Gift in Velvet

Life size whitetail deer



49" x 53" x 22", base 5ft 6" x 16"

Edition of 7


I chose to capture Gift the week before he shed his velvet. For the previous 5 months much of his energy had gone into growing his magnificent antlers. Now he is shedding his rustic, summer coat beneath which is the most beautiful taupe cashmere. For a few days this coat is so short that I can see his shoulder blades and, it seems, every rib and muscle. Then the testosterone flows, and his neck swells. He still has an innocent face, but as the rut begins it will take on the look of the fighting warrior. In this pose he is caught in motion; his upper body on the rise before the fall. He is headed somewhere, and something catches his eye –- the beautiful doe Spring Fling.

Gift was just that – a true gift. He lived for 17 years, and I spent time with him everyday. He taught me so much. I miss him, his smell, and touch.

One day, years later, I received the ultimate compliment about how life-like this sculpture is. I noticed a huge stag in the driveway. I went out and found Gift in Velvet lying on his side. His patina was scratched and had deer hair on it. I’m sure that’s the only fight Gift ever lost.