Jul 31 2012

#393 “Devil Wolf”

From Tamzin in Wales

Beauty and braun collide in this intense masterpiece by the talented Tamzin of Wales. Although Tammy is a young artist of only 12 years of age, her creative maturity is evident in this savage portrait. While the work may have sprung from the angelic mind of a young girl, the illustration delivers a ferocious punch. The viewer is held captive in the unblinking gaze of this feral beast. Intent on destruction and with ears jutting out like demonic horns, the hero of this portrait bears down on us like Mother Nature’s stealthy assassin. We can almost feel the hot breath of the beast as he leaps from the page and into our nightmares. Congratulations, Tamzin, you’ve certainly got our hearts racing with this intense masterpiece!

Jul 30 2012

#392 “Rhyme/Reason”

From Jacob (age 11) in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee

There’s just something moving about the artwork of a child. The lack of restraint and inhibition create a magical quality of creativity and a sense of freedom that we seem to lose as the years pass us by. It sometimes seems that the older I become, the more that I look to even the smallest of children for inspiration and guidance. I guess maybe John Denver had it right…

Jul 29 2012

#391 “In The Hood”

From Lynn at the Blue Sun Art Studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee

After receiving this illustration from Lynn, I went digging for something that would compliment it in order to complete the post. I’m not really sure what I was looking for, but in the end I settled on the quote below. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how the two work together, but something tells me there’s a sort of parallel or interdependence between the words and the picture that lies just beneath the surface and is waiting to be discovered…

“The modern Little Red Riding Hood,  reared on singing commercials,
has no objection to being eaten by the wolf.”

~ Marshall McLuhan

Jul 27 2012

#390 “The Blue Sun”

From Zac (age 8 ) at The Blue Sun Art Camp

I can’t help but to be drawn to this youthfully exuberant illustration by the talented Zac. Only the mind of a child could conjure an image so pure and simple. Only a child’s hand could capture the figure of a wolf so serenely and with so much energy and flair. Thanks for the submission Zac. I love wolves, too. And I especially love this great work of art.

“A good painting to me has always been like a friend.
It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.”

~ Hedy Lamar

Jul 26 2012

#389 “Howlin’ High”

From Andy in Columbia, Missouri

With a perfectly rolled joint and a perma-grin to boot, this lupine stoner is the perfect doppelganger for the character of Slater from the famous 70s period piece, Dazed and Confused. But while seeing a wolf get high on his own supply might be all in good fun, it actually does present an interesting question: “Do animals get high?” Jonesing to find out? Grab a bag of Cheetos and read this article at cracked.com which just so happens to be called… 7 Species That Get High More Than We Do.

Jul 23 2012

#388 “Fear/Loathing”

From Zachary

I’ve sat on this piece by Zachary for a few days simply because I’m not sure the English language has developed the lexicon to truly capture the absurd brilliance of this man’s twistedly beautiful artwork. The only way that I know to describe it is to say that it has caused me to wonder what might result if Ralph Steadman met H.P. Lovecraft at a party thrown by Quentin Tarrantino and all three of them drank from a tainted punchbowl. And speaking of Steadman, although I’m amazed by the originality of the body of Zachary’s artwork, I can’t help but to think that the wildly creative British artist has had some sort of influence here. I’m reminded of a quote by the man in which he said that he often sought inspiration during thunderstorms because he enjoyed the close contact with the power and majesty of nature. And that is what I see most clearly in this piece: power and majesty but in a form that is beyond our control and beyond our grasp.

In the end, I can’t stop staring at this devilishly beautiful portrait, but something says tells me that it will lead to more nightmares than sweet dreams.

To view more of Zachary’s outrageous artwork, click here.

Jul 22 2012

#387 “Teacher Appreciation Day!”

From Gabe in Rock Spring, Georgia

The rallying call to encourage our society to give teachers more credit for the hard work that they put in to educating today’s youth is not a new one, but it is an important one, nonetheless. While I’m sure that more than one teacher has encouraged a student to participate in the artistic journey known as WBS, this is the first the letter that has explicitly stated that it is because a teacher’s influence that a child has contributed his artwork. So, without further ado, a round of applause for the wonderful Mrs. Semtner and her creative impact on our young artist, Gabe.

Now, on to the artwork…

The first aspect of this work that leaps out to me is the mesmerizing creativity of this otherworldly landscape. Something about it brings to mind the famous poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Perhaps it is the “lifeless ocean” or the “sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice.” Then again, maybe it is the fact that this place seems as haunted and savage as the fearsome paradise known as Xanadu and the mighty chasm which resides there and thrusts forth the sacred river Alph. The sorcerer perched upon his lofty precipice brings to mind the “ancestral voices prophesying war” while the fearsome wolf conjures the poems reference to a “woman wailing for her demon lover.” Regardless of whether any of this constitutes an overt reference, this masterpiece is an exploration into the beautifully surreal mindscape of child with limitless possibilities. Simply put, it makes me wish this place were real…

Thanks for the awesome illustration, Gabe. Whenever I want to escape the trappings of this mundane existence, I’ll simply look at this masterpiece and let it sweep me away.

Jul 15 2012

#386 “Don’t Go…”

From Ally  in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Something peaceful yet ominous oozes from the dark nighttime skies of this calm but creepy masterpiece. While the darkness of night is often an object of fear for mankind and a metaphor for death and the great unknown, this is the very place that the wolf often feels most at home. Symbolically and literally he exists where we dare not go- beyond the borders of our comfortable lives which are masked with a fragile illusion of safety. It is the wolf that dares to confront the darkness.

Man has always hated what he does not understand and cannot relate to. Perhaps that is why he has persecuted the wolf with such force. Over centuries he has slaughtered wolves by the millions under delusions of a false threat or an inflated sense of nobility. So while it is we who are afraid of the night, we have seemingly punished the wolf for his untamable wildness. And that is why this illustration brings to mind a poem by Dylan Thomas. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s called…

“Do not go gentle into that good night”

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Jul 8 2012

#385 “Two Sides”

From Daniel

I’ve commented quite a bit in the past about the duality of the wolf- about how the creature possesses two distinct sides (if not more) and how the complexity of the animal creates an identity like unto an ever-shifting amorphous specter, just out of reach of our understanding. No piece displays this idea more clearly than this stunning black and white study by Daniel. Strangely enough, the simple lines and lack of overt detail help to bring to mind the duality of the wolf all the more in this masterpiece.

On a related note, I recently discovered a story in the Durango Herald that focuses on the ongoing debate over wolves and which I found to be quite interesting. If you’re interested in reading the story, you can access it here. To spark your interest further, here is a quote from the beginning of the article that grabbed my attention almost immediately and which I also feel is related somehow to this fantastic illustration by Daniel:

“Wolves are not as evil or destructive as wolf opponents allege, nor are they the cuddly, noble spirits of wilderness that some romantics espouse. They are animals, and they behave like animals – with all the good and bad that implies. As such, it is important to address some of the claims that have been made recently about wolves.”

Jul 7 2012

#384 “Growth”

From Victoria in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Here’s your inspiration for the day!

While most of us realize that the artistic talent of Victoria is something that lies lightyears beyond our grasp, the variance of these pieces which display the growth of her skill over a period of years should encourage us to realize that even the most talented among us have to start somewhere. It’s true that a few of us might be born with more natural gifts than others, but focused cultivation is the key. Determination and perseverance… hours spent in practice… mistakes and failures along the way… sleepless nights and a steadfast gaze on the summit: this is the recipe for greatness. And when we reach that beautiful peak of personal achievement, the victory of our efforts will fill our mouths with and indescribable sweetness.

So keep your chin up! Whether your goals lie in the artistic creations or in something at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, give yourself time to achieve the greatness that you deserve and enjoy the journey. As someone once said, “If it’s easy, it’s not worth doing.”

Jul 6 2012

#383 “In The Company Of Wolves”

From Ana Lucia in Colombia (age 8 )

This little troop of lobos struck an instant chord with me, and I couldn’t help thinking that they looked like a quaint little family. But while I do believe in the general goodness of the wild animal, I also recognize that a company of wolves is nothing to take too lightly. There’s a dreadful strength and a harrowing power in the pack that should not be scoffed at. The wolf is a creature that is full of mystery and wonder, a creature of intrigue and danger. Yes, friends a company of wolves can be a desperate and treacherous thing… Don’t believe me? View the accompanying video below for a closer look. Notice the three wolves featured at 1:40 in the video and you’ll see why I’ve posted these two pieces together.

BTW, if you’re a wolf-movie enthusiast, be sure to check out the 1984 British Gothic fantasy-horror film “The Company of Wolves” whose scenes comprise this video.

Jul 4 2012

#382 “Freedom!”

From Cayla

Since many people will ruminate on ideas related to freedom and independence on this fine day of celebration, I thought that it would be only fitting to join their ranks with a wolf-themed salute to the notion of liberty. While the video displayed below was created last year, it’s messages of compassion and endurance are as true as ever. On day in which so many of us will be filled with a wide range of emotions- from pride to sadness to joy to indolence- I hope this fine illustration by Cayla and this wonderful short film will be moving to us as well and help us to realize that the notion of freedom is not one that should be reserved for the human race alone.


Jul 1 2012

#381 “Beware…”

From Arantxa in Colombia,

I’m not sure if this is a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing or a sheep dressed in wolf’s clothing, but either way there is something mesmerizing about this work’s mysterious simplicity- something enchanting about the beauty of the smooth and effortless lines of construction that are so straightforward yet so enigmatic. In the end, it is this evasive focus that seems to make this piece beautiful as well as somewhat menacing. Seeing as how I’m examining this piece during the early hours of a Sunday morning, I can’t help but to be reminded of Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”