- Monet had his garden in Givenchy, I have the Big Crooked, reveals Bonnie Marris. I almost feel guilty that I paint this spot so much, but every time I go it feels like I am seeing it for the first time. Its a real creek near my cabin in northern Michigan. Its one of those places where the light is wonderful, the sound is wonderful and the air is magic. You can just spend hours there letting the creek flow by.Every time I go there is a new set of tracks from the most recent creatures to visit. Nearby, there is an active fox den. If you dont see any when you come around, its a good bet that one of them just left. The creek is so crisp and clear that you can see deep into it, a great advantage for the foxes when the trout are running. I can imagine that they enjoy this place as much as I do, picking a spot to simply sit back and take it all in, just laying around listening to the Big Crooked roll. Bonnie Marris is recognized as one of the most important wildlife artists painting today. Her palette and style are distinctively her own, making a Marris painting identifiable from across the room. Art of the Wests November/December 2010 issue featured Bonnie as their cover story. Commenting on her blend of realistic and impressionistic painting they said, . . . she wants the best of both worlds and seems to be finding it.
- The Artist
"Wildlife artist Bonnie Marris' fascination with animals began at an early age when, at the age of two, she spent hours in front of the wolf cage at the zoo, enraptured by the animals within. The attention to detail evident in her work is a consequence of long hours studying her subjects in the field and her background in illustration.
Bonnie Marris has taken an unusual path into art; she developed her talent by portraying animals "from the inside out." While she was a student at Michigan State University, Bonnie illustrated several major books. One volume she worked on was a leading expert's mammalogy text that contained several hundred drawings and detail studies. This massive project attracted the attention of noted zoologist George Schaller, who invited Bonnie to prepare the art for posters that would support his worldwide rare animal relief programs.
In addition to her accomplished skill at rendering her subjects and evident affinity for the wild, Marris' painting requires frequent and substantive field experience. Each year, Bonnie makes two major trips, and countless smaller ones, to observe and learn about the wildlife she loves.
In 1980, one such voyage took her to Alaska, where she lived in the wilderness for six months. Marris recounts, "To get into a natural environment and see the animals on their own terms is as important as knowing the animals themselves.
For instance, gray wolves on the tundra