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Contemporary Wildlife Art

Bison Bands

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Bison Bands

Bison Bands was a fun painting for me to do. I was able to really focus on color, shape, and composition while using a larger size to create an impact. I used charcoal to begin with then painted with acrylic paint to add the color and some texture.


This piece is a larger one. It is 72x48 inches. I really enjoy working at this size. It allows for some interesting presentations. A larger piece can really accent a space and support what you are trying to present with a room or space and create quite an impact. I enjoy how this piece will enliven a room with color. I used bands of color to create visual movement while keeping some areas of stillness and calm. When hanging a piece of this size the piece becomes visually powerful. My work often creates an opportunity for discussion and dialog.


The mediums that I used for this painting was charcoal, acrylic paint, on gallery wrapped canvas.

I really enjoy charcoal and charcoal drawing. The tactile nature of the medium helps me to get the creative juices flowing. I also love the dark darks that you can create as well as gradating it to white with endless values of gray in-between. You can see in the top portion the charcoal was allowed to remain with some patterning for visual interest.

I decided to use acrylic paint on this one to allow for crisp edges and brilliant color. Acrylic paint is very durable and can hold up well.

I use this larger gallery wrapped canvas for the texture and versatility of the canvas. They are also relatively light and can be handled and hung easily.


The color of the piece evolved as the painting progressed. I had no real preconceived idea before beginning this painting. I did know I wanted to do a larger vertical piece. It seems that many vertical pieces have application in home and business spaces. I allowed the color to evolve as the painting was created.

For me the colors can have symbolic meaning as well as just fun visual interest. I often hesitate to reveal all that the colors mean to me, hoping that the viewer will be able to bring what they can to the work. In this regard the viewer becomes a participant in the work and hopefully the experience will become more rewarding.

I love the brightness and brilliance that this piece has. The contrasting colors and values really set off the shapes of the American bison, or buffalo. I believe that this piece has a lot of energy with the color use and still keeps a comfortable harmony as well.


The shape that I used was specifically chosen. I love the American bison, or buffalo. It is so symbolic of freedom, open spaces, strength, might, bravery, the west, and so on. I have always loved seeing bison from Arizona to Utah to Wyoming to Montana, to Idaho and beyond. So, the shape of the bison is iconic.

I chose to keep the shape of the bison the same to give it more weight as a symbol. This creates an interesting challenge for composition. The piece has a lot of symmetry and balance in it. I did put one section with an odd number and a little asymmetry for some visual interest and movement.


Vertical pieces in and of themselves offer some interesting challenges with composition. I enjoyed crating a horizontal element with a vertical piece with the horizontal bands. They feel like layers of a story or layers. The layers could be a of a story, of a hierarchy, of time, et. My hope was to create an opportunity to think and perhaps bring your own ideas of what the layers might mean to you.

I loved how the colors worked out. They c=became part of the composition with the different contrasting values and vibrating colors.

I also chose to leave the charcoal design toward the top of the piece. I think that can bring up ideas of interest as well. I really enjoy the effect of the completely white bison at the top as well. They seem to provide a clarity for me. I like calm that I feel seeing them with the swirling design behind them.


This piece is currently available. It is 72x48 inches. The medium is charcoal and acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. The price of this piece is $7500. Additional cost may be added for shipping.