If you follow my work at all, you know the ‘trail’ is a very important part of my artwork and play. I take to it almost daily to get exercise, find inspiration, recharge, and just occasionally zone out. It was during one of these zone out moments that the fawn found me.
I have come across many deer in this particular area of the trail. They usually bound in front of me when I’m racing home against an oncoming storm (leaving me standing in awe for several minutes and giggling with delight only to get soaked in the rain).
This deer crossed the trail and then came back out onto the path to watch me. It was small, and therefore was hard to tell if it was a large yearling or a small doe. However, it’s usually a buck yearling that enters a clearing alone first, and antler sheds would have just been starting to occur in the last two months as daylight hours grow. At a few points, he/ she was close, but not close enough for me to see an exact gender. 😉
I was soon fairly convinced that this was a fawn rather than a doe, due to its curiosity and lack of wariness an older doe would have had. I adjusted my pace accordingly, letting the fawn stay a comfortable distance while he examined me. This lasted for several minutes before I decided it had to be documented. Try as I might, the velcro sound from my armband may as well have been firecrackers. The fawn ran down the trail and into the trees as I took my cell phone out to get a photo. I made my way down the trail, trying to focus the iPhone camera, and the fawn popped back into view. I also got a video after this shot, but somehow managed to delete it. (I’m ultra tech clumsy like that.)
All in all, these moments left me with a great sense of peace and wonder. The innocent curiosity of the fawn was energizing and brought me such joy, yet a slight sense of sadness. I knew the other deer had always been around before. I hoped they were just too wary to step onto the trail while a human was near. This encounter was very meaningful to me. I had to paint it.
Boy, was I in for a lesson. It was actually really quite appropriate.
If you’ve ever painted on yupo paper, you’ll know what I mean. It’s a non-porous surface, meaning the paint isn’t just absorbed into the paper if applied in a fluid manner. It pools and flows, making really cool and visually interesting marks. The paint doesn’t just sit on top and dry as such. It has a mind of its own. If you are wanting your subject to be representational, or recognizable to the viewer, this requires much patience and vigilance. However, I really like the look of this medium, and it’s worth the sometimes arduous adventure that comes with the territory.
When the drips ran down from the legs, I grabbed my paper towel to dab it up, but stopped myself.
Not only did the watercolor runs resemble a reflection in water, but they symbolized growth.
What is this pool of paint doing? How is this pigment interacting with that one?
The fawn would grow into a deer that knew when to be curious and trust and when to dart away from predators before they could even be heard.
The deer teaches us to be keenly aware at all times.
What’s going on around us? How can we be gentle and graceful while protecting ourselves?
The slightest breeze or movement could signify a change.
The fawn is curious and playful, exploring and trusting;
and the deer is ready to change course at a footfall.
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Thanks for joining me in my artwork & play!