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bi·son: a humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox native to North America and Europe.

Tatonka means “bison” in the language of the Sioux-Lakota . The bison remains a holy animal to the native North Americans to this day. It is the symbol of nature, freedom, strength, and the wilderness. But it also stands for much more than that.

bison | buffalo | tatonka

The most wonderful thing about working with nature as your subject matter is that it is ever changing. Artist Robert Bateman states it best, “Everything in nature has its own personality.” You can never capture or see the same composition twice. There are always little nuances of change. When you take photographs or observe wildlife they almost never stay in that “perfect” composition you envision. Therefore you have do a lot of improvisation and creativity to get the composition you desire.

Since I was a child my family has been traveling to Yellowstone National Park. Though we went mainly to flyfish I would get the biggest thrill, and still do, of seeing the magnificent bison, known as tatanka by Sioux-Lakota Native Americans, travel across the vast landscapes. Their large massive prehistoric forms have always attracted my eye.

I was thrilled during the summer of 2006 and 2011 to travel to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons once again to this time observe these magnificent creatures for inspiration of a new series of work. Through the medium of photography and drawing I have tried to capture the essence of the bison spirit by focusing on their lines, patterns, textures, forms, colors, and shapes. My hope is to find a unique perspective of these powerful creatures for they represent the past, present, and future.

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