In the late hours of the night we fought.   He began asserting his strong will several months ago.  After two clashes of wills, I distanced myself from him and hoped that time might help mend those unspoken words of conflict.

Waving a flag of peace and with a cautious approach, I focused on secondary parts of his character while trying to decide how to move forward without conflict.   I dislike conflict.

Nocturnal battles sometimes continued into the daylight hours.  Paint on, paint it back out, paint on, paint it out.

My hopes were to hide this deer’s face in the trunk, but the hybrid wanted its own voice.
Attempts to sneak the suggestion of ears into the limbs made it look like a fox. When viewed from across the room, the head looked like it was glued to the trunk.  No No No – and in the wee hours of the morning, that version was painted to fade into the trunk.    Better; but no, it needed details, perhaps working gnarls and knots into eyes, so one first saw the tree and later the deer.

No no no.. That didn’t work either.  It looked creepy…. Paint it back out…  strengthen the darks, highlight the brighter side.

It looked very false, back to the effect of a deer’s head glued to the tree.  Add more texture to  the trunk, starting with the hide and making the texture of the hair become the bark.

Yuck.  A furry tree.

“Put a dark wash over it.  tone it down.  work the texture of the tree on into the lower limbs/antlers..”

“It’s just an illustration,” I reasoned with myself.

The fox returned…  NO!  A fox is not the desired effect!

‘Why not?” it seemed to retort, “Why can’t this be a hybrid with a deer’s antlers and a fox’s face?”

Hmmm.  Why not?

“Because the intended effect was to be a deer!”

So?  Why not allow the fox to come to life?

“Because people would not grasp that it’s hybrid…”

What’s new?  People will forever second guess and critique one’s art!

I normally don’t have conversations with myself over the progress of a painting, but this one was a true challenge!

I present to you the problem child, aka The Muir Tree!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed — chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones.


John Muir – Save the Redwoods

This hybrid got the final word, as this post was not ready to be published.. Yet hitting the ‘enter’ bar somehow hurled it into ‘Published’ status!

Sigh.. There’s a time when the birdies must leave the next… I hope you enjoyed meeting the Hybrid!