Sunday, June 7, 2015

Prairie Monarch

"Prairie Monarch - Bison Bull"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

I've been working on a prairie monarch since March - not the insect kind, but rather the "regal" mammal kind - the American Bison.  I've never really drawn or painted a bison, except for a logo I did several years ago for the area's Prairie Heritage Center.  I have taken a few photographs over the years, but came across one in my file that I thought I could isolate and set into a scene fitting for him.  I had to do a bull - up close these guys are quite intimidating!
2 1/2 months on one drawing has been a little much for me, I need to get loose now - both figuratively and outdoors.  The prairie pasture has thrown several surprises at us this year...we're seeing many plants we haven't seen in the places they're showing their heads.  Some of our hillside pasture's original native seed bank is coming back, its pretty exciting to see!  I need to take advantage of what's out there and free myself from the lap board (drawing board) so much.
I've often wondered what it would have been like to see Bison here, in our local habitat a couple hundred years back.  I purposely set the bull bison in the drawing, on the side of a hillside slope; its how I see our pasture much of the time and adds a bit more drama as far as the image is concerned.  The sky is also quite dramatic out here in the open prairie, and by placing it back behind the hill top, it adds some tension and drama as it a breaking sky or a developing storm over the horizon?
I hope you are able to get out there this summer and see what develops...what's over that horizon for you?!  
See you on the Tallgrass!