The subject of this painting is very hard to witness in the wild. Artistic interpretation is necessary and fieldwork very important. A game farm in Bozeman, Montana, helped me a lot. Two adult wolves and two cubs were running in an electric fenced area. Modern technology allows us to record scenes that are almost impossible to get in the wild. Sophisticated cameras are a great help. Without them, it is almost impossible to create a scene as in this painting. Running animals, painted an accurate way, are impossible to render without good photographic references. There are no existing photographs of this scene; it is done with the help of more than twenty photographs of moving animals. The background, however, is painted from memory of my numerous hiking trips in the wild.
Knowledge of the family life of wolves is also the basis to create a scene like this. Wolf cubs are playful as most baby animals are. Their games are, in fact, hunting techniques, combined with the joy of life. We still have a lot to learn about the reasons for the behavior of wild animals. Our pets’ behavior can explain this a little bit, but life in the wild is more complicated and risky than that of a tame pet animal at home. Although wolves are predators and made to kill, they are the ancestors of our domestic dogs, and these usually get canned meat from the supermarket, but wolves in the wild have to get it where they find it. They deserve all of our respect.
— Carl Brenders