The Story of the Polar Bear King marches on, new polar bear paintings.
You may have read my short story. ‘I am The Polar Bear’, it is a story about a polar bear king traversing Canada in search of a new home. It is a series of paintings begun in 2011, that continues to develop. This year the story of the polar bear is top of mind as global warming intensifies and a hot and dry summer continues to burn our forests and fill our air with campfire smells.
This year I have created 11 new paintings featuring this magnificent white bear, often wearing a crown of gold leaf. You will see one of my polar bear paintings on the Art in Nature Trail in Banff, Canada and 7 small works in the Willock & Sax Gallery in downtown Banff, on the appropriately named, Bear Street.
I have just completed two new paintings, inspired by the playful nature of these bears as they stretch on the melting ice and snow. While my trip to Churchill, Manitoba to observe the bear’s hasn’t come to fruition yet, I have been endlessly studying the bears through photographs and stories from the photographers that venture out on the Churchill Wild Safari expeditions.
I came to find that in their stretching movements the bears appeared to be doing yoga moves of sorts, brilliant bears! I found two round tondo canvasses tucked into the back wall of my studio and I began laying down some ideas about these playfully flexible and meditative bears. Two new paintings and a new short story about these bears practicing their own kind of yoga.
A Story of The Polar Bear King: Aurora Asana
“In a land far, far north, where the icy winds howled their disapproval, and snowflakes danced in disdain, lived a peculiar tribe of polar bears with a regal twist. These were no ordinary bears, for they had discovered the ancient art of yoga. And they weren’t content with just practicing their poses in seclusion; no, these polar bears sought something grander, something more majestic. The bears, led by their wise elder, King Bjorn the Benevolent, had an insatiable thirst for gold. Not for greed or vanity, mind you, but for a higher purpose. They believed that by wearing crowns of gold, they could channel their inner strength and wisdom, thereby uniting with the spirits of their ancestors.
As the world around them began to melt due to the ever-warming climate, the bears faced a challenge like no other. The once-familiar icy terrain was transforming into a vast expanse of water, forcing them to adapt to their new environment. But the bears, with their unwavering determination, refused to let their traditions and culture crumble with the melting ice. Under the shimmering Aurora Borealis, the polar bears gathered on the remaining icebergs that dotted the sea. Dressed in their crowns of gold, they performed their graceful yoga poses with a regal elegance. King Bjorn led the way, his majestic crown gleaming like the sun.
They called it “Aurora Asana” – a blend of yoga, meditation, and spirituality. As they stretched and contorted their mighty bodies, they channeled their energy towards preserving their culture and embracing the changes around them. With each breath, they embraced their fears and uncertainties, grounding themselves in the present moment. The icy waves splashed around them, but they remained undeterred, their concentration unbroken. In the face of adversity, they found solace in the unity of their tribe and their unwavering connection with the Arctic wilderness.
Their practice became a beacon of hope for other creatures struggling to adapt. Seals, penguins, and even some daring seagulls began attending the daily Aurora Asana sessions, seeking comfort and guidance in uncertain times. As the years passed, the polar bears continued their tradition, evolving with the ever-changing world. They learned to navigate the new waters and became ambassadors of the Arctic, spreading their message of harmony and adaptation to other lands.
And so, the polar bears with crowns of gold found strength in the ancient art of yoga and embraced the melting world around them, proving that even in the face of adversity, one could endure with grace and nobility, just like the majestic creatures they were.”