As I was finishing this picture, Paul was passing my studio and when he saw it he commented something like:
-We’re painting fantasy now? This comment surprised me but when I stood back and looked I could see where he was coming from. While not completely in the realms of fantasy it was certainly a little divergent so I thought I might explain.
The idea for this acrylic painting of deer and the little girl standing in among them was born after a trip to Kilarney a couple of weeks back. It was my first time there and as beautiful as this place is, the weather was horrendous. Rain and snow and very cold. Anyway we were there so why not try enjoy it? We wrapped up well and headed to Ross Island. While walking around Ross Island we came across a herd of running does, two of them sort of stopped and my daughter decided she wanted to pet them. And as quiet and gentle as she was it took forever to gain their trust but eventually she managed to touch one of them. It got me to thinking of how they eventually accepted her, how originally they saw her as a threat but eventually those big doe eyes relaxed and although Sophie was the same they saw something different, a friend? One of the herd? Maybe I was just been fanciful but it did get me thinking.
Anyway next day we visited Muckross house and there I was able to admire a set of magnificent Irish elk antlers originally found under the house when doing renovation works I’m told. I wasn’t able to photograph it though, so I started staring at them trying to remember lots of details and as I stared and the hollow sockets stared back I saw him in all his glory. A magnificent beast, snorting fumes of angry breath in the cold Kerry air, although when he roamed there was no Kerry. Just wild fields and forests I’d imagine. My mind thought of the herd from yesterday and the elk and Sophie and in my mind they fused, and I think that was the moment of creation of this painting.
As a kind of epilogue to this short story I’ll just add that my own personal view is one should never have to explain paintings, they should be self explanatory. But we are allowed every now and then to indulge in a little flight of fancy so forgive me this time and enjoy.