"Buddha with Fallow Deer #2"
This is a 12" x 12" canvas--acrylic paint & gold leaf. It was another one that has been hanging around in a half finished state for awhile. I have been doing a series of these Buddhas, some with images of the magical non native deer that used to roam this area before they were exterminated by the National Park Service for the crime of "not belonging". I was deeply involved in a struggle to stop this annihilation, but animals are not that important to most people, and certainly not to politicians and government employees. So we did not succeed. My hope is for a world where all animals and forms of nature are given the respect and equality of importance that they deserve.
The deer's antlers are like images of the hands of the Buddha. And the juxtaposition of the Buddha head in between the deer antlers reminds me of Medieval Christian images of "The Vision of Saint Eustace", who, while out hunting, had a vision of a stag with a crucifix between its antlers---and as a result was converted to Christianity. There is a great painting by Pisanello on this subject, done on wood in egg tempera in the 1400's.