20”x 30” Oil on canvas “The Battle of Buffalo Ridge” Original Buffalo painting by Ryan Kirby
The general meaning for Buffalo throughout the Great American Plains was that of power, safety, strength, life's sacredness, and durability. They’re a symbol of the American West, and I’ve always wanted to paint them. After photographing these two duke it out in the snow one afternoon on a reference trip, I came back to my studio to paint them the next day. The common way to painting them is in a landscape format, surrounded by rolling plains and a distant butte or terrain feature. But for these two, I selected a vertical composition and cropped out their massive bodies, choosing instead to focus on the intensity in their eyes as they battle for Buffalo Ridge.