Most people living on Vancouver Island have never seen a Roosevelt Elk. Despite being the size of a small horse they mostly keep to the remote northern valleys and alpine regions where few humans venture. With the forest undergrowth dense and tangled it always gives me a huge sense of joy when one steps into view. I painted this scene from memory using the Taylor River in the middle of Vancouver Island as reference. I have driven past this spot hundreds of times in the 37 years I have lived on the Island’s outer coast and never seen an Elk until 6 days after completing this painting. Driving the highway in the evening twilight I slowed at this location and as if on queue two large bulls were near the side of the road almost completely concealed in the alders and salmon berry thickets. I pulled over and with their pungent cattle-like odour rich in the air I was able to walk among them in the dim light and get a few photographs.