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Feral Juxtapositions

Lyle Sopel -

Dear Collector Friend,

With the 2015 Wild Country Grizzly Bear Venture- “In Search of the Bear Spirit Experience” just around the corner, the studio is a flurry of activity as we confirm final details. As our journey approaches, I have been noticing contrasting energies within myself; the restless excitement of preparation is interspersed with waves of calm as I imagine the more serene pace that awaits.

Being in a wilderness setting brings me a sense of balance, offering the chance to reflect on juxtapositions that are key to my work in the studio. While this excursion will largely be about savouring the stillness and beauty of nature, she will equally engage me with her opposing energies of action and struggle. I find that the true spirit of all creatures, including humans, exists in the interplays between these opposing forces.

I will be observing bears in their time of action; gathering berries, fishing for salmon, caring diligently for their young. I am always inspired by the bears’ steady activity in the spring and summer as they prepare for a time of deep rest and repair during their winter hibernation. The way in which we rest, dream, and find stillness shapes who we are and how we exist in the world. As I observe bears during our upcoming excursion, I will be seeking evidence of how months of stillness are translated into the active nature of these creatures’ intriguing spirits.

bear fishing med


Alongside nature’s elements of action and stillness, I am equally fascinated by the paradox that exists in her balancing forces of beauty and struggle. From salmon running feverishly upstream during the spawning season, to small insects engaging all of their power as they motor up a dirt incline in an effort to reach their goal, to birds that feverishly scatter the skies looking for material to build their nests, all creatures seem to imbibe a sense of incredible vigor and determination as they do what is necessary to survive. It is this energy of perseverance against all odds that animates the true spirit of animals and humans alike.

In witnessing nature’s wildness, action, beauty, and struggle, I anticipate gaining insight into my own spirit as well. My curiosity about nature is the catalyst that fuses my desire to explore the strange yet magnificent world of mother earth’s most precious offerings. As an artist, it is always important to be open to clues about what motivates, startles and intrigues me. While nature provides these clues, she also offers the tools with which to face each challenge that is bound to arise on the path.

Colette sunlit forest


Art, Nature, and Beauty Always,


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