50 x 34, acrylic on canvas, 3/19/2013
© Steven Miller 2013
Work on this painting began a few years ago before my studio caught fire due to a lightning strike and fallen power lines. It was one of a few canvases saved by our (insert positive adjective here) local fire department while the whole studio was in flames.
Before all of that drama, I was searching for subject matter and found it after pushing paint around for a few days. I decided to paint a single lonely majestic buffalo on a plain, probably because I was missing home or something, when I decided to re-gesso the canvas so I could have a fresh surface to work upon. That’s where this painting was at the time of it’s rescue, clean and white with a varied surface topography. Unfortunately, my clear direction to complete this painting faded as I worked on rebuilding my studio.
Two years later, after sitting in my basement, I was compelled to work on this canvas again. I painted one buffalo crudely from imagination then added a second because the composition needed it. I approached the painting openly without preconceived notions and discovered the colors could be strongly exaggerated yet still be believable. Pushing and refining brought me to what you see here in about 13 hours, yet it percolated for a few years. In fact, you can still see a slight ghost of the original buffalo on the surface of the painting.