The deer maidens in many desert tales (and in folk tales from around the world) might seem enchanting and harmless, but they can be quite dangerous to encounter. Warriors who hunt and wound them can lose their lives, their limbs, or their minds. Yet a man who recognizes her and treats her with proper respect is rewarded with powerful gifts: of prophesy, poetry, the ability to communicate with animals….or, better still, the skill to make a deep, true bond with a human wife.
This deer spirit is a creature made up of words (inscribed in pencil across her form): of tales, prayers, poetry, and dreams. She lives in a time outside of time, traveling through the centuries as easily as she travels down the desert’s dry wash beds.
Oil paints and pencil on canvas paper, 16 x 20.