Clear Night - Wolves
Robert Bateman

 Clear Night - Wolves
a Limited Edition Print
by Robert Bateman

The idea for this painting came from a picture in an impressive exhibition of the works of Clyfford Still at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was awestruck. Still is a master Abstract Expressionist painter who does giant canvases of slashing organic masses of color. This painting, titled "PH 1081," consists of a dark, menacing shape with a slender vertical stroke crossing it. The confronting presence of this abstract form made me think of a herd of buffalo or a pack of wolves, and the spindly strokes suggested a little sapling as an inadequate screen between the animals and the viewer.

However, I do not mean this to be a frightening picture. The wolves, which normally avoid eye contact, are staring straight at you. Although they sense your presence, they can't quite make you out. They are alert and interested but not about to attack. They are equal to the viewer; they are on the same level. The feeling of slight tension and respect between you and them is mutual, you are in their domain. Now that they know about you, they will melt into the gloom. -Robert Bateman

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