Luck had a great deal to do with this oil painting. The road south to Kenai Peninsula splits off about 3/4 of the way down to Homer or Seward. There's a large loop of land that looks just like that beautiful view of the mountains and a mid-sized lake. As a result, there's a "scenic view" pull-off and thousands of pictures have been taken there.
There are signs posted by Fish & Game not to go down there, as there's a large population of wildlife, including Bears. Because the salmon & trout runs spawn in the river and lake the bears come here to feed.
Vern, from Sports West, and I were going to the Kenai & Homer to fish for Kings then Halibut. In making the turn I noticed from my passenger's seat a spotted brown something between the trees and lake. We pulled off right there. Lucky enough we saw a sow with mostly grown cubs feeding on the grass.
Yeah grass! When the bears first come out of hibernation, they get their long dormant guts going again by eating large amounts of grass and whatever small forage they can get while waiting for the salmon runs.
The Bears were looking right at us. They were about 100+ yards away at the bottom of an incline so we were in no direct danger. This site was too good to pass up. Vern had a Minolta SLR with a long telephoto lens & burned through a whole roll of 400-speed film.
I had to wait for a long time to make it a painting, because Vern sold one of the photos to a T-shirt and another to a post card company. I used another shot to make this oil.