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Polar Bear Express
22" x 30"
Watercolor
$  2,500.00
 
The Polar Bear Express begins its wilderness trek where the road ends -- as far as one can drive in Ontario, Canada. It rumbles on a lonely track, on a gut-level basis, pushing desperately through scrub brush and muskeg 200 miles north to James Bay. At the end of the line, at Moosenee, a Cree Indian named Freddie took us to Moose Factory Island in his canoe. On the island, I crawled inside a teepee just large enough for two people. A native woman cooked bannock over an open fire. She wrapped the dough snugly around a stick and pressed the stick into the ground tilting it toward the fire. When the bread baked to a wheat-field brown, she carefully wrapped it in aluminum foil and handed it to me. I felt the teepee, the woman and the bread strangely primal and familiar. There are many things I can't explain. After scanning a photograph of two polar bears onto my computer, I enhanced the colors and moved the shapes for a better composition. I added bannock on sticks as floaters around the polar bears. The hard-edged red, black and white lines represent the ominous tracks of the Polar Bear Express. I used the resulting print-out as reference and made further changes as I painted.