Bear Paintings by Diane Williams
Bear Paintings by Canadian Artist Diane Williams – The White Spirit Bear
Bear paintings, such as the ‘White Spirit Bear’ which is Curator’s Choice for Art in Canada, was created by Millarville Alberta Artist Diane Williams.
Along with her most recent bear paintings; horse portraits, wolf paintings, landscape paintings, are all subjects that Diane loves to paint.
I first met ‘the Equine artist’ Diane Williams at the Spruce Meadows Masters Art Show. She had a booth there showing her artwork. I had a booth there for my equine website business.
We met. We clicked!
I was fascinated by her artwork. All horses of course, because we were at Spruce Meadows! And not just paintings of horses, she also had a collection of equine photographs she’d taken on Sable Island! They were amazing photographs, and the stories she told me for each moment she captured… equally amazing.
Her painting style for equine art is unique. She uses thick paint and confident brush strokes. I instantly sensed her connection to horses when I looked at her art. Maybe I noticed it because we have horses, and I know the most important aspect to capture in equine art, is the horses eye. Her horses, had lovely soft eyes. Knowing eyes. Through them, I saw their connection to Diane.
It didn’t surprise me at all that in no time I was driving from our ranch in Southern Alberta to her art studio in Millarville to take painting lessons from her. I loved every second of that day! It had been so long since I had painted I was a nervous wreck, but at the same time, I was like a little kids about to get something I’d been longing for. Since I started marketing artists online in 1999, I’ve held a paint brush in my hand twice. This was the second time!
Diane Williams knows how to make any art student comfortable and confident. Check out her website if you want to take art lessons! My day was full of awe inspiring moments. Stories on top of stories and lessons I still remember. (As long as their isn’t going to be a test!)
One day, not long ago, I noticed bear paintings on Diane’s website!!
I was thrilled, and I still am! Diane’s art amazes me. Whether it be the bear paintings, equine art, wildlife art or photography, she is one with everything she does.
I of course, had questions for her:
What made you paint the White Spirit Bear?
I have a friend / photographer John Yates who went to the Kitimat area in B.C. to photograph the grizzly bears Salmon fishing. I fell in love with his White Kermode bear.
A Kermode bear is easily recognized by its white fur. Any colour it has comes from dirt picked up while walking and fishing. The bears shed their fur each spring. After that, the fur is particularly white – at least until the bear manages to get it dirty!
Few people realize that all Kermodes are actually black bears. The famous white fur comes from a recessive gene. Both parent bears must have this gene for their cub to be white. It is the same phenomenon occurring in human genes for blue eyes or red hair.
How do you describe the connection you have with animals?
As I grow and develop artistically, I am blessed to have developed a visual language that allows me to share my vision of the inner essence of animals. I feel their spirit when I am painting. I ask what needs to be revealed through the color and paint.
Do you feel the same connection you do with the bears as you do with horses?
I feel a deep connection with both. With horses I also receive the kinesthetic energy from being on their backs and around them every day.
Are you teaching students to paint both subjects?
I am teaching my students a stage one color foundation that they can take into any of their future paintings. Along with this I show them how to use their energy and thought to create the spirit of their subject through color and brushstrokes. Subject matter needs to be inspiring and close to the heart. I ask that they photograph their own animals and landscapes that they have a deep connection to.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
From the spirit of the subject matter. It lights something inside.
I KNOW you live in bear country… do you paint the bears you’ve seen?
It is my wish to go on a safari in BC to photograph the grizzly bears, hopefully next year? I mostly see coyote, fox, moose, deer, elk and horses where I live.