Quackers was bored in Creamer’s Field Monday evening. He and his mate came over to the parking lot to see what was going on. They waddled around along the edge in the grass and then onto the concrete. I was worried they might get hit by a car, but no, they were careful and then waddled back to the field. They just wanted to go for an evening stroll.
Floppy was a moose with an attitude. With good reason. One ear lay limp on the side of her head. Permanently damaged, presumably from wolves. The scars on her face were evidence of the battles she had survived.
She almost always had a calf by her side. Every year, a new calf.
I had to include a calf in my painting of Floppy. But only a shadow. A few brushstrokes in the woods because the painting is not about calves.
Every appearance of this flop-eared moose made us smile. It was heartening to know she survived another winter. Winters aren’t easy for moose in Alaska and we know that she endured many. Her greying hair was an emblem of her remarkable strength.
Floppy wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything anymore. If she was in the road, it was better to wait until she felt like moving. She was known to charge cars, trucks, dogs, people… anything that aggravated her. She had been through it all and didn’t have time for any foolishness. I saw the look in her eye, and I could see her story. I waited for her to move into the woods before I tried to drive any further.
We looked forward to her visits and watched her amble through in her own sweet time. Her antagonistic nature seemed acceptable and even a little bit charming because of what she had been through. Isn’t that interesting? It makes me wonder if we wouldn’t be more patient with each other if we wore our wounds on the outside like Floppy did.
Floppy doesn’t come around anymore but I like to think about her. She gives me courage. She faced life straight on and didn’t let fear hamper her.
More information about this painting here.
“The first thing that I do is check on Mt. Hayes. I enjoy seeing the light and shadow patterns on it first thing in the morning with my coffee. The evening light is totally different. The other side of the mountains become light and it is spectacular too. I also enjoy watching the shape of the river weaving it’s way through the valley”. She told me this while we both watched the sunlight bathe the mountains in a wondrous glow.
This was my challenge, to paint the scene out of her dining room window and capture the wonder that she experienced.
After a few hours, we gazed at the oil painting from across the room and decided to stop. It captured what we wanted to capture.
I love to paint landscapes. And I love to connect people with their favorite scene, the view out of their window.