The Warming Rock

$4,500.00

16 X 12
23 X 19 Framed
Oil on Canvas

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Bonnie Marris has been studying and painting wolves, foxes, dogs and horses since childhood. She remembers her family home as a refuge for anyone in trouble, human or animal. “At one time we had two wolves and a three-month-old coyote living with us,” she recalls with a smile. Always, when Marris wasn’t around animals, she was painting them, and this love led her to pursue degrees in zoology and animal behavior. Animals are an integral part of both her life and her art.

She cites David Shephard, the great British painter and preservationist, as her hero and mentor. His mastery of color and pure magic on canvas, she says, motivate her every day to become more skillful, to make an animal seem to step off the linen canvas so that viewers hold their breath in preparation for the meeting. If anyone has never had the opportunity to see a fox running through a field and stopping suddenly to listen for a mouse, or to watch a pack of wild wolves at play, Marris wants to give that person some of the experience with a painting.

She also wants to let viewers see each animal she paints as an individual, to connect with its soul. “We all know that our dogs and cats have personalities and their own ways of being,” she says. “Well, this is also true of grizzlies, of horses, of wolves—all nature’s creatures. Once in Alaska, about thirty yards from my campsite, one wolf from a pack of twenty got down on her front elbows and wagged her tail at me in play mode. Another time a coyote spent a whole morning watching me watch a grizzly—and then hiked with me all afternoon and sat on a nearby hillside while I waited for more bears. A very grateful wild skunk once patiently let me clean caked mud off him after he had been stuck in a window well.

Studying color and light, Marris says, has become an obsession with her. “Color sets a mood, an atmosphere that can create feelings ranging from contentment to terror. There are colors within colors, too. The many colors in a shadow, for instance, convey cold or heat. The way light plays with the subject is also very important. Light may dance across snow or water, then lead the eye through the thick fur of a wolf’s neck or flash in the corner of a cougar’s eye. I’m fascinated by hue changes in light as it ages with the day.”

Marris is very much a loner, spending most of her time in the fields and woods with a horse or a dog. She does a lot of outdoor photography and sketching and tries to take one major field/research trip a year. Watching polar bears along Hudson Bay, grizzlies fishing in Alaska, or elk sparring and bugling is thrilling, Marris says, but at the same time she finds herself impatient to get back to the studio to paint these sights. –Then, back in the studio, she can’t wait to get outdoors again!

The passion Bonnie Marris has for wilderness, for animals, and for light and color come together in her art, and she feels her work has accomplished its purpose when a viewer feels that same passion.

Bonnie Marris Painting, Oil on Canvas 16 X 12 (Interest categories: Oil on Canvas, Fox, Sun, Painting, Wildlife Art, Fine Art, Art Gallery, Bonnie Marris Artist)

Education
• Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Selected Exhibitions
• 2017 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Oklahoma City, OK
• 2010-2017 Gene Autry National Museum, Masters of The American West, Los Angeles, CA
• 2002-2005 Gene Autry National Museum, Western Heritage Show, Los Angeles, CA

Awards
• 2016 Masters of the American West, Patrons’ Choice Award
• 2014 Masters of the American West the Bob Kuhn Wildlife Award
• 2014 Masters of the American West Ross and Billie McKnight Artists’ Choice Award
• 2014 Masters of the American West Marjorie and Frank Sands Patrons’ Choice Award.
• 2012 Masters of the American West Patrons’ Choice Award
• 2011 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction People’s Choice Award
• 2010 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction Patrons’ Choice Award
• 2010-2017 Autry National Center, Masters of The American West, Los Angeles, CA
• 2002-2005 Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage Show
Selected Press
• Western Art Collector, January 2012
• Southwest Art, June, 2011
• Art of the West, November 2010
• Art of the West, May-June 2009
• Art of the West, July, 2004

Selected Publications
• Michigan Mammals, Dr. Rollin Baker, Michigan State University Press
• The Red Fox In Art, Dr. John Orrell, Skagit River Press
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OPEN

Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm
Sunday 9:30am-5:00pm

Workshop Materials List

1. Clay – Chavant Le Beau Touche. Get the regular clay, not HM (high melt).
2. Clay warming devices, a metal bucket with a clamp on heat lamp or 100 W bulb works great.
3. Tie wire.
4. Aluminum foil.
5. Scissors.
6. Favorite sculpture tools.
7. Plank of wood (pine) approximately 8″ x 8″ x 2″.
Bring as many planks as you wish…the wood is used as the base for your sculpture.
8. Plumber’s pipe, 1/2″ threaded: Bring several different lengths…up to 10″…not PVC pipe.
Plumber’s pipe T joint.
Plumber’s pipe couplers.
Plumber’s pipe flange.
9. Screws and screwdriver to secure the flange to wood…this may be done before you arrive. (Place flange in the center of plank)
10. Wire cutters
11. Needle nose pliers
12. Rubber mallet.
13. Spatula
14. Measuring devices such as rulers, measuring tape, dividers, and calipers.
15. Because we concentrate on BIRDS IN FLIGHT, live models in the classroom are more distracting than useful. I will demonstrate the technique of constructing a cantilevered bird armature that can be used for many different bird species and will show you how to assemble shapes to capture the “gist” of the specific bird.
16. Bird field guides such as Peterson, Stokes, Golden, or Sibley. Sibley’s Guide to Birds (not Sibley’s Guide to Bird Life and Behavior) is best if bringing only one field guide. This popular book can usually be purchased at any bookstore.
17. Bring your laptop to the class if possible.
18. Bring your sketchbook.

1 Lake Circle Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906
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