Watercolours, black and white gouache and watercolour pencils, 40x30cm (about 16"x12").
"The hunter had been chasing the bear for many days now. He had lost his best dogs to the giant paws of the Grizzly King, the biggest bear he had ever seen or heard of. He had also lost sight of his hunting companions. After having stumbled over rocks and boulders for endless hours, he fell down and his gun broke into pieces. He was just about to scream ferociously when a huge shadow appeared. The hunter was cornered and all he could do was to stare into the small eyes of the Grizzly King.
The bear was puzzled. The human smell, which had brought him pain, sickness and hatred, was now right in front of him, but it was mixed with a scent of great fear and weakness. He couldn't believe that this small, pale, trembling creature could ever have represented a threat to him. He had always been a generous king because he knew that no other creature in his huge territory had ever been a match for him. At this moment, his wounds had healed and he was strong again. To look at this helpless human convinced him once more that he would always be the true king of his world.
The bear sniffed, growled and seemed to be indecisive for a few seconds which seemed like an eternity to the terrified man.
And then, the bear relaxed and, throwing one last glance at the hunter, he retreated.
When the enormous figure was gone, the hunter felt his heart beating again. He took a deep breath, unable to believe that this powerful bear had just spared his life! He was far too upset to make sense of this experience right now, but what he knew for sure was that he would never be able to kill an animal again..."
Inspired by "The Grizzly King" by James Oliver Curwood, 1915. (Text above written by me.)
This painting shows the moment when the bear is already retreating and throws a last glance at the hunter. The bear is relaxed, letting his bottom lip hang down, and has no intention to harm the man.
I don't know if a scene like this is totally realistic. I'm sure there was some imagination involved, but the book seemed quite autobiographic to me, since J. O. Curwood had been a hunter himself, but felt sorry for all the animals he had shot, and wrote the book "for compensation".
Large animals and their natural habitats really deserve our awe. When we use our knowledge wisely and take our time to learn enough about them, we can find a way to live with them and respect them, so that they'll respect us, too.
Our civilisation seems so puny to me, compared to the rough, ancient and sensible course of nature which is mainly about life and death. In some way, we can surely become a part of this again and be more humble, even though it's hard to get rid of the greed that was passed on over many generations... All you need is the will to change, the necessary knowledge will follow!
I put in the flowers as a symbol of peace.
I have no idea whether a shotgun can really break in half like this and I actually don't care, it's just a symbolic element of the painting.
Thank you very much for reading!
PS: I was going to paint this anyway, but I thought it would be great for the Animal Rights Contest started by
Didn't make first place, but won some points, so in a way, I'm a winner, too, hehe!
Contest results: [link]