Tags: deermaidens


The White Doe of Nara

In many ways, my piece entitled DeerWoman was an artistic turning point for me. Although I have been creating images of deerwomen since early childhood, that particular work signaled something significant for me; reactions from both within and without indicated that I should follow that path beyond the tapestry of hunters deeper into the forest. In a sense the White Doe of Nara, created about three years after DeerWoman, is both a kind of commemoration and a futher exploration on the mythology and theme of my beloved DeerWoman. Yet the White Doe is not just a reinterpretation of the same figure in a different cultural context, in fact, the White Doe's character and tale is nearly a direct compliment to that of DeerWoman's.

Where DeerWoman is tragic, perhaps a victim or perhaps a reluctant but mythically necessary sacrifice, the White Doe is a figure with power. While destiny is something DeerWoman succumbs to, the White Doe has a direct hand in weaving it. DeerWoman avoids the viewer's gaze, the White Doe commands it. I feel that the compositional appearance of the landscapes in both images is significant also; DeerWoman is poised at a threshold between worlds, but the White Doe is the threshold, a manifestation of it as well as a gatekeeper of sorts. Unlike the melancholy DeerWoman, the White Doe sprouts antler spikes - she has a means of defense (or offense!). And, of course, there is the rather obvious distinction in cultural context. A Western European influence is prevalent in DeerWoman, but there is a pan-Asian inspiration for this piece.

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Original size: 8.5" by 11"
Media: prismacolor colored pencils, acrylic, watercolor, sumi-e ink, etc.
(This entry is backdated to reflect the date I originally uploaded it to my deviantARt gallery, but I added this piece to this journal on 2/14/07)