Forensic Friday #12: A Deer? Oh Dear!

Dr. Eleanor McQuillen’s Crime Scene Painting A Deer? Oh Dear!

The clues within this crime scene painting tell the story. Like a detective you have to piece them together. Come up with your analysis before you read on.

A Deer Oh Dear .5

The bare trees in the foreground suggest the season is fall. The rolling hills with minimal signs of human habitation suggest we are in rural Vermont. Two men clad in red plaid field coats walk towards a church with rifles under their arms. The sign out front reads “Hunter’s Breakfast 4AM–10AM.” The clock in the steeple shows that these hunters are right on time for the opening of breakfast. If there is still any doubt, the running deer in the hills above suggest that deer-hunting season is opening momentarily.

You have to follow the tracks to find the crime. The tire tracks from the lower-right corner converge with a barely discernible path from a small red cabin at the center of the painting. And there lays the victim with a red splotch on the center of his head. Clad all in black, the victim appears to have gone out early in the darkness and been mistaken for a deer.

While the bottom 2/3rds of the painting tell the story, I especially like the top 1/3rd of the painting. The slight pink on the right of the horizon line hints at the coming sunrise. The dark blue-gray sky filled with stars and a full moon evoke the chill of a cold fall night. The way the stars and the moon bathe a grove of pine trees and the hillside with a soft glow seem especially peaceful. Even the distant leaping stags seem to be at one with their world.

As with many of her other paintings, life goes on around a crime scene.

Next week’s crime scene painting touches on the biblical with The Four Snowmobilers of the Apocalypse?

One Comment

  1. Vicki
    Vicki December 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm .

    The depiction of the sky as night turns to day is especially masterful. The banding of color, which perfectly represents the presence of some dark clouds, is particularly skilled.

    And in the center of the painting stands the symbol of all that is holy, reminding the viewer of human frailty and forgiveness. No matter what happens in our lives, if we go inside ourselves (or into the fold) we will be renewed and forgiven.

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