I first read Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf almost 20 years ago. I got my first copy from a second-hand bookshop in Victoria, British Columbia, during a 3-week trip to Seattle, Vancouver and Vancouver Island that completely changed my life. Having found my spiritual home I didn’t want to leave, but reluctantly came back laden down with impressions and artefacts that have kept that experience burning in my mind ever since. Mowat’s book, published in the early 1960’s, was one of the first to articulate a shift in perceptions regarding the wolf. They’re an easy creature to romanticise, serving as a potent symbol for ‘the wild’, but I’ve been biased towards them since I first read White Fang as a little kid and will always be on their side. This mocked-up cover for Mowat’s book uses a 2011 painting that seems to have got lost. Once I’ve finished my current painting, I suspect the next one will have to be a wolf.
Further to previous posts, here’s the latest update on my current painting. That background took an entire weekend to complete, and every atom of the surface of the painting now has a shard of my soul ground into it, but I am into the final phase of fine detail, which is the part I enjoy the most. I now have a title for the painting, and I’ll reveal all at the end of the month when it’s finished.
It is my strong conviction that one of the functions of art us to help free man from the bondage of transient emotions and from the slavery and prison of the world of small desires, the hypnosis of time.
Photograph taken at Prior Park, Bath, August 2018.
As of yesterday, this is as far as I’d got with the current painting. See previous posts here. Today the background will be completed, and then begins the fine detail phase where I can spend untold hours on a square inch of canvas and yet still come away feeling that I’ve not done enough. Then again, as Cormac McCarthy says: “Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.”