"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is."
I was thinking to day about a wolf I once knew. No, not the two legged kind, though I have known those too. I mean a real wolf.
I know that wolves have a bad reputation, maybe justly so, but I became friends with one. In the small town north of here, we moved into a house that was next door to a man who owned a wolf--there was someone in the area who raised and sold wolf pups. This wolf was no longer a cute pup but a grown animal who was chained in the neighbor's yard. The guy told me that the wolf's name was Buddy and not to approach him.
I will never forget my first encounter with the animal-- there he was standing in a classic wolf pose with his head lowered, looking at me with those incredible eyes which seemed to look into my soul. Then he snarled at me. That is when I started talking to him. Every time I was in the yard, I spoke to him and he started to settle down. He spent his time pacing as far as his chain would let him or sitting on top of his dog house, staring off towards the woods that were only a block away. I thought he lived a cruel existence; since wolves are pack animals, he must of been lonely. I got permission from the neighbor to feed him table scraps and started sharing our meals with him. After that Buddy was always happy to see me. I still never approached him--I couldn't imagine petting him like a dog; I respected his wildness. As I went about my business in the yard, carrying on one-sided conversations with him, I enjoyed knowing he was there.
One day, while working in the garden, he broke his chain and got loose. He didn't run for the forest down the street as you'd think he would, or run anywhere at all, except over to me. He raced around me like a frisky pup and then snatched up a glove and ran off with it dancing about out of my reach. I told him to bring it back but he dropped it and raced in to grab a plastic pot and took off with it, then he dropped it and came back to where I was standing to steal something else. For the first time ever Buddy looked happy; he was playing with me and I realized then that he had made me part of his pack, and he wanted to be with me more than he wanted to be free in the woods. His owner noticed him loose and caught him and our game was over, but I was deeply moved by this animal, and sad that he had to go back on the chain. He seemed to become distraught after that and started howling at night, and the neighbors complained --Duh! DUDE! He is a wolf! So Buddy went to a new home, but I still wonder about him; I hope he was happier. I would like to draw a picture of a wolf, but I need to find some reference photos for artists; I wouldn't want to use a photographer's copyrighted picture. Someday, I hope to show you a picture of a wolf titled Buddy.
The painting is Sunshine. Yellow is a hard color to mix and paint. I have learned it works best to have lots of shades of yellow, and to paint directly out of the tube, rather than to mix the colors, as I had to with this picture.