Meet Hari from my Tiger Eyes painting – ‘Focus’
In early 2006, my husband, Peter, and I moved to stunning Cairns in tropical Far North Queensland for business. This is where I first met Hari, a beautiful Sumatran tiger, on a wildlife safari trip in the hinterlands. After spending the day with Hari, I went straight to my studio to capture the wonderful experience/encounter that I had just had on the canvas.
Back to the workshop
Meeting Hari had such an impact on me, and I felt that I really needed to nail this piece to really capture this incredible creature. After almost 3 months of working on capturing the essence of such a magnificent animal, I felt like I had finally expressed on canvas a unique moment in time with Hari. I originally painted Hari in acrylics as this was the best medium for me to get the right composition for each intricate hair and marking that captures his character, nature and personality that many have come to know and enjoy, while the longer canvas that captures more of his facial features shows more of a playful side of him. For my painting, I had decided to portray that exciting moment in time just before a big (or little!) cat is about to pounce on its prey – right when they are mesmerised, excited and focused. I used glazing and layering to create the fur and to capture that dynamic look in Hari’s eyes. People often say that this painting of Hari looks so real that they think he will come right out of the canvas any second. Some people go right up to the painting and reach out and touch it, thinking that the fur is stuck on somehow. It truly is a compliment to have people make sure that your work is real and not just an image.
Due to a change of circumstances in the wildlife safari where I had met him, Hari was relocated to a new home in Sydney, Australia. In an exhibition on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland during 2013, I was introduced to Mr Brenton Bullen, an owner of a number of wildlife animals throughout Australia. As we discussed our shared passion for wildlife and my wildlife paintings and their origin stories, we found that we had more than one thing in common. Mr Bullen was now the proud owner of Hari, who was now living on his wildlife sanctuary – Hari had gone to such a good home and I couldn’t be happier.
Hari in the Home
Hari has travelled far and wide, and he can now call Canada, France, China, Australia the USA and many more places around the world home. Over the years, more people have discovered their love for Hari, and so the demand for reproduction paintings of the Sumatran Tiger has been overwhelming. To the left is a photo of a lovely couple who had a custom made edition of Hari made for them. Boasting a 170cm x 85cm set of tiger eyes, this canvas is set over their dining area as a feature piece in their home, creating many talking points about this beautiful animal.
The Original Painting
To the left is a snap shot of the finished painting, which has been displayed in a black floating frame with a silver trim. Lucky for me, my husband, Peter, is a printer and framer and he always uses the best quality products to achieve the best possible results on all my paintings.