Bon­nie Mar­ris

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Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - BON­NIE MAR­RIS

In wildlife painter Bon­nie Mar­ris’ new show, she walks right up to iconic North Amer­i­can wildlife. And then takes an­other step for­ward. “I have al­ways had this pas­sion­ate need to ‘get close and then closer‘ to an­i­mals, dogs, horses…the brain just in­trigues me. When study­ing a par­tic­u­lar wild an­i­mal you reach that point where you want to share the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of get­ting that close to it with other peo­ple, to al­low them a con­nec­tion,” she says. “I thought it would be fun to to­tally zoom in on the an­i­mals I know so well, feel the fur and tex­tures and be held

cap­tive by their eyes.”

Mar­ris’ show, Up Close & Per­sonal, opens Septem­ber 9 at Trail­side Gal­leries in Jack­son Hole, Wy­oming. An­i­mals in the show in­clude foxes, moun­tain li­ons, wolves, horses and, fa­mously, bi­son. “Ev­ery an­i­mal has a very def­i­nite per­son­al­ity. Some­times, as with peo­ple we all know, that per­son­al­ity may be al­most un­de­tectable! But in spend­ing time with wild an­i­mals it is such a joy to see how some are very brave, some very shy but trust­ing. Some have great senses of humor, some are just plain crabby,” Mar­ris says. “It’s just like your dog, cat or horse…the more time you spend one on one with them, the more you ap­pre­ci­ate their quirks and moods.”

Works in the show in­clude A Farewell to Sum­mer, a scene of a fox in a lush growth of for­est. Though the scene looks peace­ful and serene, it marks the pass­ing of the sea­son for the artist. “A Farewell to Sum­mer is a de­pic­tion of some­thing I go through ev­ery year. You be­gin see­ing the signs of sum­mer pass­ing,” she says. “The fox be­gins get­ting a longer, red­der, more lux­u­ri­ous coat. The blue­birds here flock as do the geese, hawks and herons. The monarch

butterflie­s are go­ing to leave, too. Kind of sad.”

In­cluded with these larger scenes are the close-up paint­ings that zoom way down onto an an­i­mal’s eyes. In The Hyp­no­tist and Or­a­cle, view­ers will see the tiny waves of color in the an­i­mals’ eyes, in­di­vid­ual hairs in their coats and tiny mus­cles that form the shape of their faces. “All an­i­mals ‘com­mu­ni­cate’ with their bod­ies, par­tic­u­larly their eyes. Some will hold a star­ing con­test with me. Some will seem to look in­side me all the way to my soul. Oth­ers glance and look away quickly,” Mar­ris says. “Deer will stare you down but wolves never look you in the eye. They’re aloof, in their own world and tend to dis­re­gard or pre­tend we don’t ex­ist. Yes, the eyes tell us so many many things: fear, ad­mi­ra­tion, trust, pain...”

Mar­ris’ show runs through Septem­ber 21, with an open house on Septem­ber 14, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Farewell to Sum­mer, oil on can­vas, 24 x 36"

Win­ter Buf­falo, oil on can­vas, 24 x 12"

The Hyp­no­tist, oil on can­vas, 24 x 48"

Palomino Filly, oil on can­vas, 24 x 30"

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