Polar Bear in Dark Water


Dark Water 1 is an oil painting portrait of a beautiful polar bear swimming.  The water is dark, as daylight is diminished in the arctic fall.

Christine--Montague--Dark--Water--1

Dark Water 1. © Christine Montague 30″ x 30 ” oil painting. Available at Artworld Fine Art Gallery until July 20, 2017.  Please contact the gallery here

But dark water has another implication. The earth’s bright white polar ice cap, which serves as a giant reflector for the sun’s heat, is being diminished by climate change from carbon emissions. The melting polar ice increases the darkness of the planet’s surface (hence “dark water”), decreases the sun reflected back into space, and increases the heat absorbed by the earth. More ice melts, which creates more dark water,  and so the loop continues.

This loop of sea ice loss and increased dark water endangers the polar bear. Although this magnificent bear is a highly intelligent (think great ape), top-of-the-arctic-food-chain marine mammal (the only bear that is such), and is a powerful swimmer (slightly webbed front paws, highly insulated and buoyant body), it is dependant on the frozen sea for hunting (only seal fat sustains them, not berries or birds’ eggs), resting, feeding (can’t nurse in water) and denning (necessary for mother bears with cubs, semi-hibernation, and to ride out storms).  The increase of the period of open water from spring to fall, and the distance between ice tops in winter, leaves the polar bear and its cubs vulnerable to starvation, attack, and drowning.

The polar bear in Dark Water 1 gazes back upon her path, her body twisted as if in question.

It is up to the viewer to imagine how far outside the picture frame the next ice floe waits, and whether or not, until this moment, her journey was a solitary one.

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Filed under Arctic, Art Shows, Call to Artists, Canvas (Paintings), Climate Change Art, New Painting, Polar Bear Art, Polar Bears, Portrait Paintings, Uncategorized, vanishing Ice

New Polar Bear Painting – Benediction


Polar bear painting by Christine Montague www.ChristineMontague.com

Benediction. New polar bear painting. ©ChristineMontague.com

Fresh Off the Easel

Benediction, a 36″ x 12″ polar bear oil painting on canvas is the latest painting off my easel.  This polar bear, suspended upright under blue free water,  seems to be giving a blessing. Who would be the recipient of such a gift, do you think?

As with other paintings in the polar bear  Sink/Swim Series, we are at that tipping point of loosing much that is wonderful in this world. We need all the blessings we can get, and we should not only count them, but protect and nurture them, too.

I’m very blessed I can take the risk to follow my polar bear muse and look forward to where this polar bear art will take me.  Are you enjoying these polar bear paintings?  Let me know as I enjoy and appreciate your comments!

If you would like to purchase a polar bear painting or some of my other representational art, simply visit ChristineMontague.com for perusal and contact links.

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New Polar Bear Cub Painting Study 4


Polar bear cub painting by Christine Montague www.ChristineMontague.com

Polar bear cub 4. Sink/Swim series study. Original painting © Christine Montague 2015

New Oil Painting Study in the Sink/ Swim Series

The polar bear cub in Polar Bear Cub 4 , a 6″ x 12″ oil painting study on canvas, is the latest study off my easel  for the Sink/Swim Series.  Once again, as with the oil paintings posted in  New Painting – Shrodinger’s Cat, er, Bear and Polar Bear Cub Painting for International Polar Bear Day , a polar bear cub is depicted mid-swim, beneath the water’s surface. This polar bear cub, is a solid little bear, isn’t he?

The Sink/Swim Series

My polar bear Sink/Swim series of oil paintings offers commentry on the effect vanishing polar ice has on the survival of the polar bears. The delay in the formation of the sea ice, leaves the baby polar bear more vulnerable to attack by hungry male polar bears. The increased open water means the distance a mother polar bear must travel, polar bear cub(s) on back, before ice is found to rest on or hunt seal from,  increases the odds the polar bear bear cub(s), and even the mother, will make it safely ice top.

The sink or swim aspect can apply to the bigger picture of our planet as well. The decrease in the polar bear population is but one of the many consequences of increased global warming, and the resulting polar and glacial ice loss. Less ice means more dark water. Read more about that cycle on my previous post. As polar caps melt, sea water rises, and as a good part of our population lives near the water’s edge, well, we could all be swimming for it.

Anecdotal stories state that human babies will sometimes play as they drown, not realizing they are in danger.  With this chilling fact in mind, I wondered if polar bear cubs are aware they are in danger as they drown. I hope not.

Some may think of these polar bear cub paintings as “cute“, not exactly a word a fine artist loves to hear. But, the fact is, it is difficult to paint around and escape the cute factor of a polar bear cub. I hope that the affection, admiration and concern I feel for these wonderful bears is evident, and that they evoke similar emotions in you, too. The thought that in the next 50 years these polar bears may cease to exist, is the furthest from polar bear cute I can imagine.

To sign up for my blog & newsletter, or for more info on my polar bear paintings or to buy a painting, please visit Christine Montague Polar Bear Art.

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New Painting – Shrodinger’s Cat, er, Bear


Christine Montague polar bear cub oil painting

New polar bear cub oil painting. Sink or Swim Series. ©ChristineMontague.com

New Polar Bear Cub Painting

The polar bear cub painting above,  is the second study for my new series of polar bear oil paintings, commenting on sea ice loss and its effect on polar bears. To see the first polar bear cub painting, launched on International Polar Bear Day, click here.

Sinking or Swimming?

 

The working title of this polar bear cub series of oil paintings is Sink or Swim.  

As mentioned in my last blog post,  mother polar bearspolar bear cub(s) atop their back, must swim greater distances in search of land and food due to the vanishing sea ice.  These trips  are not always successful. Polar bear cubs just simply vanish along the route, and sometimes the mothers do, too.

The bear cub above, does not seem distressed. Like with the experiment Schrodinger’s Cat, it is up to the viewer’s thoughts about what this bear’s state of being is.

For my online gallery of polar bear art – paintings and portraits, please visit ChristineMontague.com

To subscribe to my newsletter and blog hosted on my new polar bear art website (1 – 4x /month) Subscribe

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Polar Bear Cub Painting for International Polar Bear Day


 

 

Polar bear cub painting by Christine Montague comments on sea ice loss www.ChristineMontague.com

New polar bear cub painting by Christine Montague

New Polar Bear Cub Painting Series

The polar bear cub painting above,  is the very first study for my new series of polar bear oil paintings, commenting on sea ice loss and its effect on polar bears. I am launching this series today, as it is  International Polar Bear Day, a day to celebrate, learn, and raise awareness about these magnificent bears.

You may have heard the stories of mother polar bears, polar bear cub(s) atop their back, must swim greater distances in search of land and food, thanks to the increase of sea ice loss due to global warming. The greater distances, and greater sea ice loss, means these trips, are not always successful, as determined and powerful as these great bears are. Polar bear cubs just simply vanish along the route, and sometimes the mothers do, too.

Apparently,  some human babies continue to play as they sink to the bottom of the swimming pool, unaware of the danger. With this in mind,in this series of oil paintings,  I show the polar bear cub at eye level, under water, but not necessarily in distress. It is up to you to decide the innocence or tragedy of the scene. Who is the viewer? The mother bear, another bear cub or undersea animal, or one of us?  What happens next?

For my online gallery of  polar bear art – paintings and portraits, please visit ChristineMontague.com

For everything polar bear, please visit Polar Bears International, the not for profit organization noted for their research and advocacy roles re: sea ice loss and effect on polar bear life.

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Here There Be Polar Bears


Fantasy sketch by Christine Monatgue www.ChristineMontague.com

Crossroads. Fantasy Sketch. ©Christine Montague CRAM: Polar Bear World.  ChristineMontague.com

Polar Bear Goodness: a New Polar Bear Art Website & Art Blog at ChristineMontague.com

In case you are new to this art blog Camera & Canvas, I  am a visual artist who, until recently, created representational art i.e. realism oil paintings of figurative landscapescommissioned portraituregiant cat paintingscanoes, lakes & more.  After the polar bears were put on the animals “of concern” list, I painted the polar bear painting  With the Northern Lights in tribute.  I continued to have polar bears on the brain when shortly after that I created CRAM, a Polar Bear World for 2013 The Sketchbook Project. Increasingly, I found myself thinking about polar bear art, polar bear graphic novels, polar bear vacations…,you get the picture, all the while continuing with my portraiture practice & creating other representational art.

One Big, Giant, Scary, Polar Bear Step Forward

Onward into a polar bear world of my own!  Polar bear art, polar bear blog, and yes, a trip to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, polar bear capital of the world, is in the works for the fall.

My new website ChristineMontague.com is all about my new POLAR BEAR ART.

My new art blog? I hope you will visit www.christinemontague.com/blog 

I have a new newsletter for the freshest painting off my easel, why I have painted it, art & polar bear news, art tips, Subscribe

Whatever the new year will bring, one thing is certain, in my part of the realm… Here there be polar bears. I hope that here there be you, too. 

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13 Art Gift Stocking Stuffers for The Artist in Your Life


Christine Montague Art Blog " Gifts for artists"

13 art gifts , stocking stuffers or otherwise, for the artist in your life from fellow artist Christine Montague www.ChristineMontague.com

Here are some last-minute stocking stuffer Christmas gift ideas for the visual artist in your life. Artists often are very particular about what art supplies, etc., they use  but I think these art related items, will be both enjoyable and creatively practical.

  1. Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers. Perfect for the watercolour enthusiast, the plein air painter, the sketcher, the student and the experimenter. This is a brand new product, at least to Canadian stores.  They come in 6 and 12 pack sets, as well as a score of other colours. From comments I have read they blend best on the Winsor & Newton Watercolour Marker pads. DeSerres, er, Santa hasn’t delivered mine yet, so I can’t speak personally to their use, but excitement over this product is all over the net. Even a small W&N watercolour marker pad & a black marker or favourite colour or two would make a nice little surprise gift in the Christmas stocking, don’t you think?
  2. Sakura Koi Watercolour Field Sketch Set This watercolour set comes in a variety of sizes, but the smallest has 12 little pans of colour. The plastic brush that comes with the set holds water in it’s shaft.  Darn it Jim, I’m an oil painter, not a watercolorist (for you Trekkers) , but I have really enjoyed how easy it is to just get going painting with this portable little set. Perfect gift for all those mentioned above, and for the young artist in your life, too. Not so perfect for the advanced, professional artist in your life, who has a set product brand they prefer to use. 
  3. Attractive Sketch & watercolour pads of all shapes, sizes & price points.  There are so many gorgeous ones out there! You like purple? They have them! Leather, they’re there! Useful for everyone. 
  4. Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus for the iPad, tablet, smartphone & other touch screen devices.  I don’t do a lot of painting on my iPad, but I have owned one of these amazing brushes for about a year. It really feels like a brush, perfect for those used to painting, but new to the digital paint scene. An idea? Give this brush and iTunes gift card  to buy a painting app.  Note: Not for use with real paint!! This is a two in one tool. It also has a rubber stylus.
  5. iPad for Artists by Dani Jones, Pixiq This book is great for those who like the feel of a book in hand while they learn. About the size of an iPad, this helpful instruction book has larger print (hmm, who is that for), and is highly illustrated.  Perfect for wannabe digital artists, both new and experienced. 
  6. Acrylic Paint Markers These markers come in a variety of makes, colours, and pen nibs. Although I am an oil painter (Christine Montague Fine Art: Portraits and Polar Bears) I bought a fine black one to fool  around, er, experiment with. I loved it for its versatility, the ” blackness” and flow of it.  Just plain handy for anyone.
  7. Brushes. Sneak into the studio and check out what brand and sizes the artist in your life uses.  I miss the days when one of my sons worked full-time for a local art store and gift giving times always meant a really nice brush came my way.  Warning though, protect that tip at all costs! No stuffing into that stocking unless protected with cardboard. Another tip? If you have bought paints for your beginner artist, buy one or two nice brushes, rather than the 20-brushes-in-a-case-for-$20-set.  Brushes are an important tool, and a brush that goes mushy or splayed after a use or two is frustrating for your new artist. You already bought that set? Don’t worry, and bless you for encouraging your new artist!
  8. Is your artist a mystery lover?  Then the Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny will be addictive.  Although these books are usually about Montreal Police Chief Inspector, Armand Gamache solving a murder in the fictional village of Three Pines, visual artists also figure predominately.  I almost wept by book five, because of Penny’s  insights on the aspirations and fears of the visual artist.  Still Life is book 1 in the series. It’s good, and the rest of the series is better. Note: Amazingly our local libraries don’t carry these books. Yet Penny is recipient of top mystery awards, and the most recent book began at #1 on the best seller list. Bonus: you’ll know what to buy your artist for the next 10 gift giving occasions are as date there are 11 books in the series.
  9. Is your artist a sci-fi lover? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Harper Avenue Press),  is  a post-apocalyptic story in which civilization as we know it falls swiftly and mercilessly, and culture – art, music, and theatre – is an anchor for community, kindness and purpose.  Prepare for some binge reading by the artist you give it to (they may say they are working in the studio….).
  10. 33 Artists in 3 Acts. A non- fiction book by Sarah Thorton (Norton Press). Thorton is the best-selling author of Seven Days in the Art World (See # 11). Her experience as chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist, a BA Art History and a PhD in Sociology contribute to her thorough research and insight into the elitist art world. Easily read, and witty, her books are fascinating to any one trying to navigate the visual art world.
  11. Art Business Books. There are a piles, piles! of them but I am going to send you to one of my earlier blog posts to read the list of visual art business books I own and find invaluable.  Click 5 Helpful Art Business Books for Visual Artists 
  12. Art Magazines I love magazines, but they are a luxury, so I tend to buy the ones that have information I need, or feature an artist I love. So for me, the gift of any art magazine is always welcome. I enjoy magazines thick with a variety of art- in Canada, Arabella is a good example. You can do some spy work and check out what magazines your artist prefers.
  13. An art supply store gift card attached to a box of chocolates will help satisfy any starving artist!

Happy Holidays, Everyone. And be sure to comment with any art ideas you have!

Please note: These are items I have purchased for myself over the past year, and greatly enjoy.  I have absolutely no connection to any of the companies mentioned above. 

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10 Canadian Landscape Artists


Centre of Attention. Scottsdale Farm oil painting copyright Christine Montague

Centre of Attention. Scottsdale Farm oil painting ©Christine Montague www.ChristineMontague.com

Recently, I was a guest artist for a beginner’s class where the students were learning landscape painting in acrylics and water-soluble oils.  I thought they would enjoy a quick look at some of our present day Canadian landscape painters and at the variety of landscape painting available.  I thought you might enjoy these artists and their work, too. Do you have a landscape artist you love? Let me know and I will create a new list withe the results.

  1. KIm Dorland Toronto, Ontario. Canadian Art writes “Synonymous in Canada with the idea of “extreme painting,” Kim Dorland rose to the forefront of the contemporary painting scene with his sculptural approach to impasto painting and his art is very much in demand.
  2. David Lidbetter Ottawa, Ontario.  “Contemporary feeling Group of Seven scenes pared down to their essentials. [Where] mood seems more important than the actual details of forests, rivers and skies.” – Algonquin Art Centre
  3. John Hartman Penetanguishene, Ontario. Vivid, large-scale landscapes “straddle the line between abstraction and representation” – Studio 21
  4. Gregory Hardy SaskatoonSaskatchewan. Landscapes abstracted. Strong colour, bold, painterly. One of Canada’s top landscape artists.
  5. Rebecca Last Rice Lake, Ontario.  Of interest, Rebacca paints the same view of Rice Lake exploring its “turbulent chaotic swings of nature”.
  6. Cesan d’Ornellas Levine Richmond Hill, Ontario. Cesan is an abstract expressionist painter who uses brilliant colour and thick impasto of acrylic gels, mediums, pastes etc. for her trees and topography on panel. Landscape painting is not Cesan’s only subject matter.
  7.  Georgina Hunt Crescent Beach, B.C. Canadian wilderness, particularly the Rockies
  8. Gerald Squires St. John’s, Newfoundland. A member of the Order of Canada for his contribution to the Arts
  9. Doug Purdon Toronto, Ontario. Proficient in watercolour, acrylic and oil painting, and a Winsor & Newton rep for many years, this artist is         a fount of information.
  10. Robert Genn Vancouver, B.C. A prolific and popular painter who travelled the world painting en plein air (as well as the studio) and writing about the experience for Painters Keys. Painters Keys is a website Robert created to offer information, inspiration, advice, friendship and connectivity for artists worldwide. Robert Genn passed away in May 2014. His art and free Painters Key Newletter continues to managed by his daughter, Sara Genn.

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New Polar Bear Painting Mauja


Christine Montague is a Canadian fine artist who specializes in portraiture and polar bear oil paintings. Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada

New polar bear painting. Mauja. ©Christine Montague 2014 For more polar paintings in this series www.ChristineMontague.com

New Polar Bear Painting

Today’s fresh off the easel and available polar bear oil painting is MaujaMauja is a 6″ x 12″ portrait of a polar bear taking it easy in the mauja, Inuktitut for soft snow. Inuktitut is the language of the Inuit from Nunavut, an arctic territory in Canada.

The painting above is just one the polar bear oil paintings available in my series A Celebration of Polar Bears, my way of creatively celebrating a celebration  of bears (what a group of bears is known as).

A few more paintings from A Celebration of Polar Bears

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New Painting Inerkonartok the Polar bear


Here’s the Latest Painting in A Celebration of Polar Bears

Canadian visual artist Christine Montague portraits and polar bears in oil on canvas

New polar bear painting. Inerkonartok. 6″ x 12″ oil painting ©Christine Montague 2014  For more portraits of polar bears, people, pets & nature please visit http://www.ChristineMontague.com

New Polar Bear Painting

Fresh off the easel and available is Inerkartoka 6″ x 12″ portrait oil painting on canvas of a polar bear sitting in the snow.  “Inerkartok” means pretty in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in Nunavut, an arctic territory in Canada.  The polar bear in this oil painting is a pretty one, and I would like to believe she is sitting pretty, too.  Sitting pretty is an old idiom that means in a good place or a in a good situation. However, this recent Polar Bears International video on the retreating sea ice and the 40% decline in the polar bear population is far from pretty.

Inerkartok is just one of the paintings in my series A Celebration of Polar Bears.

More more polar bear info –

 

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New Polar Bear Painting Anana


Christine Montague polar bear oil paintings, Ontario, Canada

New! Anana, a polar bear portrait oil painting copyright Christine Montague 2014. For more polar bear art, portrait oil painting & scenic figurative oil paintings please visit www.ChristineMontague.com

New Polar Bear Painting

Fresh off the easel and available is Anana, a 6″ x 12″ portrait oil painting on canvas of a beautiful polar bear.  And that is what “Anana” means, beautiful in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in Nunavut, Canada’s arctic. This painting is another of the polar bear oil paintings available in my series A Celebration of Polar Bears.  This painting is not framed, but the painting carries around the edges and is ready for hanging.

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Remembrance, The Response & The National War Memorial


Christine Montague Fine Art Portrait oil painting of young boy by  National War memorial, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The 24th. © Christine Montague www.ChristineMontague.com  In the oil painting I painted above, a little boy  (he is the 24th figure on the monument – I’m including the war-horse)  attempts to climb The Response , The National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He does so in the shadow of the soldiers memorialized for the sacrifices they made to make sure of days of freedom such as this.

In October 2014,  the sudden, violent, and unprovoked attack on two young army reservist soldiers standing ceremonial guard by The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of  The National War Memorial in Ottawa shocked Canadians.  That one of these soldiers, Corporal Nathan Cirillo of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s), was mortally wounded at the foot of this monument, was heartbreakingly poignant.

The National War Memorial  or The Response was commissioned in response to Canadians’ demand  for a national monument that would pay tribute to the tens of thousands killed in World War I.  It was to honour the spirit of heroism, self-sacrifice, and all that was noble and great exemplified by the Canadians who served overseas.  

In 1926, Vernon March (United Kingdom) won the competition to create this memorial with his vision of a granite and bronze cenotaph The Response.  The Response commemorates the enormous response of the citizens of the young and struggling Canada to the call of a war in which sacrifice was on a scale previously unknown.

Armed conflict is deliberately not glorified  in The Response.  Instead, the monument’s twenty-two bronze figures, clad in historically accurate uniforms representative of all the services involved,  push forth unto duty. They pass under a giant granite Arch with allegories of peace and freedom atop it.

Ironically, The Response was not unveiled until May 1939, less than 4 months before the start of World War 2.  It has since been rededicated to include those killed in World War 2 and the Korean War.  The dates of Canada’s participation in the War in Afghanistan (2003 – 2013)  will also be added.

The Response is now the nation’s preeminent war memorial. The attack on the soldiers that stood respectfully and unarmed before it on that recent October day, has tragically strengthened this symbolism. A Canadian soldier went forth and died in his call to duty as an army reservist. The response of Canadians to the events at our nation’s heart included examples of  bravery, honour, and duty. But compassion was there, too.

The Remembrance Day ceremony at The National War Memorial is broadcast nationally. Like the granite and bronze the monument is made of,  memories of the events that unfolded are hard, heavy and long-lasting.

At the November 11, 2014 Remembrance Day Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa , the National War Memorial was rededicated to all those who died  and who will die in service to Canada. A constant reminder that peace and freedom come with great sacrifice. The very least those of us who don’t serve can do is to remeber those who fought for us in the past,  support our present day veterans and pray for those of the future. 

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There’s a Bear Model in My Studio


Christine Montague Fine art oil paintgs of polar bears

Fresh off the easel – three 12″ x 12″ portrait oil paintings of a polar bear. . ©Christine Montague 2014 www.ChristineMontague.com

As fascinating as it would be to actually have a polar bear in my artist studio to paint “live” from, I realize the “live” part probably wouldn’t apply to one of us for long.

So to simulate this experience I brought up one of my photos of the wonderful Inukshuk (the adult male bear at the Toronto Zoo) on my laptop.  I positioned my laptop at a distance and height a human model would sit in front of the easel.  Imagining the model before me was 3D,  I blocked in the shapes, values and colours I observed on the blank canvas. There was nothing drawn up before hand.

In this style of painting, the background is more than a backdrop of colour to hide the white canvas. The paint helps carve out  and define the outer edge of the head, helping it to stand out from the canvas. Only at the end of the portrait painting are the fine details, and pure blacks and whites added.

Of course, for me, whether the portrait subject is human or otherwise, the big reward is always when I get to finish the eyes. Thanks to the magic of oils, the polar bear eyes in these portrait paintings, as well as in my imagination, are very much alive.

P.S. There is another male bear at the Toronto Zoo, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Humphrey, the polar bear cub of Inukshuk and Aurora, turned one year old this past week. He’s a charmer, who got off to a rough start, but thanks to the Toronto Zookeepers round-the-clock dedication, he survived.

 

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New Art – Bright Light Names for Northern Stars


 

Christine Montague original oil paintings of polar bears

Aurora. New polar bear oil painting 6″ x 12″ ©Christine Montague 2014 (available)

Polar Bear Paintings Aurora & Borealis

Here are two new oil paintings in my Celebration of Polar Bear Series. I’ve named the polar bears (and the paintings as well) Aurora and Borealis for the aurora borealis, the northern lights that dance so brilliantly in the arctic sky. The size, beauty, and intelligence of the polar bear, makes this bear as magically magnetic as the northern lights.

Polar Bear Painting Aurora

Aurora (above) is the name of the polar bear portrayed in the oil painting at the start of the post. I’ve read that some Inuit communities believe that the aurora borealis are animal spirits,  but this Aurora has her paws firmly planted on the ground.

Polar Bear Painting Borealis

Canadian artist Christine Montague polar bear oil paintings

Borealis (Boris) . New polar bear oil painting. 6″ x 12″ ©Christine Montague 2014  (available)

Borealis is a latin word that originates from the Greek personification of the north wind boreas.

Canada’s arctic is home to over 60% of the world’s polar bears but they also live in the arctic areas of Alaska (U.S.A.), Greenland, Norway and Russia (that’s it, folks).

The word Boreas reminded me of Boris. They are not pronounced the same , but close enough, and so I often think of this painting as Boris, a popular Russian name that is fun to say, and is a nod to all the Russian polar bears, too.

A group of polar bears is known as a celebration of polar bears.  That is exactly what my new (there are 14 so far this fall) polar bear oil paintings are, happy, heartfelt celebratory tributes to these magnificent arctic animals.

Meet polar bear Ursa

Meet polar bear  Silatuyok

Meet polar bear Grace

Please visit Christine Montague Portrait Oil Paintings & Polar Bear Art for more information about these and other paintings.

 

 

 

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New Polar Bear Painting Silatuyok


Polar bear oil painting by Christine Montague. Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canda.

Silatuyok Polar bear painting ©Christine Montague 2014
www.christinemontague.com

Meet a Polar Bear Named Silatuyok

Silatuyok is the Inuit word for cute and intelligent,  and so the perfect name for the lovely polar bear in the oil painting above. But as adorable as the big guy in this polar bear painting may seem, I have given a nod to his real nature –  an intelligent, playful, but deadly predator –  by making sure his giant claws are clear. I actually love painting those big paws with the claws almost as much as those thickly insulated ears, and coal-black nose. 

Silatuyok is just one of the recently created paintings available in my new A Celebration of Polar Bears Series

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New Polar Bear Painting Ursa


Christine Montague polar bear portrait oil paintings

Polar bear oil painting copyright Christine Montague 2014 http://www.christinemontague.com

Here is another new polar bear portrait oil painting from my A Celebration of Bears Series. I have named the little bear in this painting Ursa, for the northern sky constellation Ursa Minor or Little Bear. This is second in a series of 6″ x 12′ oil painting tribute to this magnificent arctic animal. Please feel free to contact me or comment about any of these little bear artworks.

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New Polar Bear Painting Grace


Polar bear painting by Canadian artist Christine Montague

Polar bear portrait oil painting “Saimarnerk” (the Inuit word for grace) ©Christine Montague

New Painting in A Celebration of Polar Bears Series

Polar bear portrait oil painting “Saimarnerk” (the Inuit word for grace.) The largest predator in the Canadian north, this big bear moves with grace and ease across the frozen land. A group of polar bears is known as a celebration, and Saimarnek, or Grace is the first painting in my “A Celebration of Polar Bears” series of 6″ x 12″ oil paintings depiciting these magnificent arctic animals. Inspired by my recent journey to Cape Dorset, a remote Arctic community, most of these bears will have Inuit names. To see more polar bear paintings visit ChristineMontague.com

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A Celebration of Polar Bears: New Paintings


Polar bear oil paintings by Christine Montague, Ontario, Canada

New polar bear paintings by Canadian artist Christine Montague. (At time of post $200 ea.  plus applicable taxes + shipping) www.ChristineMontague.com

Although polar bears are solitary animals, when there is a group of them, it is known as a celebration of polar bears. Can you think of a better word to describe a gathering of these magnificent arctic animals?!

Now that the summer is over, I am back to celebrating polar bears through my oil paintings. Hot off the easel, is my version of a “celebration” of polar bears, a series of 6″ x 12″ polar bear portrait oil paintings on canvas. Although I recently made my first incredible journey to the Arctic (Cape Dorset & Iqaluit,  Nunavut), my polar bear models are the male bear Inukshuk, and twin sisters Nikita and Aurora of the Toronto Zoo.

Each painting is a tribute to these intelligent, mighty arctic mammals. There is no questioning each bear has a distinct personality. These portraits give a nod to their beauty, fuzziness, playfulness (goofy even?), but one should never forget their awesome teeth and powerful claws are ever present.

Please feel free to contact me through Guestbook at www.christinemontague.com or visit there for more polar bear art.

To learn more about polar bears, please visit Polar Bears International

Those of us in the Toronto area have had the pleasure of seeing Humphrey, the cub of  Inukshuk and Aurora,  grow up. If you need a little nudging as to why these animals are worthy of our support, see newborn polar bear videos and other info here.

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10 Panoramic Cape Dorset Landscapes (Brush with Nunavut Beauty Part 5)


Inspired by family members who loved working in the Canadian Arctic,  I jumped at the chance to visit the tiny hamlet of Cape Dorset, Nunavut when the opportunity arrived in late spring (May 2014). My trip wouldn’t allow time for me to paint (I am a visual artist who paints realism oil paintings Portraits & Polar Bears www.ChristineMontague.com), but there was endless opportunity for me to use my new camera, the very small, very light, but full frame Sony A7r with a 35mm Zeiss lens. Except for my iPhone 5s camera (my backup), this was also my first camera to have a panoramic feature. It was tempting to make every photo a panoramic one, such was the breadth of the landscape before me.

Christine Montague photographs of Cape Dorset, Nunavut

Sunset at hamlet’s edge. Panoramic view outside Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Photograph: www.ChristineMontague.com

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RCMP memorial overlooks Cape Dorset and Tellik Inlet. Photograph: www.ChristineMontague.com

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Water Tanks at night in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada. . Photo copyright Christine Montague 2014

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Aqiaalutuk Park (My apologizes for the incorrect spelling, if you can let me know, thanks!) . This is the Cape Dorset playground – a long, long walk out-of-town. However, it is the perfect when the family can fish while the children play.  Someone must always be on the look out for polar bears. The children with us were anxious a polar bear might appear (I was wishing!),  so to ready our escape, we kept the truck’s doors open.  Puts racoons in perspective, don’t you think?  Photo: Christine Montague

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The second trip out to Aqiaalutuk Park (spelling, anyone?) the water had opened up. Sunset has begun. My shadow in the foreground. Photo: www.ChristineMontague.com

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This is what the sunset over Cape Dorset looks like at about 10 pm, end of May. It didn’t get much darker, even though the official sunset wasn’t until about 2 am. (Sunrise? about 4 am.) Most of the hamlet is to the right of the photo. Copyright Christine Montague 2014

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Cape Dorset RCMP Division to the right. Tellik Inlet before you. Photograph: Christine Montague 2014

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The Cape Dorset gazebos (left of centre) overlooks Tellik Inlet, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada. Photograph: Christine Montague 2014 www.ChristineMontague.com

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World renowned Kinngait Art Studios, from Dorset Suites, Cape Dorset (capital of Inuit Art). Nunavut, Canada. Photograph: Christine Montague 2014 www.ChristineMontague.com

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School day in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada. Photo copyright Christine Montague 2014 www.christinemontague.com

To read more about Iqaluit Public Art (Nunavut’s capital) and Cape Dorset, please visit Brush with Nunavut Beauty Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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Brush with Nunavut Beauty Part 4: Cape Dorset Walkabout


The hope and promise of Cape Dorset is represented in it's wonderful children.  Photo: Christine Montague www.christinemontague.com

Hope and promise in Cape Dorset. A child stands high above the hamlet in the setting sun.                          Photo: Christine Montague www.christinemontague.com Please click for larger image

Follow the Yellow (make that ochre) Dirt Roads

I visited the Canadian Arctic for the first time in May, 2014. After a day in Iqaluit (Nunavut’s capital) I flew to Cape Dorset (pop. approx 1300) at the southern tip of Baffin Island. Visit Brush with Beauty: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 for more posts & photos.

Although the landscape surrounding Cape Dorset is stunning, it was the ochre ribbon-like roads looping through the hamlet, and the constant activity on them, that intrigued me most.  Most people walk or drive ATVs (skidoos in winter) to socialize, shop and work. There are few larger vehicles, but the school bus seems always on the go, as are the trucks that deliver fresh water and empty the septic tanks. Thus my first steps out on the town (well, hamlet) were a delightful contrast to my city experience, where the roads are hectic and the sidewalks empty.

Next to my hotel (Dorset Suites), and across from Tellik Inlet, is the world-renowned Kinngait Arts Studio, the oldest printing studio in Canada (more on this historic studio in a further post).  The studios are the distinctive red-roofed, green and yellow buildings below, and have been around since 1957. To see larger images please click on the photos below. 

Panoramic view of Kinngait Arts and kellit bay, Cape Dorset. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Panoramic view of Kinngait Arts and Tellik Inlet, Cape Dorset, from the Dorset Suites parking lot. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Below: Tellik Inlet by Kinngait Arts. Turn right to go to the two grocery and supply stores, and the RCMP station. Turn left to find the Wildlife Office, the municipal pier, and the gazebo on the hill.

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Tellik Inlet. By Kinngait Studios. Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

The gazebo, seen from most vantage points of the hamlet, is an unusual landmark for such a northern community, but, hey, I loved it. A sheltered bit of architecture, where I could start each day and take in the glorious landscape. In the picture below, you can spot the gazebo above the Wildlife Office (the building on the left ). Click on the picture below to see a larger image

<Cape Dorset photo Kellit Inlet by Christine Montague>

From left. Wildlife Office, Dept. of Sustainability. The gazebo is just above it. A polar bear hide dries on a stretcher. A private home sits picturesquely by the municipal pier. Photo: www.christinemontague.com

Wildlife Dept.building.  Cape Dorset. Photo:Christine Montague

Wildlife Dept.building. Cape Dorset. Photo:Christine Montague 2014

Huge polar bear skin dries on stretcher. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Polar bear hide dries on stretcher. This is the underside of the pelt.  Photo: Christine Montague

The polar bear hide seen above was huge. I mean hair-raising, goose bump inspiring big. I wish I had thought to put my hand or iPhone by a paw for reference.

Meanwhile, on the same day I happily arrived in Cape Dorset,  a polar bear attacked two Arctic Bay hunters as they slept in their tent.  They survived, but only after a fight for their lives. For a dramatic account of the attack, and some equally dramatic polar bear facts, read http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674nunavut_polar_bear_attack_survivors_thankful_to_be_alive/

I love polar bears, and my polar bear paintings are portraiture tributes to these great mammals whose future is of concern. But up north? One can never forget these beautiful, intelligent, powerful kings of the arctic are dangerous.

Big Bear Passing (48″ by 36″ polar bear oil painting by Christine Montague )

polar bear painting by Christine Montague

Big painting of a Big Bear Passing is available for sale. A portion of the sale of this polar bear art, as well as other of my polar bear paintings will now be donated to Polar Bears International & Toronto Zoo polar bear research.  Please contact me for details. www.christinemontague.com Copyright Christine Montague 2014 Please click for larger image

So, up the hill to the gazebo.

Up to the gazebo. Cape Dorset. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Road to the gazebo. Cape Dorset. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Gazebo. Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

The Cape Dorset gazebo. Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Looking down at pier on Tellik Inlet from gazebo. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Looking down at pier on Tellik Inlet from gazebo. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Kinngait mountain as seen from the gazebo. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

Kinngait Mountain as seen from the gazebo. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

 Below. Snowmobilers travel on frozen Tellik Inlet to get to open water beyond.

Inuit hunters head out on the land. As seen from the gazebo in Cape Dorset. Photo: Christine Montague www.christinemontague.com

Inuit hunters head out on the land. As seen from the gazebo in Cape Dorset. Photo: Christine Montague www.christinemontague.com Please click for larger image

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Zoom in on snowmobiles & qamutik (sled). Photo: Christine Montague 2014

I was forewarned to expect roads thick with mud, but they were dry and solid. Later in summer, when the roads become too dry, passing ATVs and the odd car send up clouds of pervasive dust. But for now, as it was the first week of sunny, cheery weather, children, especially boys, were out on their bikes, pedalling uphill with admirable ease.

 

Bicyclist in Cape Dorset. Photo:Christine Montague 2014

Bicyclist in Cape Dorset. Photo: Christine Montague 2014

To be continued…

Note: I use a Sony A7r with 35mm Zeiss lens.  iPhone 5s was my back up. 

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Filed under Arctic, Camera (Photographs), Life as a Visual Artist, Polar Bears, travel

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