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NOTES: â€œMy paintings are private moments with the untamed, an intimate moment with the elusive side of the wilderness,â€ relates Bonnie Marris. â€œIf connections between two people begin with the eyes, I think that when you are introducing people to wildlife, you should begin in the same way, with the eyes.â€
â€œThere is a line in a song by Cheryl Wheeler. â€˜. . . they hear voices older than time. Its part of the aura around wolves. When you look into their eyes they seem to see so much farther and know so much more than we do. People have come up to me at shows and tell me that theyve felt it was the first time theyve connected with a wolf. I get so excited when I hear that.
â€œI think about our history with wolves and how much, throughout history, we feared them. It seems we are now attempting to understand them rather than fear them. Wolves are so secretive. Its taken a long time to realize that they share many traits with us. If you think about how family oriented the pack is, its amazing. Family is family and we share that social nature.
â€œWe are so busy and so rushed, a painting is a way to stop and spend a few moments discovering something new about the world in which we live. In the end, it gives us the chance to discover something new about ourselves as well.â€.
Hidden Secrets Artist Proof by Bonnie Marris is signed by the artist and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
image Copyright © 2023 by Bonnie Marris
Bonnie Marris has taken an unusual path into art; she developed her talent by portraying animals "from the inside out." While she was a student at Michigan State University, Bonnie illustrated several major books. One volume she worked on was a leading expert s mammalogy text that contained several hundred drawings and detail studies. This massive project attracted the attention of noted zoologist George Schaller, who invited Bonnie to prepare the art for posters that would support his worldwide rare animal relief programs. Beyond academic training and emotional involvement, art requires another element for which there is no substitute: experience. Each year, Bonnie makes two major trips, and countless smaller ones, to observe and learn about the wildlife she loves. In 1980, one such voyage took her to Alaska, where she lived in the wilderness for six months. She recounts, "To get into a natural environment and see the animals on their own terms is as important as knowing the animals themselves. For instance, gray wolves on the tundra—the vast, vast tundra with the wind and other forces of nature at their most extreme—that s what makes them what they are. To stand not far from a grizzly that is so overpowering, so beautiful and so large . . . to watch it pull up a small tree with a swipe of its paw and just a few minutes later see it delicately picking blueberries with its black lips. . . Alaska changed me; it gave me the biggest incentive to paint and increased my interest in the predators: the cats, bears, coyotes, wolves and foxes. They exist on so many levels. Their moods show in their eyes and we can learn so much from them."