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Bonnie Marris - TO STAND AND ENDURE -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

by Bonnie Marris


Limited Edition of: 1000
Image Size: 39 1/2"w x 17 3/8"h.
Published: September 1992

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Every year there are fires in Yellowstone but the fire of 1992 was particularly devastating. The buffalo had to make a choice - whether to stay in the meadows where they use their heads in huge sweeping motions to dig for grass in the snow or to go to the geyser bases where the steam from the geysers offers them warmth. It was a choice between expending their precious energy digging for food or sacrificing food for warmth.

The buffalo chose to move to the geyser basin. It was a really spectacular sight. It's so profound that where they stood and endured that tremendous fire and smoke, they also had to stand and endure one of the longest winters of their lives amid the steam. The harsher the winters are, the more beautiful the geyser basins become. The heavy snows blanket everything; the geysers shape the blowing snow and then it freezes in strange and wonderful formations. So there the buffalo stood amidst it all, like monoliths in the steam.

Bonnie Marris
Wildlife artist Bonnie Marris’ fascination with animals began at an early age when, at the age of two, she spent hours in front of the wolf cage at the zoo, enraptured by the animals within. The attention to detail evident in her work is a consequence of long hours studying her subjects in the field and her background in illustration. Bonnie Marris has taken an unusual path into art; she developed her talent by portraying animals “from the inside out.” While she was a student at Michigan State University, Bonnie illustrated several major books. One volume she worked on was a leading expert’s mammalogy text that contained several hundred drawings and detail studies. This massive project attracted the attention of noted zoologist George Schaller, who invited Bonnie to prepare the art for posters that would support his worldwide rare animal relief programs. In addition to her accomplished skill at rendering her subjects and evident affinity for the wild, Marris’ painting requires frequent and substantive field experience. Each year, Bonnie makes two major trips, and countless smaller ones, to observe and learn about the wildlife she loves. In 1980, one such voyage took her to Alaska, where she lived in the wilderness for six months. She recounts, “To get into a natural environment and see the animals on their own terms is as important as knowing the animals themselves. For instance, gray wolves on the tundra—the vast, vast tundra with the wind and other forces of nature at their most extreme—that’s what makes them what they are. To stand not far from a grizzly that is so overpowering, so beautiful and so large . . . to watch it pull up a small tree with a swipe of its paw and just a few minutes later see it delicately picking blueberries with its black lips. . . Alaska changed me; it gave me the biggest incentive to paint and increased my interest in the predators: the cats, bears, coyotes, wolves and foxes. They exist on so many levels. Their moods show in their eyes and we can learn so much from them.” Marris’ works were selected for the 2002-2005 Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage Show.


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