Winter Sunset – Moose
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24” x 36”, acrylic, 1984
Winter is an excellent time to see the larger animals that do not hibernate. The leaves are not on the trees which gives better visibility; the snow makes wildlife easier to see, and you can follow the tracks. In addition, the animals tend to come down to the river valleys in concentrations that can be more easily observed. Moose do not have as hard a time in winter as do deer and the fur bearing animals. Bears, of course, hibernate, and beavers spend the winter in their ponds under the ice. A moose is designed for winter. Their long legs are a great help in striding through the snow, and the dense fur keeps out the cold. They can eat twigs of many different trees but are greatly helped by some open water so that the aquatic vegetation can supplement their diet.

In this painting I have shown a bull moose about to cross a beaver dam in early winter. The pond has not yet frozen. Although the sun has set, there is a glow in the sky which, in this case, shows mostly in the water. Besides portraying a mood of time and place, the interesting challenge, for me, was to show the textures and colours of the water, ice and snow. They are all H2O, yet their physical properties do different things with light.