Most of my drawings are entirely intuitive and, as I set out putting ink to paper, I couldn’t say what I am about to draw myself. However, the way it turns out, in the end, they’re rarely random. Although not planned in the least, this one was inspired by my grandfather, Rivalz Chevreau de Montléhu ( he’d much rather you call him Rico).
This year at 94, my grandfather published his memoirs. Throughout his life, he has jotted down his thoughts and observations – often about nature, with which ever since boyhood he has enjoyed a close, spiritual connection. The better part of his career was spent on the splendid lands surrounding Tamarind Falls, a series of seven cataracts on the Rivière Tamarin here in Mauritius, where he managed a power plant.
The stag on the cover there isn’t just any stag. It was nicknamed Julius Caesar by my grandfather, from the first time he encountered it at Tamarind Falls. Although always a passionate hunter, my grandfather is just as fiercely an animal lover. He might have shot Julius Caesar, literally, a thousand times over. However, he formed an attachment to this particular stag and he far preferred to shoot it with his camera instead, over the years.
I have been very much impacted by my grandfather’s memoirs. One of the aspects that especially moves me is his bond to nature. I never saw Julius Caesar with my own eyes but, nevertheless, I believe I have been touched by its spirit, too.
If this drawing speaks to you and you would like this stag spirit in your life, you can find it under many forms here.