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Aug 31, 2021
Diana Woods Shares the Lore Behind the Artist’s Bruno the Bear Series

Originally from Nebraska, the stories and inspiration behind the work of Diana Woods stems from her childhood memories “growing up on the back of a horse” and her grandfather’s tall tales of the Wild West. The results are rich in narrative and allegorical imagery that illustrate the parallels between human experience and the natural world. Riding her horse in the canyons near Grand Junction is Diana’s form of meditation, and the herds of wild horses on the Little Book Cliffs range near her home spark her imagination. Myths and archetypal symbols often surround the stories in her work.  Below, Woods shares the origin of “Bruno the Bear.”

Meet Bruno

Diana  Woods - Bruno's Dream
Diana Woods, “Bruno’s Dream,” Oil on Wood Panel, 40 x 40 in

Life in Montana in 1917

My grandfather and grandmother, Pace and Olive Woods, moved from Nebraska to Whitehall, Montana in 1917 to build a life as ranchers. It was called the Diamond P Ranch. It was truly the Wild West back then, and he had so many great stories. As children we would sit with him while he told us of great adventures and many near death experiences.

Bruno the Bear Saves the Day

Somehow, this big bear he called Bruno would somehow appear on the scene to save him from terrible fates. In some stories he would get lost while out hunting or getting firewood and Bruno would get him home safe. Other times he would keep him warm when a blizzard blew in while he was in the mountains.  Bruno even fought off the bad guys when my grandfather was threatened. We all grew up loving this bear and believed for many years he was real. His stories have sparked my imagination and helped to keep his memory alive.

Diana  Woods - Bruno and the Fireflies
Diana Woods, “Bruno and the Fireflies,” Oil and cold wax on wood, 48 x 36 in
Applause from 2 people
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  • Artist Interviews
  • Artists
  • Diana Woods
  • Diving Deeper
  • bear
  • blue
  • Bruno
  • Diana Woods
  • firefly
  • flora and fauna
  • Mixed Media
  • whimsical