Close Encounter
36 x 24 in.
Oil on linen
Available from the artist

As the largest feline carnivore in North America mountain lions, or cougars, may reach up to eight feet in length and weigh 130 and 150 pounds. The largest recorded mountain lion weighed in at 276 lbs.

Though artist Jason Drake has never been face-to-face with a mountain lion in the wild, he depicted this magnificent animal as he imagined it might appear in a chance encounter along a wooded mountain trail.

“I wanted the painting to display the beauty in the cougar’s gracefulness, but also it’s terrifying potential as a hunter,” says Jason. “Scenes like this were once common in western North Carolina. Cougars roamed freely but it has been many years since one has been seen there. Sadly, the variety you might encounter in this part of the country, the Eastern Cougar, has been marked as extinct.”

Jason is an American realist painter whose work is focused on the landscape, the figure, and the beauty of animals in the natural world. His style elevates uniqueness over the banal, the deep spark over the quick flash. He believes that his art should lift you up, elevate your perspective and help you hold onto things that have meaning.

In a recent issue of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine featuring Jason in “Three to Watch,” writer Allison Malafronte suggested, “With so much thought, observation, and reflection behind each piece, it is clear why Drake’s paintings frequently cause viewers to pause.”

“The depth and emotion of his paintings captures the attention of every client who enters the gallery and he’s quickly become a sought after name amongst our patrons,” says gallerist Tim Miller. “Jason’s work is as stimulating as it is mature, as beautiful as it is timeless.”

Regarding a recently sold egg tempera piece, one collector wrote, “At age 67, I welcome all the pauses I can come by and I am sure that I will spend many hours enjoying this painting. You have obviously done something special here.”

Living with his wife Holly and their dog Max in the Appalachian Mountains near Boone, North Carolina, Jason paints the wonder of nature that surrounds him and finds beauty in ordinary things and close friends. He is committed to producing works that reflect the glory of God and the dignity of man.

Visit Jason’s website to see more paintings and sign up for his e-newsletter.

Jason is represented by Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery in North Carolina and South Street Art Gallery in Maryland.