February 28, 2015 by smithartonline
Deer Lover was created in anticipation of another Papergirl exhibition. Keeping within the guidelines of all Papergirl projects, the work is painted on a flexible base allowing the piece to be rolled up at the conclusion of the exhibition.
The piece employs various images and symbols I associate with the sacred aspects of natural fauna. These personal references have a basis in a number of cultures from around the world. The deer is a commonly found sacred animal in Celtic folklore, often associated with a journey. In Asia deer are central to certain Buddhist stories: the deer images are often found in Tibetan religious art, a reference to the Deer Park, Buddha’s first discourse setting in motion the “Wheel of Dharma”. Finally, I borrowed a First Nation tradition of adding beaded strands to the work, a practice common to certain groups known for their beading workmanship. The fusion of multiple cultures is a celebration of the common core all humans enjoy.
Borrowing from the traditions of thangka painting, I used raw muslin for the base and applied mixed media techniques to the surface. The work is largely airbrushed, though I also employ some hand painting and pencil work as well.
The exhibition Papergirl Hastings should be going up within the next week: hopefully the two works I posted have arrived and have been unrolled, ready for viewing. I have discovered another similar venue in Ireland (Papergirl Belfast), which I may send this piece to. A branch of my family comes from Ireland, so this would be a nice circle, returning a small part of myself back to one ancestral home.