Acquired by American Legacy Fine Arts directly from the artist
“In 1999, I was given an assignment by TOR Books to paint several book cover illustrations that prominently featured wolves and jaguars. At the time, although I had always loved animals, I didn’t know how much I loved painting them. These initial assignments ignited a new direction in my art: a breakthrough in exploration and understanding of how I could use my art to express what was important to me as a human being.
The deep observation that is necessary for me to paint my animal subjects always causes me to feel a connection with them. This feeling is so powerful and so good that it is literally addictive. And watching groups of animals bonding with each other is even more so. I came to realize that this connection I was feeling with them was taking place in the part of my brain that is practically identical to theirs: the emotional mammalian brain that pre-exists the higher thinking part that makes us human. The very fact that a large part of our brain is all about emotion and communication is proof that connection with others is a vital part of our survival.
People have told me that when they look at my animal paintings, they feel like they’re “one of them.” The tender but solid bond of these two lions of You and Me remind me of myself and the love of my life, my husband, Boris; but also, in the more universal sense, You and Me represents you, the viewer, and me, the artist. I’m communicating with you on a subconscious level because we are this.” — Julie Bell