The bear depicted in my painting “Bear Market” is a Grizzly that I saw
“Close Up and Personal” as they say.
A few years ago, a couple of artist friends and I were painting in Glacier National Park.
We had just set up our easels behind the campground at Many Glacier, a spectacularly beautiful area of the park. We chose a mountain scene that was visible beyond a nearby creek. The other two painters set up along the bank of the creek and I chose a spot about ten feet back.
It was soon after we put our first brush strokes on our canvases that I heard my friend Tom English yell out “ BEAR! BEAR!”
Just then, I looked up and saw a grizzly bear ambling up the stream in our direction.
I immediately pulled my canister of bear spray out of its holder and pointed it toward the bear with my outstretched arm. I saw that the other painter that was with us did the same. At this point the Griz was no more than 20 feet away from us. My heart was thumping out of my chest! I knew that if he wanted to attack us he could have just leapt and been on us.
He sniffed at us for a while (it seemed like an eternity) and proceeded to continue ambling up the stream, which thankfully turned away from where we were.
It wasn’t until I knew that we were out of danger that I realized that rather than whip out his bear spray, Tom whipped out his camera and took several photos of the bear.
What was he thinking?!!!!
Anyway, Tom was nice enough to share a photo of our encounter with the Grizzly bear.
I decided to paint this painting to remind me of just how close, this “Close Up and Personal” wild experience was.