As we travel along life’s journey, we form relationships. Often we seek bonds with those who are stronger than ourselves so that we have someone that we can learn from and rely upon. The challenge we face is making sure that whoever we trust is actually trustworthy, and that they won’t take advantage.

In my life, I have seen the meek lifted because of the strength of a trusted loved one. I have also seen great tragedy, because people of great capacity who should have been trustworthy, used their abilities to destroy others.

Some hurt lasts a long time and some relationships have eternal rewards. So it’s important to remember to “Choose your Friends Wisely.”

bronze sculpture

 

The Kodiak Grizzly is among the world’s most intimidating predators. It moves through its environment in a confident yet nonchalant manner. It is not looking for a fight or to be aggressive, however, it will not hesitate to defend itself and its home turf.

In the piece “Attitude Is Everything” I depicted an average sized Kodiak showing off what he is made of. A coastal grizzly actually can grow to be several feet larger. But one thing that I have noticed, as I have studied many hours of bear footage, is that it isn’t always the biggest or the strongest that wins out in the quest for survival.

I have seen smaller bears that felt they had more at stake as they take on larger bears in a conflict of territory. They will often win out over a larger bear due to an having an attitude of tenacity and determination. I have seen a mother sow scare off a full grown boar twice her size, and then chase him another 200 yards, just to get her point across.

It is easy to want to give up in life when we don’t feel that our talents and abilities are equal to those of others, but we can remember that a strong positive attitude of determination will often bring us victory throughout our life.

 

View Piece in Gallery

In the eye of the beholder

I wanted to open up and share some of my thoughts and ideas in this blog series. We will look at a piece that I have created and give you the story. Each piece tells a story and is wrapped with the human element. I also wanted to open this up and ask what you see in each piece. What story does it tell you?

Something in the air

[click on the image to go to the piece in the gallery]

bronze wildlife sculptures

I don’t know if you can tell but…I love bears. There is something just so amazing about these creatures that make me think of us as human beings. Yes, other animals do exhibit some traits that humans show, but a bear, particularly a mother bear.

This piece is very special to me. It was inspired by a conversation that I had on one occasion
with professional bear trainer Doug Suess, owner of Bart the Bear.He was that one that told me about the tactic that bears employ to pick up as many scent particles in the air as possible so that they can be aware of their surroundings. He explained that they will breathe out of their mouth first to create moisture immediately in front of their nose. Then the moisture picks up any close scent particles in the air allowing them to then breathe those particles back into their nostrils. For a bear, their sense of smell is like binoculars for humans for long-range vision. They can tell what is a very long distance away just by smelling the air.

A bond between a mother and their child is undeniable. Just like humans, bears are very protective of their young. A mother bear will fight to the death if needs be to provide safety for her young. No matter what the cost a mother will sacrifice anything for her child.

To be completely honest here, the inspiration for Something in the air came from an incident I will never forget. The story that further gives specific meaning to me personally about this piece and why it’s important to me.

On one occasion my wife had just had a tune-up done on our old Volvo. She was driving home from the mechanic with our three-year-old son and newborn baby daughter when she noticed that there was smoke coming into the car from the dashboard. She immediately pulled seeing that the car engine was fully engulfed in flames. What we gathered later was during the tune-up a worker didn’t fully secure the main gas line. As she was driving away, the gas line came loose and began spraying gas all over the hot engine.

Without thinking of herself own safety she jumped out of the car and ran over to free our infant son out of his seat. She placed him far away from the flames and then ran back to the car (the flames getting bigger by this time) and grabbed my daughter out of her seat as well. With all of our children out of harm’s way, she was able to let everything that just happened sink in.

It never ceases to amaze me when mothers sense danger close to their family they go into this almost superhuman mode. This primal mode if you will. Something that is ingrained in all creatures to not only survive but to think about their children before themselves.

I find myself staring at this piece and thinking so fondly about my wife. About what she did that very day. About that she would never hesitate a second to save her children no matter what may happen to her.

This mother bear and her cubs huddled close to her remind me of just how amazing mothers are. Mothers just have this extra sense that makes them hyper-aware of the world around them. Without a moment’s notice, they will gladly give their life to protect the ones they love.