Mama bear and cubs

Black bears come in many different colors, from black to all shades of brown, even creamy white. Non-albino white black bears are found almost exclusively in British Columbia and are also known as “Spirit Bears.” In Native American legend, the white color of these bears is said to be a reminder of past ice ages. The white bears are also said to stand for harmony and peace.

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Mama bear and cubs watercolorLast summer on a car trip through northern Wisconsin I happened to look out the window in time to see a mother black bear with her three cubs. What a thrill!

The ones I saw were actually black, or nearly so, but black bears come in many different colors, from black to all shades of brown, even creamy white. Non-albino white black bears are found almost exclusively in British Columbia and are also known as “Spirit Bears.” In Native American legend, the white color of these bears is said to be a reminder of past ice ages. The white bears are also said to stand for harmony and peace.

We don’t have spirit bears where I live in the U.P. of Michigan, but somehow the little cub in the center just wanted to be white. Its playful expression is perhaps a reminder that we need a little fun in our lives now and then in order to maintain harmony and peace in our lives!

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What the Bear brings…

Bear painting in watercolor and gouache
"Black Bear," watercolor and gouache sketch, 6x9"

This one was done on impulse.  I had pulled out a bunch of scraps of watercolor paper, many of which had been used to demonstrate washes, etc.  This one was covered with a decidedly pink wash and adorned with a value scale along the right hand side.  Probably I should have tossed it, but as I stared I began to imagine a bear looking back at me.

I’m told the bear is a healing totem.  When I looked it up this is what I discovered it also stands for:

bear sketch in watercolor
Sometimes you've just got to paint it, even if it doesn't seem to make sense...
  • Strength in the face of adversity
  • Finding one’s way back
  • Solitude
  • Maternal protection
  • Focus on the practical side of life

Not surprisingly, these are all  major themes in my life right now…

Do you ever get messages from animals, or feel a spiritual connection to them?  I’d love to hear about it!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne