LIONS and CHEETAHS
24 X 44
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|ANGELS CHASE 1988 17X31 (L/E 950)|
Angel, the star of Angel's Chase, is also a star attraction at the Cincinnati Zoo.In 1987 Coheleach was asked to paint a
portrait of Angel, but in a wild setting. The result was Angel's Chase, which came about only after the artist worked
several technical and compositional problems.
"First of all, the markings. To do a portrait of an individual,
like a cheetah or zebra, each mark must be in exactly the right position. That's not a problem if you have a good photograph to work from and you paint the animal in the same pose. But to do that with the animal in a totally different position, allowing for perspective and muscle
movement, can be an exercise in extreme frustration.
My second problem was even worse. I wanted to portray the cheetah in a chase scene, but she had to be large enough to be the focal point.If I put her behind the Thompson's
gazelle, close enough that she was still important, she would have to be leaping to make a kill. But I didn't want to depict that actual half-a-second before a cheetah strikes.
There are many people, even though they like the cheetah, who want to see the gazelle escape. I considered turning her head and having her chase one of the other Tommies, but then
all you would see was the back of her ears. If the gazelle was coming at you, he'd be more important than the cat."
Coheleach solved the problem by having Angel pursuing a gazelle that is one step beyond the canvas; only a spurt
of dust from its heels remains. Angel is the unquestioned
hero of the painting, and the gazelle's fate is left to the proclivities of the viewer.