Waiting for Pack Ice II
By Sue Ryland
Oil on canvas
Image size: H: 56cm x W: 46cm
Framed size: H: 60cm x W: 50cm (White floating frame)
In another very sensitive and expertly-executed piece, the wonderful form, weight and thick fur of the polar bear are perfectly captured in this painting, as well as its patient expression.
Like all her other work, it's based on Sue's live observation and photographs in the wild, in this case at Churchill, Manitoba, on the edge of Hudson Bay, which is one of the largest polar bear denning regions in the world.
By late fall each year, it's an area where multitudes of bears congregate to wait for the ice to redevelop, providing the crucial frozen link to their hunting grounds.
Sue'sexperiences on the tundra led to her series entitled The Bears of Hudson Bay, of which this is a prime example: "Polar bears are my first love. They're all individuals and I've tried to reflect their personalities in the way I paint them. ...Everyone thinks that polar bears are white but they're actually not – they're all sorts of warm, honey colours."
She is conscious that both the polar bears and grizzlies she paints are endangered species – largely due to loss of habitat and dwindling food sources – so there's a prominent ecology aim in her work as well, to bring these creatures and their plight to wider attention.
ABOUT SUE RYLAND
Sue is a South Cotswold-based artist who specialises in oil painting and pyrography. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, Sue is passionate about documenting the wildlife she encounters.
In 2018, she travelled to Churchill, Manitoba where she was able to spend time among the polar bears. This inspired The Bears of Hudson Bay, a series of oil paintings and pyrography works.
Most recently, Sue's travels took her to Katmai National Park, Alaska where she witnessed grizzly bears during the salmon spawn. That experience formed the basis of her newest series of oil paintings, entitled The Bears of Katmai.