Pushing Boundaries - The reason she snarls

When you glance upon her snarling face you may see fierce or angry or you may see a kindred spirit. For me I see a compadre who doesn't let her feelings go unnoticed... I also remember the back story

To tell the whole truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth..... or to tell the nice snippets.

I struggled with how much to say about the background story of this snarling beauty. I contemplated not telling the backstory at all and instead talk about perhaps the choice of background (dark and stormy, yet highlighted on the beautiful beast) or how I used the grid technique for the body fur as I was getting lost in all the long fur, or basically ANYTHING but the story behind the image... and today (places left hand on top of keyboard and raises right hand) I promise to tell the whole truth about the day I captured this reference image. (Summed up as I ramble).

It all started when I was walking around a very popular summer event in 2016 where many vendors come to sell their fabulous goods. With my beloved bulldog Tater tot on leash I was going there for the sites, the sounds, and the social interaction for my newest pooch rescue. I came upon a wonderful wildlife artist and although I would not dare enter the booth.....bulldog... excited, bullheaded-knock -over-many-things bulldog...I said a quick hello and grabbed his business card.

Once home I followed the artist on Facebook and marveled at how beautiful the artwork is and how accomplished the artist was. Facebook - the magical friend maker - allowed him to also see my artwork and he sent me a message. We chatted about art and he invited me to go behind the scenes at a zoo with him. I immediately sought advise from my mom, the wise funny one I admire to the moon and back, here was a great opportunity to spend time with an artist that is as accomplished as one day I dream to be inviting me for one on one time at a zoo, taking photographs and talking art - talk about dream day - but... he was a male over double my age, and unfortunately we females have to take precautions when being invited out alone by strange males. My mom advised me that it was an amazing opportunity and as long as I made it very clear it is for business only there should be no issue.

Off I go on my art business-date and it was wonderful! Hours we spent taking photos. He helped explain my camera a little more to me (I would define myself as a little better then utterly hopeless at capturing what my eyeballs see) we walked, took more photos, chatted about business and he gave some great advise at times, complimented my work and technique and we went and had lunch.

We came across a beautiful wolf afterwards that had an ear wound. Being wild but needing medication the staff brought fresh meat to the cage enticing her to them, then while trying to only let her eat a tiny bit at a time to keep her in the same spot they applied a suave from the end of a stick onto the wound. Using speed shot I captured her feelings when they were trying to near her injury and with a big smile on my face knew I had my next art piece ready.

Happy as a fisherman fishing I was nearly bouncing as I walked to my vehicle. I thanked the man for such a great day and as we went to say goodbye he came in for a kiss. Dodging like a whac-a-mole he missed but came in for another, after obvious ducking and diving this persistent happy-day squasher succeeded in kissing my cheek......

I snarled.

There are many lessons I have learnt from that day. The main ones include:

- I did have a wonderful day at the zoo , this should not be forgotten because of the ending.

-Use the buddy system, it was made for a reason!

-Never be afraid to snarl. Some people deserve it.

Your friend and artist,


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Moonstone, Ontario