George Carlson



oil on linen
36 x 36 in.
44 x 44 in. (framed)
Mayday! is a painting I never set out to paint; the content doesn’t coincide with my feelings toward nature. So what compelled me to paint a dark subject as this?. I witnessed this scene while driving gravel roads not far from my studio, looking for possible inspirations for paintings. When I came upon this scene on that May evening, I quickly pulled my pickup over and got out. I quietly stood studying the moment in the cool breeze of evening light, and the longer I absorbed this experience, the more convinced I felt it should be expressed in paint. The painting is about contrasts: the beauty of the spring landscape in all its verdant promise of life, and the coyote, with its lower jaw wired open, in the finality of death. "Mayday!" is a military distress call, hence the title.