizzly Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. They inspired me and I loved the opportunity to observe them.
I also have plenty of relatives who are ranchers near Yellowstone. I have worked on a farm for most of my life. I have spent hours helping a calf to stabilize after being born and hoping and praying that they will stay alive and healthy to grow and become a beneficial part of the farm. The livestock adds value and is a crucial part to the success of the farm.
So this painting is called Wolf division. It's my expression of this division of support for and against the introduction of the wolf back into the West. For me the issue is pretty complex. Some people may see it as rather black and white. Some may see it as full of gray areas. Still others may see it in a complexity that needs to play out a little longer. In the mix of all this are the wolves themselves. These creatures are doing what they have been born to do. They are living and surviving, even thriving in Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding areas. They probably don't really care about politics, economics, or opinions. They would probably rather eat a biologist then listen to an argument for their right to live. The wolf itself is oblivious to, but caught in the middle of a complex interesting spot.
Well, at least that is what I was thinking about when I created this piece. If you have interest in the piece let me know.