Maple Leith Vincent Listening (Homage to Vincent I)
Vincent Listening (Homage to Vincent I)24h x 36w
Painting of a young black bear in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada. I saw this bear hanging out on a grassy knoll, at the side of the only road that travels through Kootenay. He was young and cautious, with a white and blonde chest, and blonde on his face. There was a continual noise that was keeping his attention behind him in the forest. I never heard, nor saw what made the noise, but it clearly was there and concerning him, as he never took his ears off the direction of the noise. He was very cute, and content with sitting in the sun in this open space. He looked at me with a matter of fact gaze and a passing curiosity, which was a direct contrast to my attention towards him.
I have given this bear the name Vincent. I chose this name to give homage to my favourite artist the Great Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent the man and Vincent the bear both had sad endings to their lives.
To start, I share a personal kinship with the Great Vincent for several reasons. One is my use of colour, and appreciation for it in everyday life. Another reason is that Vincent was a tortured soul. He was an outsider his entire life, something I personally identify with. I know what it's like to be alone, to be an outsider, and to a degree, have no one appreciate my art. I have followed his footsteps around southern France, and up to Auvers-sur-Oise, to see the peace he found in his final resting place.
Next, there is also a homage to a black bear that I once killed in a traffic accident. On August 22, 2019 I experienced one of the worst feelings of my life:
"I killed a bear today. A little black bear tried to run across the busy highway in front of my work truck this afternoon. The truck is 17,000 kgs, and he didn't make it. The trees on the mountain side almost hug the road. I saw him immediately, but at 95 kph, I couldn't stop. It took another 30 metres to stop beyond him. He died upon impact with the frame underneath me. I watched his body roll out from under the truck. I stopped, and went to him as the asshats in BC just drove around. One man, an old strong man, helped me drag his body off the road. I've never touched a bear before. I never thought I would. His fur was soft, not coarse. Though he was a black bear, he was a very dark brown close up. He had green eyes. He was about 200 pounds. Such small feet. I came to BC to see the animals, photograph and paint them, not to kill them. I knew he was a bear immediately, I knew I couldn't stop, I hoped he would make it past me. I’ve killed a deer in the past. I didn't like that either, but the bear, was different. Poor little bear."
I have started a series of paintings about that little black bear, titled Homage To Vincent.
All of the animals that I paint I have seen, as I work from my own photography.
1. This work is finished with five layers of varnish to protect it from UV light and dust.
2. The work does not come framed, but the edges are both painted white and varnished.
3. A wire is pre-installed and the work is ready to hang.
4. My signature appears on the front of the work and my Certificate of Authenticity is included.
Fernie, British Columbia
Canada, V0B 1M0
Phone Number: (403) 404-4672