no, really. why rabbits?

off duty, 30x48, acrylic on canvas, 2995.

My love and fascination for rabbits began with the book, Watership Down , a novel by Richard Adams (NOT the movie).  Feeling oppressed in their current community, a handful of rabbits who are considered weak or misfit, combine their individual strengths and natural gifts to escape, survive a long and challenging journey and begin a healthy community of their own.

And then, having always wanted a rabbit as a pet, Tucker, my favorite muse, became part of our family back in the summer of 2013.  See #thisistucker on instagram.

photo credit: Deborah Saul

I started by painting a small series of rabbits long ago but what's so important about making these rabbits so much larger than life?

One summer evening I was sitting with Tucker while he was inside his backyard corral.  I had been worrying a lot (something I do not recommend - EVER - but something I am prone to do).  I noticed that when I was sitting with Tucker, outside, I had no worries, that Tucker had actually relieved me of this obsession that robs me of living my life!  But how could a being so small and so vulnerable really do this?   By painting Tucker in a large format, I manifested the reality of this (for me).  Days later, I started painting Don't Worry, I Got This.

Interactions with healthy and content animals are so therapeutic to me.  In the midst of this tiny (could be interpreted as helpless) animal, so many worthy characteristics are modeled.  These larger rabbits are my attempt at magnifying these experiences.

36x24, acrylic on canvas, 1950.

standing tall is safe here, 48x30, 2450.

30x40, acrylic on canvas

Here's the other thing.  For some reason (it's not yet clear why) I want these large rabbits to look more like drawings and less like paintings.  Regarding the rabbit who lounges directly above this text: I fear I went too far and so I am sitting with it (which is SO hard) until I have clarity on how to move forward.  Do I paint over this one? Eliminate parts and try again?  The more difficult thought: Leave as is? It's so difficult for me to not act impulsively and to just sit with being uncomfortable with this piece (for now).


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