I recently had a request for a grizzly bear sketch from my dear friends who spent many months as summer rangers in Denali National Park and Preserve. They both, husband and wife, helped park visitors stay safe and taught them how to enjoy the beauty of the wilderness, a job that mixes hard work with determination and sometimes the unexpected. Their generous invitation for me to join them for a week in Denali was the reason I planned my trip to Alaska in 2012 in late August. If you click on the link, you will see the beautiful colors found on the tundra as it prepares for winter.
Browsing through my Alaska images was like a revisit and brought back a surprising sense of awe similar to what I originally felt while surveying the rugged and beautiful terrain of the wilderness. I especially enjoyed that revisiting sensation in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic that currently limits travels. This is a time when photography and art can transform the moment.
While creating the sketches I also explored papers, light and shadow, and bear shapes. The first sketch was on Canson sketching paper, easy, free, forgiving, fun. There is something about sketching paper that frees the spirit. But I did miss the depth of color and fluid movement that happens on real 140 lb cotton paper. The second and third images were on different watercolor 140# rag paper, one soft and absorbing (image 2) and the third, tough Arches 140# cold press, which is most familiar to me and my favorite. These were fun explorations and I am not finished playing! A lot of learning and fun happens in series painting!
Visit bear fun and a sketch I made while in the park at Vickie Henderson Art: A Bear Gets a Good Scratch