To me the most fascinating part of the Yellowstone ecosystem has always been the abundance of processes and numerous cycles that seem to happen continuously.
From the most obvious such as the life-cycle of say a bison, to the more discreet such as the average of almost 5 earthquakes per day, this place has a lot happening.
When I think about how I would describe such a place, what comes to mind are the bizarre experiences that one may have. From mysterious rumbles that echo from the depths of the mountains to animal encounters too close for comfort, this environment can surprise you at anytime.
At times life seems to happen more quickly in the heart of this region. The pace at which the conditions change, the wildlife move, and the geological processes happen make for a very raw and unapologetic environment. At the same time, there's a certain beauty that emerges from all of this happening.
Painting in Yellowstone with my box
Perhaps it's the new life that blossoms from death that helps make one's experience in Yellowstone country so unique and at the same time so special.
The circle of life is on constant display here which commands respect and yet simultaneously provides an astounding sense of peace with its presence.
I wanted this painting to capture this feeling of serenity that I feel while I'm out in this country through the colors and stillness of the air. The swarm of magpies signal a source of food, likely a carcass of some kind worth scavenging.
A herd of bull bison traverse the valley floor as they roam the vast landscape..
A sight like this can be quite common in this beautiful place. In my eyes, this piece represents the passage of time, the intertwining relationships that exist in the wild, and the renewal of resources. I'm reminded of past experiences, both good and bad. I feel with this painting and I'm driven to imagine the possibilities of what stories could be found within it.
This painting is a brief window into the cycle of life. The ways in which the Yellowstone ecosystem can demonstrate this cycle is nearly unlimited and seemingly restricted only by the limits of our imagination.
I cherish places like these because in the most elegant way they show their raw truths, unfiltered and always at face value. This is why areas like Yellowstone I believe are at the heart of what makes our world's most wild places so special.
Thank you for letting me share my art with you today and I hope you enjoyed my story.
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I'm Chuck Black, landscape and wildlife artist based in Southwest Montana.