"Mother’s Watchful Eye"
©2019, 30" by 22", Watercolour
I have always wanted to paint a wolf, but I just didn't know how to do it in a way that hadn't already been done a hundred times over. Then, not long ago, it occurred to me that I could make it into some kind of family theme.
My wife and I have twin sons who are nine (in 2019). When they were born, they were a handful and didn't much like to sleep, so my wife and I had to grab our rest whenever and wherever we could. Even so, that rest was often fleeting, and easily and frequently interrupted.
This painting is meant as a tribute to my wife who fought hardest to get the sleep she needed because the boys, to this day, go right to Mommy whenever they need anything.
In the scene that I've created in the painting, Momma wolf is trying to have a nap with the pups, but that nap has been interrupted by the unexpected arrival of a chipmunk, who clearly wants to be anywhere else. Wearily, Momma is opening one eye to see what's going on.
From a technical standpoint, this painting was an experiment. I based it on about a half dozen different photographs that I arranged in this particular composition so that the natural edges would all point towards the wolf pups. In terms of the photographs, there is the image with the mother wolf, then another with the bodies of the pups, and another with the wolf heads I wanted, and then another with the shocked chipmunk.
As for the rocks in the foreground, I chose something appropriate for the family-theme. If this sounds confusing, let me explain. These particular rocks are located at an idyllic campsite on Bentshoe Lake in the Haliburton Highlands. Starting in the early 90s, my friends and I have gone camping there many times over the years, and always found these particular rocks useful because they were both flat and elevated, making them a perfect “table” for preparing food. I’ve camped on this site in summer, a few times in the winter, and even one Thanksgiving when we cooked a turkey over a campfire. It really is one of the nicest places I’ve ever pitched a tent.
Then, in 2013, I took my wife and four-year old twins there, and it was magical. One of my favourite pictures from the trip, and the one I used as a source image for the painting, was of my sons sitting on the rocks eating oatmeal. I composed the finished image in such a way that they boys were hidden, but one of them still snuck into the painting anyhow without me even realizing it. Take a look under the left leg of the wolf pup who is howling. See that line of white and the splotchy, greenish wall just below it? That’s the white shirt that my son was wearing as well as the pattern on his pajama bottoms. When I was painting that area, I thought the white was a pattern in the rocks, and that the pajama design was lichen!
Mother's Watchful Eye
Reproductions of my art are available printed either on paper or canvas. Both formats are signed by me, the artist, and are high quality, full-colour prints of a high resolution scan or photograph of the original painting. All prints are inspected to ensure that the colours match the source and created using inks that are guaranteed to resist both fading and UV light.
These are printed on high quality paper to give them the look and feel of the original painting. In terms of the dimensions listed, please keep in mind that they are approximate. Since I custom mat and frame the prints myself, I reproduce them at specific sizes so that when they are matted to standard matting dimensions, the mat-board borders are consistent widths on all sides. It’s because of this that I highly recommend that you upgrade to the matted version (seriously, go do it now).
Now, if you've ordered a print that is not a standard sized when matted, then I highly recommend that you go back and order it in a frame. As described in the sister section Frames, I do all my own framing using reclaimed wood and am affordable.
If you want to avoid matting and framing altogether, then I suggest that you order the canvas option. I stretch the canvases myself using reclaimed wood and, with a profile that is an inch and a half thick, the art will make a strong statement on your wall.