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Outdoor experiences have always fascinated me

Outdoor experiences have always fascinated me. Being surrounded by awesome scenery and viewing wild game in their natural habitat is rewarding.

My friend, Gil Menzies, and I have shared these pleasures together. Gil has faithfully reproduced both wild game in their habitat and birds in flight in excellent detail for the enjoyment of all. He has agreed to draw bighorn sheep surveying the crags and basins of majestic ram habitat. My main interest has been riding and climbing through our high country, so I’m looking forward to seeing the result of Gil’s next challenge!

Keith Brown, Alberta

Grand Slam Club – Four North American Ram Species

GSC – OVIS (Super Slam – Twelve Species Worldwide)

Boone and Crocket record holder – Three species

My reaction to art is quite elementary

My reaction to art is quite elementary. When I react to a specific picture, it’s my individual experience that is the driver. “Bull Headed” does not just revive an experience, it completes an experience. The first time that I was in a ‘tug-of-war’ with a bull trout, it took a few excited seconds to realize that a big bully had latched on to a just-hooked small rainbow. It flashed through my mind that the bullie might bite right through the rainbow on to the hook and that I had a beggar’s chance to capture it. No such Luck! After ten tense minutes of running out and reeling in the line, I felt the big bozo finally let go. Gil’s dynamic drawing depicts what I did not see: the preliminary, under-water happening – the vicious, toothed-mouth bull trout converging on the hapless, hooked rainbow. This is not just art presenting reality; it is art extending reality.

Another of Gil’s drawings that relates to my experience is “Neighbors”. In twenty-eight summers at Mitchell Lake, I have been thrilled on three separate occasions to see woodland caribou. And in the last couple of summers, we have been delighted to see a family of river otters swimming across the front of our place. As different from the traveling caribou, these otters appear to be permanent residents. Their headquarters is probably located a short way up the corner creek. What Gil has so artfully done is to place the two groups at a creek in from the lakeshore. They probably eye each other warily at first, but then are quite inclined to share the water supply peacefully – and to be neighbors. The probability of actually coming on to such a scene is slight, but what a pleasant experience to imagine! Again, Gil succeeds in extending reality.

Bill Corbett, Alberta

Author of “Adventures at Mitchell Lake: Retreating and Recharging in Canada’s Wilderness”

Would you like to learn more about Gil's artwork?

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