I took some of my own advice and did a short painting amidst the running battle of “The Nights are Too Big” (aka the clock I’m making) and the Studebaker metals painting.
This painting is a confluence of a bunch of different long ideas I’ve been having. The first is environmental. I used to work at a camp with a deer exclusion fence and the amount of undergrowth that was able to live was stunning to the point of quiet tragedy. I would walk around the rest of the woods and it would be only trees and ferns, which deer couldn’t eat. The deer had piranha attacked the ecosystem such that undergrowth couldn’t compete very well. It made me sad that wolves weren’t around to keep them in check.
The next thought is all about creation/evolution. Huge amount of complicated stuff there, but as a result of obsessing about it, I came across a passage in Job (Job 38:39) where God provides for predators. Also Job 39: 26-30 there’s a passage about birds of prey feasting on blood. I think that there is a weird prejudice in sympathy towards certain animals. How do you fit natural violence into a spiritual/environmental framework? Can we accept wolves as part of God’s good plan?
I’ve joked about bringing back wolves for years. It’s never going to happen. Can we admit, though, that deer have become a blight because of their lack of predators? I guess if you count cars and hunters, that’s something, but even in the city you can see them calmly galumphing around, bored and full. There’s something profoundly out of wack in our world without wolves where deer don’t even bother to run.
My friend and I would throw frisbee at the deer in his backyard. They’d stand and eat his plants and just look at us from ten feet away. We scored at least a few points throwing those frisbees. Don’t worry- the deer were mainly unperturbed. I think they’d make the wolf for frisbee trade every day of the week.
Here’s a throwaway portrait of a deer I made:
There’s a bizarre world where North Braddock has deer move into the broken down homes being slowly absorbed back into the earth. Don’t worry, I’m already making a deer/house sculpture so we can explore that idea too.
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I like the way your paintings always want to be to be tactile experiences. The horse and the knight are wonderful. (The deer scares me, and I really do like deer 🙂
Yeah- that’s exactly how my wife feels. She thinks the deer is super creepy—which was sort of the point? So I’m glad people think it’s creepy? I’ve been trying to figure out what a happy painting would look like for me so that I can balance out the show in the future.