Deer With Tusks (or Vampire Deer)

I’ve been sitting on these paintings for a few weeks. I became fascinated with deer with tusks, thinking there could only be one species of deer with tusks. But research proved me horridly wrong (as it will). There are a few tusked deer, some related and some not. I chose between the Kashmir Musk Deer (Moschus cupreus) and the Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis) . They aren’t actually related – completely different classification – but they look very similar.

Did I ever mention how much fun this is as it relates to discovering about our natural world? I don’t blog a lot about the species and their relation to our world, or whether they are endangered or not (both of these deer are). My hope is that my art will inspire you – the viewer, the patron, the fan – to research these beautiful creatures. We live in an amazing world.

Stepping off of my soap box/platform, I had to wrestle with how to present these interesting creatures to you, the patron: anthropomorphism or separate portraits, labeled? Anthropomorphism won out (my husband just groaned in the background).

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Frid, the Kashmir Deer

The photo is blurry (I am working on a better way to photograph things!). Frid is a play on one of my favorite day time soap opera stars of the late 1960’s: Jonathan Frid. I put it out on Facebook as a quiz, but no one guessed the relationship between the name of the deer and his costume. I suppose that is because Johnny Depp most recently portrayed the same character that Jonathan Frid made famous: Barnabas Collins. But I grew up with the original.

The Chinese Water Deer, however, was a much more fascinating creature to me. I found several photographs of it leaping through the air. And those photos gave birth to Frank.

005 (2)Frank does not want to be associated with vampires. Frank is not glittery. Frank just wants to leap across tall buildings. Frank wants to be a hero.

012Frank, the Chinese Water Deer, wants to be known as Frank the Flying Chinese Water Deer!

On a side note, Frank is soaring over Portland, Oregon. I took the photo that I used as the background for Frank when I flew home from North Carolina in 2014.

Both Frank and Frid are compilations of many photos and a lot of Internet research. They are not actually related as far as being deer goes.

Frank is on a larger size canvas – 4×4″ (so I could get the whole deer in there).