An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

An Artist’s Eye

Readers of my Naturally Curious blog have provided me with connections to kindred spirits, inspiring insights and probing questions. Sometimes I receive requests from non-profits to use my images in their newsletters, displays, etc. Occasionally an individual writes with a special request. Melissa Ball is such a person. She wrote me just about a year ago and introduced herself as an artist in Pennsylvania who would like to use an image of a Black Bear that I photographed settling in for a nap 20’ up in an Eastern White Pine as a reference for a painting. I said of course, and truthfully, pretty much forgot about this exchange. Little did I know what an honor had been bestowed upon me. It turns out that Melissa is an artist very well-known for her  unique and highly detailed artwork on turkey tail feathers. (You can see her work at  Her Black Bear painting, however, is on canvas, not a feather!  There is no question that in my eyes, Melissa absolutely captured the essence of this winsome bear. (Original photograph is beneath Melissa’s painting.)



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21 responses

  1. Chris

    Incredible! Thank you for sharing this.

    November 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    That is an incredibly amazing painting from a beautiful photo! Bear must have great balance, to take a snooze that high up in the tree!

    November 16, 2016 at 7:47 am

  3. Janet Andersen

    Amazing. It is great you let artists use your wonderful photos!

    November 16, 2016 at 7:59 am

  4. Debra Marnich

    Amazing photograph and amazing painting!!! Thanks for sharing.

    November 16, 2016 at 8:05 am

  5. Lovely! :o)

    November 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

  6. marianneblake

    Lovely painting and a great photo.

    November 16, 2016 at 8:52 am

  7. Evergreen Erb

    What a gorgeous painting! And great photo also. I get so much email that is deleted so fast, but I am always happy to get Naturally Curious. And then I save them in a folder. Thanks so much again.

    November 16, 2016 at 8:56 am

  8. susan thomas

    Wow! Great photo and great art work by Melissa Ball!!!!

    November 16, 2016 at 9:06 am

  9. Kathryn

    GREAT photo and AMAZING painting! Thanks for sharing!

    November 16, 2016 at 9:46 am

  10. Midge

    Love this post. Good artist! Best is the wonderful example of honoring of YOUR art in photography in her request and your permission. Not all are as careful.
    I was so glad when you started watermarking your photos. Your work is just too good to get out there without credit.
    (I too am a photographer)

    November 16, 2016 at 9:59 am

  11. Karen Cutter

    WoW !!! Beautiful !!!

    November 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

  12. mariagianferrari

    Amazing photo and STUNNING art!!

    November 16, 2016 at 10:23 am

  13. Warner Historical


    November 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

  14. Lenita Robbins

    Hard to capture the age and winsomeness that you did!

    Cordially, Lenita (Robbins)

    Sent from my iPhone


    November 16, 2016 at 11:26 am

  15. Randi Filoon

    Wow, that is amazing. Every single hair and the spirit of the bear. Beautiful!

    Sent from my iPad


    November 16, 2016 at 11:36 am

  16. Absolutely beautiful.

    November 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

  17. Eugenie

    Melissa is a remarkable artist! She completely captured the whimsical bear. Great photo, great painting.

    November 16, 2016 at 5:51 pm

  18. Fantastic!

    November 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm

  19. Fabulous!

    November 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm

  20. judilindsey

    Mary, This is fascinating!Thanks for sharing it. Judi

    November 17, 2016 at 6:44 am

  21. mary

    This picture is so beautiful and your story too.
    Thanks for sharing

    November 17, 2016 at 7:19 am

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