watercolor of deer in my back yard

Avoiding the Photographer, Not So Cleverly Hidden

watercolor of deer in my back yard

Avoiding the Photographer, watercolor, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I welcomed 2022 with a new painting, “Avoiding the Photographer”. The girls—two does from the small herd that lives in our back yards—were hiding behind my scruffy little hemlock while I was hovering around in the snow in the back yard trying to get their photo on a snowy, sunny morning the previous February.

It’s a watercolor, 12″ x 18″, that had been on my list to paint since I took and shared the photo, and we know how those plans often go. Less than a year is pretty good!

They are always trying to hide from me, and just like my cats they seem to think that if they can’t see me, I can’t see them. Not so, and in fact that often makes them a more interesting subject. We had about six inches of snow and lots of sunshine. The little American hemlock in the corner of my yard is an understory plant, not tall and not dense, just enough to shade the ground and provide cover for birds and other small creatures. It is not adequate cover for two adult deer, though they huddled behind it nonetheless.

Winter is often dark and brownish and with all the trees in our joined back yards the deer tend to blend in, which is also nice. But I love the blue shadows in snow, the patterns of twigs and the sun’s reflection on the tiny needles of the hemlock and wanted to capture all that and the deer without a tedious amount of detail that would not have added to the image. Loose and graceful brushwork and snow shadows like wave upon wave, lots of fun spatters and drips, and likely the first of several paintings of those deer. If they ate all my vegetables and flowers, that’s the least I can get out of the deal with them.


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