I have a book I bought years ago on medieval hunting scenes. I love the colors and flat 2 dimensional style of the paintings, very reminiscent of tapestries done in that period.
I also love the depiction of deer in those woodland scenes with flowers carpeting the flat green ground like wall paper and skies that have a patterned all over stylized design.
I really wanted to paint something similar, but I didn’t want to just recreate a pretty painting, I wanted the imagery to tell a different story, something quirky and different, unexpected.
Looking at these paintings got me thinking about so many different things; like the way this painting style uniquely captures a period in history and the stylized graphic quality of the painting is not quite realistic. Then I thought about the various ways deer have been depicted over time and how different styles become popular and then unfashionable.
I began imagining a majestic deer in a medieval painted scene walking across a flowered hillside and coming upon a kitschy little deer figurine, like the ones that were so popular in the 1960’s, and imagined its shock, seeing such a distorted little figure with giant blue eyes cheerfully looking up at it.
Of course I am starting bigger than I really should given my time frame, it is 57" x 43" right now, but it will shrink down more with quilting, but I want it to have a decent impact and if it is too small, I don't think it will look as good.
I am painting a piece of Ivory Kona solid fabric, I think the ivory color will help give the painting a warm muted color palette reminiscent of the medieval paintings and I plan on leaving the ivory fabric exposed in areas of the sky with some scroll like filigree painted in beige or gold or maybe both.
I painted the ground and base of the treetops using a lot of textile medium mixed in with the paint so that it would have more of a transparent gradation of color. All the medium in the paint makes it more likely to show brushstrokes and unevenness in the color but hopefully a lot of that will be camouflaged by the plants and leaves painted on top. Today I start painting the leaves on the trees and hopefully tackle one of the deer.