Another long-time customer, artist/naturalist Carl Ramm
, has an interesting post about bear awareness for artists. He's talking about brown bears, or grizzly bears, though it would also apply to the black bear which is more common. It seems that paint, whether oil, watercolor or acrylic might actually be an attractant. "Think carefully about where you stop to paint or sketch. Generally we chose a spot with a fairly open view ahead of us. This is good as far as it goes, since it allows us the opportunity to spot any bears coming toward us from our front. What about behind us, or to the sides? How close are we to the trail we just arrived from? What we want to avoid is being in a location where it is easy for a bear to walk up on us accidentally."
"We should never abandon gear to bears. Even if the bears do not eat the paints, having something new and interesting to explore and play with (i.e. chomp on and toss around) is always a welcome break for a bear. This only encourages more such behavior, with obvious dangers to humans and the very real possibility that the bear will eventually have to be shot. Eating or licking paints is something a bear may well do, and if lead white is on the palette this could poison the bear. Even if all pigments are non-toxic it nonetheless encourages similar future behavior
Leave a comment