|5" x 7" watercolor on 140 lb Fabriano Artistico hot press paper|
For several mornings at approximately the same time, I parked my car at the same place at the edge of a park. There was a large tree that intrigued me and I wanted to try to capture it on paper. I also liked the way it framed everything beyond.
So I painted the tree and when I was about halfway through, with the tree complete, I showed it to a friend. I had tried to portray all of the many shades and textures I saw on the tree, including a large knot.
She looked at it, and then squinted and leaned closer. "What's that?" she said, "Is that a bear?"
I looked at the picture again. And then I saw it.
There it was where the knot should have been - a bear. I'd had no idea the bear was there.
If you didn't see a bear the first time you looked at the picture, then look again, and there it will be. And once you see the bear, you cannot unsee it.
Now with a few dabs of water or paint and some subtle changes I could have banished the bear from my tree, and I considered doing so. But I kind of liked the old fella - he had a friendly smile - so there he stays.
So now it's my bear tree.
I had fun with the scene beyond. There was a house off to my right just beyond the far side of the park and I decided that for my composition it would look good on the left, so I put it there. And now the bear guards that house, I suppose.
And those are the bear facts, as I see them.
At the end of each of my sessions, I'd snap a shot of the picture, to evaluate my progress and consider what to do next.
And here is a slide show of those shots: