"Bison - study #1"
oil on paper, 5 inches by 3.5 inches
This small oil study (and the companion studies below) contains passages of impasto, particularly in the sky areas, where it suggests the weight of the elements confronting the form of the bison. All three works on this page are based on observations and life drawings of bison at the zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; at game refuges or parks; and of privately owned mini-herds. 
All three works and their accompanying detail images on this page are shown significantly larger than actual size.
RIGHT:
Detail from
"Bison - study #1" (above,) showing some sky and distance portrayed in the work. This detail also indicates the range of paint passages in this small work: from impasto in the sky to thin to transparent washes in areas such as the bison's lower legs.

Note that the detail at right and below are shown significantly larger than the actual work.






The second detail (below) from "Bison -study #1" shows the contrasts between the impasto passage of sky and the bison's head. I deliberately swapped the usual mode of impasto for the shaggy bison with the sky treatment. This suggests the air may be more immovable than the bison who passes through it.
"Bison - study #2"
oil on paper, 5 inches by 3.5 inches
LEFT:
Detail from
"Bison - study #1" (above.)

Passages of transparency, scumbling, and impasto.
"Bison - study #3"
oil on paper, 5 inches by 3.5 inches
For me, study #3 is the most successful of the three works.  It contains energetic passages of impasto (particularly in the sky and grasses), soft and hard edges, and transparent and linear qualities---all present in varying degrees in the other two works. But study #3 also animates the image itself, setting it in motion on a mental level as well as a visual one. Like the other studies, this on is based on observations and life drawings of bison in a variety of settings. 
All three works and their accompanying detail images on this page are shown significantly larger than actual size.
BELOW: Detail from "Bison - study #2" (above.) Passages of transparency, scumbling, and impasto.
LEFT:
Detail from
"Bison - study #2"
Passages of transparency, scumbling, and impasto.

I selected this region of the work to enlarge because of the subtle fluidity in the transition zone between the sky and the distant horizon---the haze of a windy dry day. Red undertones of the bison's body speak of the heat of the sun while the dry-brushed passages of gray overtop suggest layers of dust.













BELOW:
Another detail shows the use of a variety of brushes, sable and bristle --- rounds, flats, and filberts.
RIGHT:
Detail from
"Bison - study #3"
Passages of transparency, scumbling, and impasto.

I selected this region of the work to enlarge because of its "stand alone" quality---in other words, compositionally, it almost could be a separate painting itself.

Every brush stroke, linear mark, and soft edge serves to set the subject---the bison---in motion.

The grasses in the bottom of the detail are a combination of transparent and impasto treatments.










C.S. Poppenga  -  ARTiculations   P.O. Box 28, Lewistown,  Montana  59457   Email: poppengacarol@hotmail.com