I have finished painting 'The Hunt', a large piece measuring 4x5 feet. I find it interesting, as I do this work, how the final image is unknown to me until it nears completion. Early on I had added the word 'soar' (lower right corner) because it kept coming to me in dreams, and though the original drawings on the canvas included bison being chased by hunters, I kept thinking that both the hunters on their horses and the animals being hunted might feel a sense of stimulation, competition, daring - maybe not unlike the sense of thrill that a person feels during a game or adventure such as bungee jumping or sky diving.
I remember my husband once telling me a story about Carly Simon and, I think, Bruce Springstein. She always had to struggle to overcome stage fright, feeling nauseous and anxious before every public event, feeling an overwhelming sense of fear. Whereas he, though he experienced the same symptons, the same physiological response (heart beating fast, sweaty palms) viewed it as excitement and couldn't wait to get on the stage.
That's what I thought of (often) while I was painting this piece. Everything really is a matter of perspective. In the end I decided to include an eagle, which really embodies both fear and excitement in its strength. It is just a bird and yet so powerful. And it soars above us all.
AIRdirondack Art Project