“Fawns Early Light”
24 x 36 Oil on Panel By Stefan Baumann
Gallery in Mt. Shasta $9,000
-Journal Note June 13, 2017
“If you want to see the world for the first time, take a walk with an artist!”
I’m inspired every time I take walk in the forest located behind The Grand View Ranch and I’m always surprised at what I encounter. Often I see a family of Red Foxes running about. Once in a while I have come face to face with a black bear as he walked aimlessly through the woods, unaware of my presence until we see one another. It is an artist’s creed to live a life in harmony with the rest of the world including the animals in the forest and to experience the little effects and details that often get missed by the general public.
Artists are passionate about capturing insights within their soul as they ponder, digest, work through, and interpret a view that is different and often contrary to what the general public sees. Artists help others look at life differently and develop new ways of seeing what it is to be human. One can only see when the mind is open, and being present requires solitude, to travel slowly, and to absorb fully with all the senses. To see, listen, smell, and touch requires one to be comfortable with oneself. To be able to turn off the internal dialog and be one with nature requires continuous practice, and it is important to me that my paintings reflect the feelings that I feel when I go for a walk in nature.
After surviving a winter that kept sending us huge amounts of snow, I was impatient for spring to come and reveal the secrets hidden under the cloak of snow. And, I’m always concerned to see the damage created by the heavy snows that weigh down the boughs of our Dogwood trees. Fallen bird’s nests remind me of the life that lived high in the branches last spring are now are scraps of straw at my feet. Spring brings renewed hope along with birds above that busily create new homes for their new families. Soon the cycle will start again.
Morning sunrises at The Grand View Ranch are magical. The sunlight makes its way through the fresh green leaves causing brilliant dappling effects on the forest floor. The light makes patterns that give me ideas for future paintings to create in my studio. My eyes dart over the forest floor searching for interesting natural objects to bring back to my studio to include in my wildlife paintings. I walk along a well-traveled deer path that loops around our ranch, when something catches my eye. I wander through the fallen snags of trees that could not survive the weight of the snows, stepping carefully while searching for clues that would explain what I saw.
Suddenly, I saw a young doe that had just given birth to twins. I watched as the mother cared for her new born fawns and played in our newly finished pasture made for our horses. It seemed that they enjoyed the new open space and I laughed as they raced from end to end playing a little game of Catch Me, Catch Me. Every year I see fawns but this is the first time that I found their lair. Apparently the mother had ventured away to get some greens, and one of the fawns was left to hide from predators. Fawns have no sense of smell and can hold still even when confronted face to face. The dappled white spots that were on the fawn’s body mixed with the dappled light of the sun provided a great camouflage to hide in plain sight. Motionless, I stood there observing the fawn and her desperate fear for her survival while making mental notes of the setting so that I could recreate the scene on my canvas. In the distance I could hear that the mother was agitated because I was so near her fawn so I retreated into the forest. I hurried to my studio with my newly found treasures and inspiration and began this painting inspired by a baby fawn called “Fawns Early Light.”
Your questions and comments are always welcome!