Rocky Mountain Elk, Alberta Foothills

Rocky Mountain Elk, Alberta Foothills
Bleed under mat

Artist: John Crittenden


This painting is of a Rocky Mountain Elk during an early fall snow in the Alberta foothills. When hiking one fall morning I came to within 50 feet of this beautiful animal bugling across a canyon. He would bugle long and loud, and then wait for a reply from another bull. I saw three bull elk that morning, and their whistles echoed up and down the canyon for hours. This magnificent six-pointer is intently waiting for a reply after a long and grunting whistle that sent chills up my spine. I had only the night before pitched my leanto a few hundred yards from where I stood.

I have sometimes stood quietly in the middle of a herd of elk, high up a ravine hidden by dense bush, sensing that I was not alone. Soon, if I was still long enough, I would see an ear twinge before discerning the whole animal, or often just the head, looking straight at me. I have never felt afraid while close to these animals, however they can be dangerous and it's important to remember that we are in their home and we must treat them with respect. They do, however, seem to sense when you represent no danger to them. If you are quiet they will eventually go about their day, moving silently away and leaving you, once again, feeling alone in the wilderness. I have been left with many lasting experiences like this. - John Crittenden

About This Series

We are offering signed and numbered limited edition Giclées of a few of the many paintings John has produced over his career. This collection records the early history of a land that stretches from the prairies and foothills of Alberta to the rainforests of British Columbia.

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