The 82nd Street King (24 by 30" oil on canvas) Collection of Artist
This is a very special painting to me, probably my favorite one. I spent my entire second year of College working on it in my spare time. I call it the 82nd street king because I saw this very deer at this man's wonderful little acreage he had just north of the slough I grew up near on 82nd street. I spent a lot of time there in the fall in my later teens trying to hunt White-tailed deer with my compound bow. I always seen big deer there but never ever got one. Two weeks before I moved to Vermilion to attend College when I was 18 I found out that place was going to be destroyed to have a highway put through it. It was quite heart breaking since that was the last place close to home that I grew up spending so many countless hours exploring at. So the next day after I found out it was going to get destroyed I went back there with my camera just to take some final pictures of this place which has meant so much to me. When I was finished there and heading back to my car I had my head down walking through this tall grass in a meadow when I looked up and saw this deer watching me, at first glance I didn't even know it was a deer its antlers were so large. It was by far the biggest buck I have ever seen there. I knew I had to paint his portrait. I had my camera this time and was able to snap a few pictures. It's funny how much time and years I spent wondering around this place and had never seen a deer of this size before. Then on one of my last days there, the day I was taking final pictures of that place I see this deer. I consider this painting as a gift to myself from that very deer. It was not hunting season then so I didn't have the opportunity to hunt him, which I am glad I didn't. I added the Canadian thistle in the foreground to give a hint of the hardships that deer had coming to him. Whenever you brush against a thistle the sting usually comes quick and without warning since they are so well camouflaged in the tall grass. The home of this deer is now destroyed. But that deer and that wonderful little acreage will always be one of my finest memories.