Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New work

I enjoyed another great run up Picacho in a little bit of snow this morning. The deer are in their rutting season, which means that the bucks are running themselves ragged. Lots of new deer tracks in the snow, mostly bucks (they drag their hooves slightly, which shows up only in snowy tracks).  All of the deer in the area went into hiding for several weeks when a mountain lion made its presence known, and I missed seeing them. I haven't seen new lion tracks in a week or more, and I hope it has moved on.  All of the deer bones and hair I used in the artwork above were gathered from a single site, just outside a mountain lion's denning area, not far from Picacho.

The exposed deer bones recreate the feelings of discovery and impermanence that arise when I come across bones and other reminders of the daily survival struggles of wildlife. These paintings are tableaus of the marks and signs that represent what we can know about wildlife. The rest is imagination. This morning I came across the marks of a bobcat tracking deer. They don't usually do this, because adult deer are too formidable a prey for them. There was a single spot of blood in the snow. It did not come from the bobcat's paw, nor was there any sign of a kill. It held but did not divulge a narrative.

Now—must get back to the studio.

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