I have executed a few paintings of groups of bears looking directly at the viewer, usually from behind a thicket of trees or bushes. Here, I wanted to pose these bears in a more open setting and in particular with an old birch tree stump which I had found in a painting by Giovanni-Battista Camuccini at the National Gallery in London. The contrast between the intense look of the bears, the massive decomposing tree and the fresh green grasses is what I find interesting. I hope this will allow the viewer a contemplation on the diversity of life and the passing of time.
– Robert Bissell