At the SKB Foundation Workshop in Dubois, Wyoming, most of the painting practice involves landscape painting outdoors, or wildlife painting from photographs indoors.
So we arranged to borrow a fine specimen of coyote, a pronghorn antelope, and a wolf from local taxidermy artist Lynn Stewart, who very generously brought them over to the art center.
This was my view of a running white wolf. I liked the pose, but I imagined it backlit against the bold fall colors of the quaking aspens, with sagebrush in the foreground, as I remembered the setting from a horseback ride in the morning.
It would have been even better to do a location study separately outdoors and combine it with the taxidermy study, properly lit -- or to take the taxidermy outside into a natural setting. The idea is to put away the camera and see if there's a way to do a wildlife study as much as possible from life and imagination.
On the other side of the room, John Seerey-Lester did this magnificent acrylic study of the same wolf. He chose to set it within a snowy winter backdrop.
That's John and his wife Suzie (pink hat) in the right foreground of the photo below. They are featured in the current issue of International Artist magazine, not only for their wildlife art, but also for their landscapes and nostalgia scenes.
It was a marvelous experience for all of us to paint together with a combination of imagination and observation.-----
John and Suzie Seerey-Lester's website
Stewart Taxidermy, Dubois, Wyoming
SKB Foundation Workshop