Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Bear in the Orchard

The Bear in the Orchard, Gouache 11X14

Years ago my father told me a story about a bear wandering into Hardman's Orchard here in Naramata. It was a particularly hot summer which meant the animals were coming out of the drought stricken mountains to head towards the lake for a drink. Who can hardly blame them! The wooded areas of the mountains behind our house naturally flow into the wooded areas of the orchards, and so often the wildlife see no issue with heading into the orchards to shelter their walk down to the lake.

The flying apples and flying hair in all directions illustrate the moment of panic and movement in the painting.
There was even a time where a tiny lone bear cub made it's way down the creek to my mother's front lawn, and when it brushed up against her leg, she pet it thinking it was a big big dog coming for a visit. But that's a different story!

The bear was painted without a back end to give the feeling like he just appeared out of nowhere, which I think is the way it is with bears. He's not interested in people though. He just wants some water and a few apples to nibble on.
Growing up here I always thought I was missing out on culture. Coming back here eighteen years later has shown me Naramata is nothing but culture depending on your outlook on the place.

I'd like to do some wine production paintings next, but need to get myself into a winery to take some photos. Hopefully someone will be able to point me in the right direction!

This guy hasn't noticed a thing yet!
XXX Melanie


  1. This is brilliant Mel!

  2. I know that story! Nice trees! I especially like the way you've handled the leaves. Another winner!

  3. I think you are overdue for a children's book, Melany. I really and truly think it is time for you to publish.

  4. I love it - the picture and the story!

  5. I love how sweet and innocent the bear looks while the girl is losing her sh*t. He appears to be saying, "Are you doing all of that because of little ol' me?" So sweet.

    Also glad to hear that you are appreciating your home in a whole new grown-up light. Sweetness abounds:D xo

  6. Thanks for all of the positive encouragement, guys!