My legs and lungs burned as we raced to the 10,850ft. summit of Mt. Hoffmann as thunderstorms rolled across the park just before sunset. This Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flavensis) perched on a rocky peninsula at the edge of a sheer cliff. As I approached with my camera and tripod, the marmot grew nervous and shuffled away until I backed off and spoke in a soft voice. It paused, mid-stride with an ear aimed in my direction. I continued speaking softly until the marmot looked into my eyes, then thoughtfully returned to its post. It settled down on the rock looking towards the brilliant rays of the setting sun shining through changing thunderclouds. I painted the marmot so that it would almost disappear into the scene, at first overshadowed by the intricate detail of the massive rocks, lines and perspective which draw the eye towards distant Mt. Conness - reflecting upon the way most visitors gaze in wonder at Yosemite's grand scenery, but often overlook the smaller, living components of complex ecosystems. Among those ecosystems, are humans the only beings inspired by natural beauty?
Note: 18x12 signed/numbered archival giclee prints available in extremely limited quantities. Contact the artist for retailers and availability.