John Banovich, "Under a Wolf Moon", Oil on Belgian Linen, 44h x 100w in.
"When the moon is full on a cold winter night, the snow-cast glow from the moon appears with a cool Indigo blue hue as light and shadow mix and the depth of field shrinks. As one of my most challenging paintings to date, I tried to keep a loose, impressionistic feel to the sky and snow while capturing the details of the bison and wolves as they moved “Under a Wolf Moon” with their warm breath breaking into the cold air and deep powder. In 2011 I was commissioned by the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana to create a signature painting for the lobby of the Warren Miller Lodge, the result was a 72 by 168 inch canvas appropriately titled “Cold Air, Deep Powder.” The two year research for this painting led to a long love affair with the American Bison. As is so often with milestone paintings, “Under a Wolf Moon” has been marinating in my mind for nearly a decade. It is thought that this first full moon after January 1st, came to be known as the ‘wolf moon' because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time. Wolves are masters at picking up any signs of weakness and a thick blanket of snow on the ground generally makes it easier for them to catch their prey. While these massive bulls have seemingly not been slowed down by the deep drifts and are carving the way for the rest of the herd, the wolves are strategically staying on the high ground as they follow the herd, ever vigilant for the opportunity to move in." - John Banovich