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The Wisdom of the Grizzly King by rieke-b The Wisdom of the Grizzly King by rieke-b
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! :heart:

PS: I was going to paint this anyway, but I thought it would be great for the Animal Rights Contest started by :iconmauriciokanno: Didn't make first place, but won some points, so in a way, I'm a winner, too, hehe! :D
Contest results: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconluna-fantasma:
Luna-Fantasma Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:winner: :dummy: :trophy: :party:  CONGRATS! You are among the 10 finalists on my contest. 

Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oooh, that's so cool! Thank you so much!! :heart: :bounce:
Reply
:iconluna-fantasma:
Luna-Fantasma Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"The strength of nature and the fatal arrogance of humanity" is clearly shown in this painting, excellent artwork of yours!

:pride: You entered this contest: luna-fantasma.deviantart.com/j...

THANKS TO PARTICIPATE :tighthug:

Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D Luckily, the guy was brought to his senses by the bear. ;)
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:iconmauriciokanno:
MauricioKanno Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Hi, dear Rieke-b! What do you think about joining the second edition of the International Arts for Animal Rights Contest? The deadline this time is March 31st!

I loved so much your artwork with which you participated last year, so I´m looking forward for your next creation! :D Really, for me your work was one of the best! Amazing!

And also, we´ve got some more prizes now! -> [link] Come on!
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for your kind message! :bounce:

I already heard about the contest and thought about participating, but I had a lot to do recently. (Sorry for the late reply!) However, your nice words really convinced me, so you can count me in! :thumbsup: I already have an idea for a painting, too! ;)
Reply
:iconmauriciokanno:
MauricioKanno Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
hooooooraaaaaaaaaaay!!!!! fantastic!! whatever you´re going to create, i´m sure it´ll be gorgeous and smashing!!!! thank you a lot, waiting for you!

(btw, i had thought because of your icon/avatar that you were fatter, hehe... very interesting and surprising to know you better by the picture you uploaded to be your deviantID! hehe)
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:D No problem! I feel flattered. (But I guess you say that to all the girls? ;) )

:rofl: Hahaha! I like to draw myself as a strange little creature, but I actually was a little fatter a few years ago. :D
Reply
:iconmauriciokanno:
MauricioKanno Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
hehehe, in this case i can really prove my sincerity about how much i LOVED your artwork, which made me fly!

because my personal votes i made in that time are public since April 2012, in the end of the results´journal, here: [link]

"And my personal votes were for:
1) Falling Cattle
2) The Wisdom of the Grizzly King, by ~rieke-b (Rieke Blendermann), from Germany
3) An Innocent Victim, by ^KovoWolf (Amber Mills), from United States"
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh wow, I'm so glad you liked my painting that much! Thank you! :D

I already finished the sketch for my new contest painting. This will be so much fun! ;)
Reply
:iconjust-a-witness:
Just-a-Witness Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
excellent picture, excellent story:D!
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
So glad you like it! :)
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:iconemi-gemini:
Emi-Gemini Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's remind me the movie "l'ours" by Jean-Jacques Annaud...
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Yep, the book after which the movie was made was my inspiration for this painting. ;)
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:iconsameerprehistorica:
SameerPrehistorica Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012  Hobbyist
well done
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
:)
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:iconbrushstrokemlp:
BrushStrokeMLP Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
read this book, saw the movie this drawing ties it all up to nothing more than awesomeness!
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm really glad you think so! The book impressed me very much, so I put a lot of effort into the painting (and the description text).
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconskyjaguar:
SkyJaguar Featured By Owner May 16, 2012
There was once a man out in the woods who was cornered by a big grizzly bear. The man didn't have a gun, so he was completely helpless. But he was very religious, and his faith had always gotten him out of trouble before. The bear drew closer and closer. The man started praying, and he begged God, "Please, let this be a Christian bear!" Just as the bear was close enough to kill him, it suddenly dropped to its knees and started praying as well! The man was so relieved. And the bear said, "Dear Lord, thank you for this meal that I am about to eat."
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
:rofl: Not exactly what I wanted to point out with this painting, but it's a great joke! Thank you! :D
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:icontdickensheets:
tdickensheets Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
I like it!
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icondinolover09:
DinoLover09 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can think of one animal that might be able to provide a challange for the king: a buffallo.
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
That's true! A buffalo is surely very majestic, too.
In the book, there were no buffalos in that area of British Columbia, so the bear was the only "king". ;)
Thanks for your comment!
Reply
:iconmararda:
Mararda Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012   Traditional Artist
I have featured this lovely work here:
[link]
:)
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow! Thank you so much. :bounce: You have some great art featured there, I really feel honoured. :heart:
Reply
:iconarachnowolf:
ArachnoWolf Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful! Good read in your description as well. This reminded me of a movie I grew up watching, "The Bear."
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :heart:
I'm sure you mean the movie directed by Jean-Jaques Annaud? It was made after this book. I've seen the movie, too, but I like the book a lot better. :)
Reply
:iconarachnowolf:
ArachnoWolf Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, yes (just checked.) Makes me want to read the book now, thank you for your lovely artwork!
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
It's beautifully written and even though it's from 1915, the book is still thrilling! I can really recommend it.
Thank you very much, too! :)
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:iconarachnowolf:
ArachnoWolf Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconjackiebricks:
JackieBricks Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist
what a lovely work! the colors look wonderful :D
you did an awesome job :)
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :heart:
Reply
:iconfairyville:
fairyville Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012
:O awesome work! I love the colors in this and all the details! ^^ Good work
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :D
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:iconfairyville:
fairyville Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
You're welcome ^^
Reply
:iconshadow-mesiona:
Shadow-Mesiona Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
wonderful
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Glad you like it. :)
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:iconshadow-mesiona:
Shadow-Mesiona Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
^-^
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:iconkeksimtee:
keksimtee Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a great picture. You have really captured this moment that you describe in the text. I like it very much!
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :heart: I'm very glad that you've read the description. This painting is quite important to me because I like bears (and all big animals) very much. :)
Reply
:iconlior20083:
lior20083 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Should not be replacedXD hahahhahah
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:iconalonesinthedark:
alonesinthedark Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
what an amazing art :)
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:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
So glad you like this one! :heart:
Reply
:iconart-fromthe-heart:
ART-fromthe-HEART Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I must've missed this one! Wow what a great story, and painting too! You're great at painting people. :) This looks like it could be in a children's book. The flowing colors and gentle details are perfect together. :love:
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
This piece is quite important to me because the book impressed me so much. :) It was finished within 4 days.
Thank you so much! I didn't know whether the guy would turn out nicely, but I'm satisfied with this painting. I paid a lot of attention to strong contrasts this time.
Reply
:iconart-fromthe-heart:
ART-fromthe-HEART Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
:o Wow, you did this in 4 days?! I paint fast and even that's fast for me! Great job!
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
:D Watercolours can be a fast medium. Only the liquid frisket needs a little longer to dry up, as well as big wet areas. I also wanted to finish this quickly because it's also for a contest. :)
Reply
:iconart-fromthe-heart:
ART-fromthe-HEART Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
:la: W00t! Good luck in the contest!
Reply
:iconrieke-b:
rieke-b Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! It would be great to win some points or a premium membership... :)
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March 2, 2012
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