Trailside Galleries is pleased to announce Bonnie Marris: Up Closer and Personal, a show of all new works by the renown Michigan based wildlife painter. The show will be on exhibit beginning September 9 and will continue thru September 21. An artist reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm.
Her newest body of work reinforces the fact that she is now highly praised as one of the leading wildlife painters in the country. Working from her studio in rural Michigan, Marris’ paintings often focus on animals in action. At the same time, she has the uncanny ability to capture a deeper, more soulful aspect of the animals she paints. “Animals exist on so many levels," says Marris. “Their moods show in their eyes and it allows us to learn so much from them.”
A zoologist by training, Marris also studied sculpture for five years with the renown sculptor, Ed Fraughton, whom she credits for helping her to more fully visualize the animals. She notes, “I learned more about painting from Ed than anyone, particularly because he stressed details. The smallest things can make or break a painting.” While realism still dominates her work, recent years have seen a looser, freer approach to interpreting her animal subjects. In an article in Art of the West magazine she noted, “When your skill begins to meet with your vision, then you can leave out detail. In doing so you can make the illusion of detail and make it even stronger than if you had painted the minutiae.”
Many of the subjects she paints can be found close to her Michigan home, including foxes, rabbits, wolves and mountain lions. Research trips to Alaska as well as Teton National Park and Yellowstone have also provided a wealth of subject matter ranging from grey wolves to bison and grizzlies. She is also an avid horse lover and her stable of equines have inspired many of her paintings.
Reflecting on her newest body of work, Marris says, “ My goal in life has always been to get as close to wild animals and learn everything I could about their behavior. How close would a wild wolf, or for that matter a bear, elk, or even a skunk, let me get to it if I knew its language. I find that with every amazing experience, I can’t wait to somehow share it. So with this group of new studio paintings, it's all about connection. For just a moment, connect on some level with a mountain lion, a grizzly, a fox, a wolf and for just a moment share a bond and their wildness."
Bonnie Marris is a yearly exhibitor at major museum shows including the Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles as well as the Prix De West held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Feature articles on her work have appeared in Art of the West, US Art, Wildlife Art News and Southwest Art.