Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The spirit tiger...



What do you see when you think of a siberian tiger? Have you ever imagined one? have you ever seen him in your minds eye as he surveys his frozen land? I have. I have a recurrent dream of an absolute behemoth, an 800 pound male prowling the frozen forests of the Russian Far East.

I am standing in the silence that only a snowfall can deliver, all sound absorbed by the mist that hangs heavily around me. Slowly, inexorably a shape begins to form out of the frozen air with the dreamlike quality of a photograph developing. Only now do I hear the dulled sound of snow being squeezed under soft and heavy paws. It is he, the behemoth, the legendary Amur tiger, largest of all the big cats striding effortlessly towards me with a fluidity of movement that belies his immense weight and power. His wild eyes pierce the mists and his jaw hangs loose revealing his tongue and glistening teeth. Despite the intense cold, he is panting to keep himself from overheating. He stops before me turning his head as if to see where I am hiding and exhales powerfully with a sound so deep I feel it in my chest. His hot breath freezing instantly in the air. I hold my own breath for fear he will hear it but my heart beats so loudly I am sure It will betray my position. For what seems an eternity he stands frozen, the image of untamed wildness, and then miraculously he turns his mighty head again sniffing the snow as it tickles his nose and dissapears silently into the fog. I am left traumatized and yet wondering as silence returns "Was all this just my imagination? or did that really happen?"

I have taken many, many walks in tiger forests carrying nothing more than a bamboo stick and believe me, the fear of meeting a tiger when you are on foot is a very deep primordial feeling that probably lodged itself into my subconscious. You dont think so much of it at the time, but later in those quiet moments, you imagine the nightmare 'what if?' scenarios.

The irony of course, is that the tiger has far more to fear from man than we have ever had to fear from him.

I decided it would be good to paint my dream. It was quite a challenge. I attempted it once before with the painting 'Greeting the first snows of winter' and this time I wanted to make it more up close and personal.

I hope you like it.

3 Comments:

At 12:23 am , Blogger Patrick said...

Great work Eric, and love the story about how it came to be

 
At 6:31 pm , Blogger Scott said...

Another amazing piece Eric. Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

 
At 1:25 am , Blogger ROBBY ROBINSON said...

ERIC---Your comment was passed on to me. thanks for your kind words. Your success makes me proud. You found the passion in art to make a name for yourself. The key is the fight inside of you. You are someone that I would want in my foxhole. I checked out your blog. Your work is extraordinary! You obviously found your passion. Kids need to hear more positive accomplishments not just in the art of bodybuilding. Much continued success.
Best wishes, peace, ROBBY

 

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