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Robert Bateman (Prints)

Along the Ridge – Grizzly Bear (Print)

Artist's page

Giclee Canvas, 180 SN and 40 AP
24" x 36" / 60.96cm x 91.44cm
Unframed (US Dollar): $795.00

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“My first trip to Alaska was overwhelming . I expected it to be spectacular,
but not overwhelmingly spectacular. Next to East Africa, I consider it the best
place in the world to see large, wild animals.

Mount McKinley National Park (now called Denali National Park) is, in a sense,
the Headquarters for wildlife in Alaska. I had very good views of ptarmigan,
golden eagles, gyrfalcons, carbou, Dall’s sheep and of course, grizzly bears.
On our way into the park on our first evening I conceived of this, my first,
Alaskan painting. It is part of my artistic philosophy to orchestrate a painting
so that the main elements do not compete. I either want the animal or the
landscape to dominate – not both.

The grizzly bear is one of the largest and most imprssive carnivores in the world,
but it is a mere peanut when compared to the awesome landscape. Starting at a
mere 3,000 feet and rising abruptly to 20,320 feet, Mount Mckinley ( Denali)
is considered by many to be the highest mountain in the world from bottom
to top. Nestled around it like courtiers around the king are beautiful mountain
peaks which, although they are lesser, would excel anywhere else in the world.
Usually the great snowy slopes and glaciers of McKinley itself are hidden by cloud.
Then one looks up in the cloudy sky, perhaps to follow the flight of an eagle, and
suddenly that brilliant white cloud reveals itself, not as a cloud, but as the great
Mt. McKinley. That is why I painted it for you to discover after looking at the rest
of the painting. That is the way it is in the real park. Sometimes I hide a little bird
or even a beer can in the picture. I thought that it would bean interesting idea
to hide the largest mountain in North America.

The bears, of course, fit in a small part of the whole as in real life. We saw grizzly
sows and cubs on several occasions but not, of course, at the time and place I
have shown in the picture. The weather is also an important element in any
Alaskan visit as is the onderful light. In this painting I tried to fit the land,
the atmosphere and the wildlife into one moment in time which
could have happened.”