Meet The Blue Prince, a 30" x 40" polar bear oil painting. Why have I titled this painting, The Blue Prince? ...this mighty polar bear painting is created in dramatic shades of blue,.. is a portrait of arctic royalty, and polar bears, highly intelligent, and the largest and mightiest arctic predator, are often referred to as the Lords of the North.Read More
A Polar Bear Cub Painting
The polar bear cub painting below, is the second in my Sink/Swim series of polar bear oil paintings. This painting comments on sea ice loss and its negative effect on the polar bear habitat.
Sinking or Swimming?
Climate change has decreased the amount of sea ice necessary for the mother bears to hunt seals, feed their young, and sometimes den. The season of open water from spring to fall has increased, delaying the opportunity to hunt. Cubs do not yet have that great insulating layer of fat and so the mother bear must carry the baby bears on her back as she swims to the next ice top. These trips are not always successful. Polar bear cubs just simply vanish along the route, and sometimes the mothers do, too.
The bear cub above, does not seem distressed. Like with the experiment Schrodinger's Cat, it is up to the viewer's thoughts about what this bear's state of being is.
For my online gallery of polar bear art – paintings and portraits, please visit ChristineMontague.com
Polar Bear Blessings
In Benediction, a 36" x 12" polar bear oil painting on canvas a polar bear, suspended upright under blue free water, seems to be giving a blessing. Who would be the recipient of such a gift, do you think?
As with other paintings in the polar bear Sink/Swim Series, we are at that tipping point of loosing much that is wonderful in this world. We need all the blessings we can get, and we should not only count them, but protect and nurture them, too.
I'm very blessed I can take the risk to follow my polar bear muse and look forward to where this polar bear art will take me. Are you enjoying these polar bear paintings? Let me know as I enjoy and appreciate your comments!
"Benediction" has a new home, but if you would like to have a polar bear in your home or office, or lucky you, polar bear lodge, please check out what's available at ChristineMontague.com
Sink/ Swim 3, A Polar Bear Cub Painting
Polar Bear Cub 3, a 6" x 12" oil painting study on canvas, depicts a polar bear cub mid-swim, beneath the water's surface.
The Sink/Swim Series
My polar bear Sink/Swim series of oil paintings offers commentry on the effect vanishing polar ice has on the survival of the polar bears. The delay in the formation of the sea ice, leaves the baby polar bear more vulnerable to attack by hungry male polar bears. The increased open water means the distance a mother polar bear must travel, polar bear cub(s) on back, before ice is found to rest on or hunt seal from, increases the odds the polar bear bear cub(s), and even the mother, will make it safely ice top.
The sink or swim aspect can apply to the bigger picture of our planet as well. The decrease in the polar bear population is but one of the many consequences of increased global warming, and the resulting polar and glacial ice loss. Less ice means more dark water.
When polar caps melt, sea water rises. As a good part of the earth's population lives near the water's edge, well, we could all be swimming for it, couldn't we.
Anecdotal stories state that human babies will sometimes play as they drown, not realizing they are in danger. With this chilling fact in mind, I wondered if polar bear cubs are aware they are in danger as they drown. I hope not.
Some may think of these polar bear cub paintings as "cute", not exactly a word a fine artist loves to hear. But, the fact is, it is difficult to paint escape the cute factor of a polar bear cub. I hope that the affection, admiration and concern I feel for these wonderful bears is evident, and that they evoke similar emotions in you, too. The thought that in the next 50 years then number of these magnificent polar bears may decline dramatically, is the furthest from polar bear cute I can imagine.
To sign up for my blog & newsletter, or for more info on my polar bear paintings or to buy a painting, please visit Christine Montague Polar Bear Art.
New Polar Bear Cub Painting Series
The polar bear cub painting below comments on sea ice loss and its effect on polar bears.
You may know that, thanks to climate change (global warming) mother polar bears, polar bear cub(s) atop their back, must swim greater distances in search of ice tops on which to hunt, rest, feed and occasionally den. The greater distances, and greater sea ice loss, means these trips, are not always successful. Polar bear cubs just simply vanish along the route, and sometimes the mothers do, too.
I've heard some human babies continue to play as they sink to the bottom of the swimming pool, unaware they are in danger of drowning. I don't know if this is actually true, but, with this concept in mind, I've painted this little bear. This polar bear cub is under water, and not in distress. It's looking right at us though, leaving us to decide the innocence or tragedy of the scene. What do you think happens next?
For my online gallery of polar bear art - paintings and portraits, please visit ChristineMontague.com
For everything polar bear, please visit Polar Bears International, the not for profit organization noted for their research and advocacy roles re: sea ice loss and effect on polar bear life.
Polar Bear Goodness: a New Polar Bear Art Website & Art Blog at ChristineMontague.com
In case you are new to this art blog Camera & Canvas, I am a visual artist who, until recently, created representational art i.e. realism oil paintings of figurative landscapes, commissioned portraiture, giant cat paintings, canoes, lakes& more. After the polar bears were put on the animals "of concern" list, I painted the polar bear painting With the Northern Lights in tribute. I continued to have polar bears on the brain when shortly after that I created CRAM, a Polar Bear World for The Sketchbook Project. Increasingly, I found myself thinking about polar bear art, polar bear graphic novels,polar bear vacations...,you get the picture, all the while continuing with my portraiture practice & creating other representational art.
One Big, Giant, Scary, Polar Bear Step Forward
Onward into a polar bear world of my own! Polar bear art, polar bear blog, and yes, and trips to Cape Dorset, Nunavut, the Canadian arctic, to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, polar bear capital of the world, followed (but not at the same time!).
If you love art, polar bears, or think about climate change, I hope you will enjoy (or find some solace in)
Myart blog? I hope you will visit www.christinemontague.com/blog
I have a new newsletter for the freshest painting off my easel, why I have painted it, art & polar bear news, art tips, Subscribe
One thing is certain, in my part of the realm...Here there be polar bears. I hope that here there be you, too.
Here are some last-minute stocking stuffer Christmas gift ideas for the visual artist in your life. Artists often are very particular about what art supplies, etc., they use but I think these art related items, will be both enjoyable and creatively practical. Are there any art items you love and find useful?
- Winsor & NewtonWatercolour Markers. Perfect for the watercolour enthusiast, the plein air painter, the sketcher, the student and the experimenter. This is a brand new product, at least to Canadian stores. They come in 6 and 12 pack sets, as well as a score of other colours. From comments I have read they blend best on the Winsor & Newton Watercolour Marker pads. DeSerres, er, Santa hasn't delivered mine yet, so I can't speak personally to their use, but excitement over this product is all over the net. Even a small W&N watercolour marker pad & a black marker or favourite colour or two would make a nice little surprise gift in the Christmas stocking, don't you think?
- Sakura Koi Watercolour Field Sketch Set This watercolour set comes in a variety of sizes, but the smallest has 12 little pans of colour. The plastic brush that comes with the set holds water in it's shaft. Darn it Jim, I'm an oil painter, not a watercolorist (for you Trekkers) , but I have really enjoyed how easy it is to just get going painting with this portable little set. Perfect gift for all those mentioned above, and for the young artist in your life, too. Not so perfect for the advanced, professional artist in your life, who has a set product brand they prefer to use.
- Attractive Sketch & watercolour pads of all shapes, sizes & price points. There are so many gorgeous ones out there! You like purple? They have them! Leather, they're there! Useful for everyone.
- Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus for the iPad, tablet, smartphone & other touch screen devices. I don't do a lot of painting on my iPad, but I have owned one of these amazing brushes for about a year. It really feels like a brush, perfect for those used to painting, but new to the digital paint scene. An idea? Give this brush and iTunes gift card to buy a painting app. Note: Not for use with real paint!! This is a two in one tool. It also has a rubber stylus.
- iPad for Artists by Dani Jones, Pixiq Thisbook is great for those who like the feel of a book in hand while they learn. About the size of an iPad, this helpful instruction book has larger print (hmm, who is that for), and is highly illustrated. Perfect for wannabe digital artists, both new and experienced.
- Acrylic Paint Markers These markers come in a variety of makes, colours, and pen nibs. Although I am an oil painter (Christine Montague Fine Art: Portraits and Polar Bears) I bought a fine black one to fool around, er, experiment with. I loved it for its versatility, the " blackness" and flow of it. Just plain handy for anyone.
- Brushes. Sneak into the studio and check out what brand and sizes the artist in your life uses. I miss the days when one of my sons worked full-time for a local art store and gift giving times always meant a really nice brush came my way. Warning though, protect that tip at all costs! No stuffing into that stocking unless protected with cardboard. Another tip? If you have bought paints for your beginner artist, buy one or two nice brushes, rather than the 20-brushes-in-a-case-for-$20-set. Brushes are an important tool, and a brush that goes mushy or splayed after a use or two is frustrating for your new artist. You already bought that set? Don't worry, and bless you for encouraging your new artist!
- Is your artist a mystery lover? Then theInspector Gamache Series byLouise Pennywill be addictive. Although these books are usually about Montreal Police Chief Inspector, Armand Gamache solving a murder in the fictional village of Three Pines, visual artists also figure predominately. I almost wept by book five, because of Penny's insights on the aspirations and fears of the visual artist. Still Life is book 1 in the series. It's good, and the rest of the series is better. Note: Amazingly our local libraries don't carry these books. Yet Penny is recipient of top mystery awards, and the most recent book began at #1 on the best seller list. Bonus: you'll know what to buy your artist for the next 10 gift giving occasions are as date there are 11 books in the series.
- Is your artist a sci-fi lover? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Harper Avenue Press),is a post-apocalyptic story in which civilization as we know it falls swiftly and mercilessly, and culture - art, music, and theatre - is an anchor for community, kindness and purpose. Prepare for some binge reading by the artist you give it to (they may say they are working in the studio....).
- 33 Artists in 3 Acts. A non- fiction book bySarah Thorton (Norton Press). Thorton is the best-selling author of Seven Days in the Art World (See # 11). Her experience as chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist, a BA Art History and a PhD in Sociology contribute to her thorough research and insight into the elitist art world. Easily read, and witty, her books are fascinating to any one trying to navigate the visual art world.
- Art Business Books. There are a piles, piles! of them but I am going to send you to one of my earlier blog posts to read the list of visual art business books I own and find invaluable. Click 5 Helpful Art Business Books for Visual Artists
- Art Magazines I love magazines, but they are a luxury, so I tend to buy the ones that have information I need, or feature an artist I love. So for me, the gift of any art magazine is always welcome. I enjoy magazines thick with a variety of art- in Canada, Arabella is a good example. You can do some spy work and check out what magazines your artist prefers.
- An art supply store gift card attached to a box of chocolates will help satisfy any starving artist!
Please note: These are items I have purchased for myself and greatly enjoy. I have absolutely no connection to any of the companies mentioned above.
New Polar Bear Painting
Mauja I sa 6" x 12" portrait of a polar bear taking it easy ion some soft snow. Mauja is Inuktitut for soft snow. Inuktitut is the language of the Inuit from Nunavut, an arctic territory in Canada.
The painting above is just one the polar bear oil paintings available in my series A Celebration of Polar Bears, my way of creatively celebrating a celebration of bears (what a group of bears is known as).
I was a guest artist for a beginner's class where the students were learning landscape painting in acrylics and water-soluble oils. I thought they would enjoy a quick look at some of our present day Canadian landscape painters and at the variety of landscape painting available. I thought you might enjoy these artists and their work, too. Do you have a landscape artist you love? Let me know and I will create a new list withe the results.
- KIm Dorland Toronto, Ontario. Canadian Art writes "Synonymous in Canada with the idea of “extreme painting,” Kim Dorland rose to the forefront of the contemporary painting scene with his sculptural approach to impasto painting and his art is very much in demand.
- David LidbetterOttawa, Ontario. "Contemporary feeling Group of Seven scenes pared down to their essentials. [Where] mood seems more important than the actual details of forests, rivers and skies." - Algonquin Art Centre
- John HartmanPenetanguishene, Ontario. Vivid, large-scale landscapes "straddle the line between abstraction and representation" -Studio 21
- Gregory HardySaskatoon, Saskatchewan. Landscapes abstracted. Strong colour, bold, painterly. One of Canada's top landscape artists.
- Rebecca LastRice Lake, Ontario. Of interest, Rebacca paints the same view of Rice Lake exploring its "turbulent chaotic swings of nature".
- Cesan d'Ornellas LevineRichmond Hill, Ontario. Cesan is an abstract expressionist painter who uses brilliant colour and thick impasto of acrylic gels, mediums, pastes etc. for her trees and topography on panel. Landscape painting is not Cesan's only subject matter.
- Georgina HuntCrescent Beach, B.C. Canadian wilderness, particularly the Rockies
- Gerald SquiresSt. John's,Newfoundland. A member of the Order of Canada for his contribution to the Arts
- Doug PurdonToronto, Ontario.Proficient in watercolour, acrylic and oil painting, and a Winsor & Newton rep for many years, this artist is a fountain of information.
- Robert GennVancouver, B.C. A prolific and popular painter who travelled the world painting en plein air (as well as the studio) and writing about the experience for Painters Keys. Painters Keys is a website Robert created to offer information, inspiration, advice, friendship and connectivity for artists worldwide. Robert Genn passed away in May 2014. His art and free Painters Key Newletter continues to managed by his daughter, Sara Genn.
A Celebration of Polar Bears Painting
Inerkartok, is a 6" x 12" portrait oil painting on canvas of a polar bear sitting in the snow. "Inerkartok" means pretty in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in Nunavut, an arctic territory in Canada. The polar bear in this oil painting is a pretty one, and I would like to believe she is sitting pretty, too. Sitting pretty is an old idiom that means in a good place or a in a good situation. However, this recent Polar Bears International video on the retreating sea ice and the 40% decline in the polar bear population is far from pretty.
Inerkartok is just one of the paintings in my series A Celebration of Polar Bears.
More more polar bear info -
(From Christine Montague Canvas and Camera Blog, November 2014 )
In October 2014, the sudden, violent, and unprovoked attack on two young army reservist soldiers standing ceremonial guard by The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of The National War Memorial in Ottawa shocked Canadians. That one of these soldiers, Corporal Nathan Cirillo of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's), was mortally wounded at the foot of this monument, was heartbreakingly poignant.
The National War Memorial orThe Response was commissioned in response to Canadians' demand for a national monument that would pay tribute to the tens of thousands killed in World War I.It was to honour the spirit of heroism, self-sacrifice, and all that was noble and great exemplified by the Canadians who served overseas.
In 1926, Vernon March (United Kingdom) won the competition to create this memorial with his vision of a granite and bronze cenotaph The Response. The Response commemorates the enormous response of the citizens of the young and struggling Canada to the call of a war in which sacrifice was on a scale previously unknown.
Armed conflict is deliberately not glorified inThe Response. Instead, the monument's twenty-two bronze figures, clad in historically accurate uniforms representative of all the services involved, push forth unto duty. They pass under a giant granite Arch with allegories of peace and freedom atop it.
Ironically, The Response was not unveiled until May 1939, less than 4 months before the start of World War 2. It has since been rededicated to include those killed in World War 2 and the Korean War. The dates of Canada's participation in the War in Afghanistan (2003 - 2013) will also be added.
The Response is now the nation's preeminent war memorial. The attack on the soldiers that stood respectfully and unarmed before it on that recent October day, has tragically strengthened this symbolism. A Canadian soldier went forth and died in his call to duty as an army reservist. The response of Canadians to the events at our nation's heart included examples of bravery, honour, and duty. But compassion was there, too.
The Remembrance Day ceremony at The National War Memorial is broadcast nationally. Like the granite and bronze the monument is made of, memories of the events that unfolded are hard, heavy and long-lasting.
At the November 11, 2014 Remembrance Day Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa , the National War Memorial was rededicated to all those who died and who will die in service to Canada. A constant reminder that peace and freedom come with great sacrifice. The very least those of us who don't serve can do is to remeber those who fought for us in the past, support our present day veterans and pray for those of the future.
...But Aren't They All?
Anana isa 6" x 12" portrait oil painting on canvas of a beautiful polar bear. And that is what "Anana" means, beautiful in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in Nunavut, Canada's arctic. This painting is another of the polar bear oil paintings available in my series A Celebration of Polar Bears. This painting is not framed, but the painting carries around the edges and is ready for hanging.
As fascinating as it would be to actually have a polar bear in my artist studio to paint "live" from, I realize the "live" part probably wouldn't apply to one of us for long.
So to simulate this experience I brought up one of my photos of the wonderful Inukshuk (the adult male bear at the Toronto Zoo) on my laptop. I positioned my laptop at a distance and height a human model would sit in front of the easel. Imagining the model before me was 3D, I blocked in the shapes, values and colours I observed on the blank canvas. There was nothing drawn up before hand.
In this style of painting, the background is more than a backdrop of colour to hide the white canvas. The paint helps carve out and define the outer edge of the head, helping it to stand out from the canvas. Only at the end of the portrait painting are the fine details, and pure blacks and whites added.
Of course, for me, whether the portrait subject is human or otherwise, the big reward is always when I get to finish the eyes. Thanks to the magic of oils, the polar bear eyes in these portrait paintings, as well as in my imagination, are very much alive.
Polar Bear Paintings Aurora & Borealis
Here are two more polar bear oil paintings in the Celebration of Polar Bear Series -.Aurora and Borealis. They are named, or course, for the aurora borealis, the northern lights that dance so brilliantly in the arctic sky. The size, beauty, and intelligence of the polar bear, makes this bear as magically magnetic as the northern lights.
Polar Bear Painting Aurora
Polar Bear Painting Borealis
Borealis is a latin word that originates from the Greek personification of the north wind boreas.
Canada's arctic is home to over 60% of the world's polar bears but they also live in the arctic areas of Alaska (U.S.A.), Greenland, Norway and Russia (that's it, folks).
The word Boreas reminded me of Boris. They are not pronounced the same , but close enough, and so I often think of this painting as Boris, a popular Russian name that is fun to say, and is a nod to all the Russian polar bears, too.
A group of polar bears is known as a celebration of polar bears. That is exactly what my polar bear portraits oil paintings are, happy, heartfelt celebratory tributes to these magnificent arctic animals.
Please visit Christine Montague Portrait Oil Paintings & Polar Bear Art for more information about these and other paintings.
Meet a Polar Bear Named Silatuyok
Silatuyok is the Inuit word for cute and intelligent, and so the perfect name for the lovely polar bear in the oil painting below. But as adorable as the big guy in this polar bear painting may seem, I have given a nod to his real nature - an intelligent, playful, but deadly predator - by making sure his giant nonretractable claws are clear. I actually love painting those big paws with the claws almost as much as those thickly insulated ears, and coal-black nose.
Silatuyok is just one of the recently created paintings available in my new A Celebration of Polar Bears Series.
Here is another polar bear portrait oil painting from my A Celebration of Bears Series. I have named the little bear in this painting Ursa, for the northern sky constellation Ursa Minor or Little Bear. Please feel free to contact me or comment about any of these little bear artworks.
Grace Joins the Celebration of Polar Bears Series
Here is my polar bear portrait oil painting "Saimarnerk" (the Inuit word for grace.) The largest predator in the Canadian north, this big bear moves with grace and ease across the frozen sea. A group of polar bears is known as a celebration. Saimarnek, or Grace was the first painting in my "A Celebration of Polar Bears" series of 6" x 12" oil paintings depiciting these magnificent arctic animals. Inspired by my recent journey to Cape Dorset, a remote Arctic community, most of these bears will have Inuit names. To see more polar bear paintings visit ChristineMontague.com
Although polar bears are solitary animals, when there is a group of them, it is known as a celebration of polar bears. Can you think of a better word to describe a gathering of these magnificent arctic animals?!
Each painting is a tribute to these intelligent, mighty arctic mammals. These portraits give a nod to their beauty, fuzziness, playfulness (goofy even?), but one should never forget their awesome teeth and powerful claws are ever present. Can you see their distinct personalities, too?
Please feel free to contact me through Guestbook atwww.christinemontague.com or visit there for more polar bear art.
To learn more about polar bears, please visit Polar Bears International
New Polar Bear Painting
Drying on the easel is the 24" x 18" polar bear oil painting above. This painting is the direct result of the large painting I created before it that took a lot of time, focussed attention, and physical effort to create.
How Things Unfold
One of the joys of painting is that artist often goes into "the zone". You may have heard runners speak of this loss of time and in the moment experience, but did you know that painters experience this, too?
The day I finished the big painting, I still had the time and urge to paint. I spontaneously decided to work on a smaller canvas I had in the studio, and not begin the next large work I had planned.
Because this painting was unplanned, I had no clear vision of what it would be other than to keep to my Polar Bear Dreams Series theme of monochromatic blue polar bears. I was pretty relaxed as I blocked in the bear's portrait, as after all, I was basically playing at the end of the day. As I laid down the blue under painting, I got to thinking how much I enjoy showing movement in the fur, and that I love doing the brush stroke that emphasises this.
Next thing I knew I had a swirly sky with stylized northern lights and stars. And colour followed the day after. I think the fun and joy I felt while creating this polar bear tribute shines through in the work. And the portrait has that odd mix found in the polar bear - mighty, beautiful, intelligent, and somehow goofy at the same time. My good spirits played a part in conveying the spirit of the bear and sky above.
Polar Bear Big
The polar bear is the world's largest carnivore whose place is at the top of the arctic food chain. Adult males can weigh up to 1200 pounds, and the largest polar bear on record was an amazing 2,209 pounds (1001.986 kg).
His brain is big, too. The polar bear is a smart animal, considered as intelligent as an ape.
And he knows how to play. (how smart is that?!) Research scientist, Alison Ames has seen them stack heaps of plastic pipes, then knock them down in elaborate games.
...And then there are those amazing big paws! They act as snowshoes on the ice, and paddles and rudders in the water.
He's big on beauty, too. A distinctive silhouette, thick white fur, small fur-lined ears, dark brown eyes and black nose.
They have big, serious streetcred here on earth, with an origin that dates back to 4.5 million years ago.
If you would like to know more about this remarkable bear that, by the way, is the only bear that is a marine mammal, please visit Polar Bears International . PBI is the world's leading polar bear conservation group.
If you need more convincing how wonderful these bears are, watch these videos on the baby polar bear saved by the Toronto Zoo. Warning: prepare to seriously bond. http://www.torontozoo.com/polarbearcub/?pg=Video