Stag Heart

The Stag's Heart, monoprint on rag paper, 2012


It comes as no surprise to me that the heart shows up in my art.

When I was twenty my family sailed for two weeks on a beautiful large wooden sloop. There was a five year old french boy who lived on board. After his father caught the evening meal of Mahi-Mahi, Tutu called me over as the fish was gutted and held out his hand with the still beating heart. Wordlessly he put it in mine while I stood awestruck. It was warm, and for all purposes, a life form of its own. The next fall found me in the university anatomy lab standing over a cadaver studying the chambers and ventricles of the human heart.

It was rut season when I was in New Zealand and a hunter was a frequent visitor to the farm. Before he set out in the morning, I would ask him to bring back the heart for me. "Are you going to cook it?" was his response. Well...not exactly, but there is deep reverence in the act of printing the heart. A death mask, so to speak. The hunter eventually got his stag and presented me my heart, which was still warm in my hands. I instantly could hear the sound of water against the wooden sloop.

The Stag's Heart II, monoprint on rag paper, 2012