#24 “The Unseen”

From Heather

I would first like to commend the artist for her commitment to utilizing nearly the entire canvas for this illustration. The natural elements (trees, rocks, etc.) help to secure this wolf in a place that is real and tangible for the viewer, and I feel like the drawing is stronger because of this. The full usage of the canvas allows us to truly examine this wolf in his element, his native environment.  Please understand that I am not downplaying the importance of imagination in the mind of the viewer; I am simply drawing attention to the illustrator’s artistic dedication.

What really strikes me about this picture, though, is the violently expressive body language of the wolf. You’ll notice that the wolf seems to feel threatened or appears to possibly be in some sort of danger. This is made evident by the slicked back ears, the ferocious disposition and facial features, and the way the animal is reared back on its haunches, striking a somewhat defensive pose. As a result, the work is positively dripping with anxiety and drama.

But all of these details still beg the question: What has this wolf in such dire straits? Has it encountered a lupine nemesis vying for dominance in the pack? Some evil archenemy? Is he face to face with the wolf’s greatest foe: man? Could it be something less spectacular (perhaps the wolf is merely feigning anger in some sort of primitive lupine game), or totally outrageous (maybe this wolf has encountered beings from another planet)? Ultimately, as is often the case, the answer is left up the viewer and in the end, you must decide: What lies just beyond the reaches of the page?


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