Catherine Lecce-Chong

Unseen, Unsafe, Bambi’s Kingdom

Artwork

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innocent_ugly_duckling
resurrection_teddy
grace_full_fawn
Dead, Bambi and guide dog in a great flood flood
Velveteen Rabbit in Fire Storm
dead_bambi_and_the_tornado
Fragile Lonely Bear
dead_bambi_in_dangerous_environment
Dead Bambi Childhood Dreams
Dead Fawn in Japan: self portrait, Vanitas
Dead Bambi Ukraine Lament
Dead Bambi in the Red Light
Blue Buddha Bear Carries Bambi
Dead Bambi Constellation
No School For Bambi
Dead Bambi Party

Artist’s Statement

Unseen, Unsafe, Bambi’s Kingdom Series

Here are Drawings, sculpture and paintings grieving the present historical situations for children through the illustrating climate crisis, American gun culture, prejudice of children of color, with disabilities or nondominant gender identity, poverty and hunger, and all kinds of abuse.

Art empowers me, but I also feel terrified of art making. I experience the world of fear. And yet my love for children and future generations propels my duty as an artist and witness to the truth.

Making art does not take away the sensation of fear. I do not receive a therapeutic relief. I am a participant in the vulnerabilities of the world and my own past.

For this series, I am mostly choosing the paradoxically strong and fragile paper. I stress it more and then weirdly becomes even more flexible.

I think of my drawings more like slivers of sculpture because I hang the away from the wall rather than protected by frames and glass. They can potentially subtly react to the movement of air, like a breath.

My drawings are intentionally folded and stored as if they might be precious and need to be compacted to travel by caravan or in my case to flee from the fire storms of Northern California. The seams also are an accessible way to feel how to fold these large drawings.

My paper sculptures are almost light as air. They are fragile but still breathing. They are stuffed with meditations and children’s prayers with tactile letters, large print or braille.

I do not need to depict graphic, horrifying images. I take beloved animal characters from traditional children’s stories or my own creations. Perhaps this is the only way, I can bear the heartbreak of the unseen unsafe young people.

Innocent Ugly Duckling

24” x 24”  Acrylic mixed media – The central character of this painting is a dark blue duck. It is looking backwards to the left. It has a bright yellow crown, beak, and webbed feet. It is sitting in swirling water indicated by circular waves of half inch white lace spiraling from the center to the periphery.

24” x 24”
Acrylic mixed media

The central character of this painting is a dark blue duck. It is looking backwards to the left. It has a bright yellow crown, beak, and webbed feet. It is sitting in swirling water indicated by circular waves of half inch white lace spiraling from the center to the periphery. Its wings extend in spirals upward, downward, and to the left. They are light blue and purple. The duck is also in the center of a huge pink and white lotus, almost the size of the canvas.

We are looking downward on the lotus so that it is a big circle with flat petals. The 2-inch border is a medium dark blue violet.

The duckling has a white halo seen mostly on the right side. It has tactile, rainbow pastel capital letters that spell “innocent.”

At the bottom quarter of the painting, white and pastel colored birthday candles float horizontally under the duckling.

innocent_ugly_duckling

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Innocent Ugly Duckling

24” x 24” Acrylic mixed media – The central character of this painting is a dark blue duck. It is looking backwards to the left. It has a bright yellow crown, beak, and webbed feet. It is sitting in swirling water indicated by circular waves of half inch white lace spiraling from the center to the periphery.

innocent_ugly_duckling

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Resurrection Teddy

24′ x 24″ Acrylic mixed media – This painting overall is very light and monochromatic. In the middle of the painting, there is a large, very light brown, plush teddy bear. It is a sitting with its arms and legs open wide. The only detail on the bear’s face is a nose.

24“ x 24“
Acrylic mixed media

This painting overall is very light and monochromatic. In the middle of the painting, there is a large, very light brown, plush teddy bear. It is a sitting with its arms and legs open wide. The only detail on the bear’s face is a nose.

This teddy bear has decorations of triangular lace on top of head, around the neck, and along the bottom seams of the arms and legs. The lace has been painted white, but you can see tiny spots of the original purple color.

This toy bear is surrounded by white calla lilies on the sides and in front. This is all on a very, very light brown background. There is a 2-inch light brown border that sometimes is interrupted by lace or the flowers.

This plush bear has a large white halo. It has a tactile one and half-inch raised letters following the inside curve of the halo that say, “ Resurrection.” The letters are a very, very light gray.

Resurrection Teddy has 16 long, white birthday candles scattered through the artwork.

resurrection_teddy

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Resurrection Teddy

The dominant view is from the front. There is a rather fragile stuffed translucent white paper rabbit inspired by plush toy animals. There are regular sewn seams and open or exposed seams with exposed threads. You can slightly see a stuffing of tiny crinkled red, gold and yellow papers.

resurrection_teddy

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Grace Full Fawn

24″ x 24″ Acrylic mixed media – The plush toy fawn dominates the central part of this canvas. This plush animal is seen from the side and is looking left. It is a deep blue violet with light blue spots and wispy, white and pastel fur on the inside of the ears, around the eyes (which are closed), a little around the nose, and larger amounts on the neck and chest, also on all four ankles, and under the tail.

24“ x 24“
Acrylic mixed media

The plush toy fawn dominates the central part of this canvas. This plush animal is seen from the side and is looking left. It is a deep blue violet with light blue spots and wispy, white and pastel fur on the inside of the ears, around the eyes (which are closed), a little around the nose, and larger amounts on the neck and chest, also on all four ankles, and under the tail.

The ears are very long and almost as large as the head. Our fawn’s closed eyes have heavy black lashes. She is resting on a gold and green background with her long legs extended to the left and downward.

On top of the head you can feel a crown of three painted white roses with little flecks of red fabric. There is another large tactile-painted white rose on the back of the neck. It has two buds and some greenish lacy leaves.

Thirteen white rose petals cascade downward over the body and foreground. They are a memorial to the White Rose society’s Nazi-resistant college students, who were executed by the Nazis.

Our fawn has a large yellow halo. It has 2-inch-size tactile letters curving parallel with the inside edge of the halo. The first word you feel is “Grace,” and it is in front of the head. Between the ears, you will feel three letters, F-U-L. And behind the head, there is one more letter, L.

The background is smoky white and pastel orange, as if there is a fire in the distance. There are 26 long, white birthday candles scattered around the halo and head on the upper third of the painting. The candles are splattered with yellow, gold and pastel orange paint.

There is a 2-inch sage green border around the whole painting. As peaceful and pretty as the image is, there are hints of loss of life of children and the environment.

grace_full_fawn

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Grace Full Fawn

24″ x 24″ Acrylic mixed media – The plush toy fawn dominates the central part of this canvas. This plush animal is seen from the side and is looking left. It is a deep blue violet with light blue spots and wispy, white and pastel fur on the inside of the ears, around the eyes (which are closed), a little around the nose, and larger amounts on the neck and chest, also on all four ankles, and under the tail.

grace_full_fawn

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Dead Bambi and Guide Dog in a Great Flood

This drawing was created with 18” x 24” drafting cotton vellum crushed for texture and sewn together. Final size is 70” x 52”. It folds up into a size of 18 x 24”. Before folding up, it is protected with Chinese painting paper. Seams are sewn with white thread.

Dead Bambi and Guide Dog in a Great Flood

51 inches wide
57 inches tall
Crushed cotton vellum sheets sewn together.

Mixed media and collage

Two rows of three sheets 18” x 18”
Third and final row is made of three sheets of 18” x 24”

The separate sheets are sewn together with black thread, and the seams are sewn over again with a zigzag stitch. Sometimes you can see the black seams, and sometimes they are covered by colors of pastels. The seams help me locate where I will fold the drawing for storage or travel.

The folding of these large drawings are reminiscent of the compact folding or rolling of precious images for transport in caravans. As the drawing hangs slightly free from the wall, you can see the seams and folds. In these dangerous climate times, it reminds us we can quickly be prepared to evacuate with precious portable items.

This vertical mixed media drawing has the subject of dead Bambi, my guide dog and a great flood that are being experienced due to climate change. The total images has lots of energy with animals twisting, branches breaking , and high rolling and crashing waves. Our story tellers, Bambi and the Guide Dog are light and dark blue in contrast to the surging sienna and brown waters.

The mediums are pastel, colored pencils and ink with collaged origami boats. The slightly irregular edges of the drawing are trimmed with children’s zigzag scissors.

Dead Bambi is joined by a black lab dog. The artist’s guide dog is the model. In the upper right third, the dog is sideways and facing the center toward Bambi. Her eyes are wide open, her ears flapping back and tail pulled straight up in the wind. She is a very dark blue. Her front paws are holding the left foreleg of the fawn. This guide dog’s hind legs are hanging down ward tenuously, holding on to the branches of the tree in brown muddy water with white waves. The guide dogs body is slightly convex and covers the upper quarter of the drawing.

Dead Bambi seems to be falling down from the sky into the flood. Her body is on a diagonal from the top left toward the middle of the drawing. Bambi appears to be caught in a rough gray textured tree with black calligraphic line texture. There are no leaves. The tree limbs are in the sky as the trunk and other lower limbs descend and peek out from the rushing orange and brown waters.

Bambi is left of center. Her hind legs are seen sideways at the top of the drawing. Her body twists through a large tree limb so that we are looking at the spotted back and head with the fore legs going in opposite directions. Bambi’s color is a very pale blue with glowing white spots and white patches around her eyes, nose, her tail and hair at her hooves. She has long black lashes on her closed eyes. Her nose and hooves are black. Bambi’s left foreleg is stretched out and being held between the paws of the black lab. There is one wave of water flowing over the top of Bambi’s head. It is shaped almost like a crown with white wavy tips.

The swirling brown and burnt sienna flood water surges behind and around our child-like or folk-like drawn animals. There are long white caps of waves flowing across the foreground.

Brown origami paper boats and sailboats are tossing and turning, and even broken in this dangerous water. The three largest in the bottom third of the drawing are almost as large as a hand. There’s also a broken boat on the far left third near Bambi‘s side. Another broken sailboat is in the middle of the drawing pointing towards the dogs paws and Bambi‘s hoof.

At the very top, there is a very light ominous orange glow.

I see the global climate crisis as a great danger for our children and the next generations. It is as if the stories the children love will disappear. Even though that fear is part of the illustration of dead Bambi, I could not let go of hope. My guide dog had to come to her rescue.

While the figures take up more than 2/3 of the upper image, the frothing, brown, and orange, waters swirl around the tree, and our characters forming the lower 2/3 of the image.

May my images encourage assistance to climate crisis flooding victims from Pakistan to California and the wisdom to change dangerous climate warming.

Dead, Bambi and guide dog in a great flood flood

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Innocent Ugly Duckling

The separate sheets are sewn together with black thread, and the seams are sewn over again with a zigzag stitch. Sometimes you can see the black seams, and sometimes they are covered by colors of pastels. The seams help me locate where I will fold the drawing for storage or travel.

innocent_ugly_duckling

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The Velveteen Rabbit in a Fire Storm

The dominant view is from the front. There is a rather fragile stuffed translucent white paper rabbit inspired by plush toy animals. There are regular sewn seams and open or exposed seams with exposed threads. You can slightly see a stuffing of tiny crinkled red, gold and yellow papers.

2023

Sculpture Installation
20”height x 30”width x 30”depth

Stuffed rabbit
12”height x 20”width x 12”depth

Mixed media: sewn crushed architectural tracing paper, stuffing of crinkled red, gold and yellow paper,
Installation of artist brushes with orange tissue paper and tulle. Gold push pins.

The dominant view is from the front. There is a rather fragile stuffed translucent white paper rabbit inspired by plush toy animals. There are regular sewn seams and open or exposed seams with exposed threads. You can slightly see a stuffing of tiny crinkled red, gold and yellow papers. The tiny yellow pieces have children’s prayers for protection for them and the animals. Inside at the bottom of the bunny are orange textured beads for balance.

This bunny’s arms and legs are open in a seated position. It has long ears are nearly 12” in length. The ears stretch out diagonally and slightly downward. The Velveteen Rabbit has a tattered orange tissue necktie. Is it old and used? Is it a flame around the neck silencing the voice of children?

The bunny is supported against a large 8” x 5” ceramic cylinder filled with forty tall large used art brushes. There are flame shapes of orange tissue and tulle coming out of the brush container also. The orange tulle comes around and under the rabbit. In front of our famous bunny are scattered large gold push pins used in schools.

The installation echoes the fact that the artist’s studio has faced the 2017 Tubbs and 2020 Glass Fires.

“I have a fear of these extreme fire storms. The irony of making paper artwork does not escape me. Perhaps, years of living in Japan, embracing Buddhism, and experiencing change with evacuations and legal blindness have led to experiencing a tenuous acceptance of impermanence.” Quote by the artist.

Velveteen Rabbit in Fire Storm

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The Velveteen Rabbit in a Fire Storm

The dominant view is from the front. There is a rather fragile stuffed translucent white paper rabbit inspired by plush toy animals. There are regular sewn seams and open or exposed seams with exposed threads. You can slightly see a stuffing of tiny crinkled red, gold and yellow papers.

Velveteen Rabbit in Fire Storm

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Dead Bambi and the Tornado 2023

This drawing was created with 18” x 24” drafting cotton vellum crushed for texture and sewn together. Final size is 70” x 52”. It folds up into a size of 18 x 24”. Before folding up, it is protected with Chinese painting paper. Seams are sewn with white thread.

Dead Bambi and the Tornado 2023

70″H x 52″W

Sewn crushed cotton vellum paper
Pastel and ink

This drawing was created with 18″ x 24″ drafting cotton vellum crushed for texture and sewn together. Final size is 70″ x 52″. It folds up into a size of 18″ x 24″. Before folding up, it is protected with Chinese painting paper. Seams are sewn with white thread.

This is a vertical image of a dark tornado with objects flying around it.

In the lower left there is a red school House. Research shows that the reason school houses were painted a reddish color was because it was the cheapest paint and it had lots of iron in it. It reminds me that our country‘s attitude from the very start was stinginess towards education. It seems that hasn’t changed.

The red school House is flying in the in a dark blue tornado. It is disintegrating. You can see a light blue sky through the blown off door. The school bell tower on the dark blue roof is falling over And the silver bell is falling out of the tower. The windows are mostly dark.

In the central part of the upper third of this drawing is a dark blue and black tornado. It’s dark swirl, mostly covers more than a third of the top of this drawing. In this upper third, there is two red danger, flags, one on the left, and one on the right, pointing inward. When I was creating this drawing, the double red danger flags were flying in California during deadly severe storms and flooding.

In the top part of the middle third, there is a red All Star Converse shoe, the side view shows a blue star in a white circle logo.

The Swirling tornado spout covers most of the middle of the drawing, and it narrows to the bottom of the drawing.

In the middle third of the drawing over the dark tornado spout floats a seemingly delicate and helpless Bambi. The fawn head is pointed upward with closed eyes. It’s long young ears are blowing to the right. Our view is looking at the white spotted back of the deer with its legs splayed outward. The burnt sienna body is on a diagonal left to right.

Near Bambi’s stretched out right leg is another red sneaker with white laces facing us. But Bambi also has a pair of ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz movie. They are flying separately to the right and left of our deer and they cannot be tapped together so Bambi can go home.

The sneakers and red bowed shoes are a nod to the fluidity of gender identity. Prejudice and ignorance are as dangerous as a tornado.

Bambi’s right back leg reaches towards a light brown rabbit in the lower right corner. the rabbit cannot hold onto Bambi. The rabbit’s long ears and red bowtie are flying to the right and left. Pieces of the red bow are also flying in the whirling air.

The sky is mostly gray blue around the dark tornado and flying animals. The bottom 8 inches of the drawing are brown sienna hills that are punctuated by three tornado spouts.

dead_bambi_and_the_tornado

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Dead Bambi and the Tornado 2023

This drawing was created with 18” x 24” drafting cotton vellum crushed for texture and sewn together. Final size is 70” x 52”. It folds up into a size of 18 x 24”. Before folding up, it is protected with Chinese painting paper. Seams are sewn with white thread.

dead_bambi_and_the_tornado

Click on image to view star lit version in lightbox mode.

The Fragile Lonely Bear

Sewn, crushed cotton, vellum, paper, stuffed with raffia, rhinestones, and prayers. The danger and fragility of life, particularly for children has guided me to use sewing as one of my techniques. My childhood was dangerous for many reasons, but I remember the peace while sewing.

2023

12”H x 12”W x 6”D

Sewn crushed architectural tracing paper
Stuffed with raffia, rhinestones and large print prayers

This is part of the Unseen, Unsafe Series: Bambi’s Kingdom.
The danger and fragility of life, particularly for children has guided me to use sewing as one of my techniques. My childhood was dangerous for many reasons, but I remember the peace while sewing. My drawings are meant to be folded and my sculptures are almost light as air for quick evacuations from catastrophic weather and fires when needed. My drawings float off the wall and my sculptures are filled with air or breath even though this series is led by Dead Bambi. Or is Bambi really dead? Join with me on these unfolding stories.

This crushed paper bear has exposed seams and threads which lends to its fragile look. It has large paws and two small round ears. It is translucent white which dimly exposes its interior of red raffia which makes the bear slightly pink in color. It is also stuffed with blue rhinestones and torn pieces of large print children’s prayers from the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist and African church traditions.

This crinkled-looking lonely bear sits with its arms and legs wide open. It wears a torn red tissue bow around the neck.

This fragile plush bear is photographed on black. The thin outer exposed seams of its silhouette glows white against the dark background.

Fragile Lonely Bear

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The Fragile Lonely Bear

Sewn, crushed cotton, vellum, paper, stuffed with raffia, rhinestones, and prayers. The danger and fragility of life, particularly for children has guided me to use sewing as one of my techniques. My childhood was dangerous for many reasons, but I remember the peace while sewing.

Fragile Lonely Bear

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Dead Fawn in Dangerous Environment

Our first impression is a large uncomfortably twisted falling fawn with sky at the top and water at the bottom with collaged boats at the bottom. The square composition chosen to signify the earth. The coloring is light and transparent.

January 2023

36” x 36”

Crushed architectural tracing paper
Caran d’Arche crayons and ink

Our first impression is a large uncomfortably twisted falling fawn with sky at the top and water at the bottom with collaged boats at the bottom. The square composition chosen to signify the earth. The coloring is light and transparent.

This young deer’s body twists down in an arc from the upper left corner to the lower right corner of the image. The hind legs at the upper left corner are side view. Then the body twists to reveal the top side with large and small white oval spots. The forelegs are limply curve upward. The color of this young dear is mostly a warm light to medium gray. Her child-like large head has ears to the left and nose pointing to the right. The eyes are large, heavily lashed and a tiny bit open. The neck fur, inner ears and sides of nose are white. Her mouth is slightly open. The head and neck are in the light blue water at the bottom.

The blue and white water is about 1/3 of the bottom composition.
There are also dark rocks with highlights exposed in this low creek. Collaged into the stream are white translucent children origami boats tossing and flipping in the water. There are 3 of them about the size of a child’s hand.

The dominant burning sienna sky reminded me of the forest fire in the Bambi story. It terrified me. This inspired me to create Bambi’s Kingdom drawings.

dead_bambi_in_dangerous_environment

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Dead Fawn in Dangerous Environment

Our first impression is a large uncomfortably twisted falling fawn with sky at the top and water at the bottom with collaged boats at the bottom. The square composition chosen to signify the earth. The coloring is light and transparent.

dead_bambi_in_dangerous_environment

Click on image to view in lightbox mode.

Dead Bambi Childhood Dreams

Our young deer is heartbroken over her lost childhood dreams. She hangs from her back legs downward into a fire of burning artist brushes. The hind legs are crossed and tied to black ropes at the top middle of the image. Her forelegs are folded together over her head. The ears droop downward and her pink tongue hangs out.

2023

4’H x 3’W

Crushed architectural tracing paper
Pastel, crayon, ink

This fragile paper drawing is vertical and brightly colored.

Our young deer is heartbroken over her lost childhood dreams. She hangs from her back legs downward into a fire of burning artist brushes. The hind legs are crossed and tied to black ropes at the top middle of the image. Her forelegs are folded together over her head. The ears droop downward and her pink tongue hangs out.

Bambi is brown with creamy yellow spots on her back and legs. This fawn is about 2 feet in length in the middle third of the illustration. She is surrounded by red, orange and light yellow flames. There is blue and black smoke above and ash gray below.

Below Bambi, there are 8 artists brushes in a pile. Some are broken. They almost blend with the red and orange fire. But there is one Asian brush floating to the left of the pile. It is one the artists favorite brushes from Japan.

That brush reminds the artist of the profound experience of learning to paint in a country that recognizes art as necessary beauty for culture and even sacred. All the artist’s Chinese and Japanese brush feel like encouraging friends in a highly commercial American culture.

In the upper third of the painting are origami translucent white kites with long thin cotton string tails. One on the left is the size of a child’s hand, the two smaller ones on the right are the size of a very young child.

Dead Bambi Childhood Dreams

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Dead Bambi Childhood Dreams

Our young deer is heartbroken over her lost childhood dreams. She hangs from her back legs downward into a fire of burning artist brushes. The hind legs are crossed and tied to black ropes at the top middle of the image. Her forelegs are folded together over her head. The ears droop downward and her pink tongue hangs out.

Dead Bambi Childhood Dreams

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Dead Fawn in Japan Self Portrait Vanitas

The top layers is a full size portrait of the artist in Japanese clothing with fawn curled around her feet. The artist is in her 20’s, has long reddish brown hair, no eyes and wears traditional artist scholar clothing from the 12th century. It was her graduation clothing from 3 years of painting studies.

Total size 4’H x 5’W

3 translucent crushed textured layers of drawings pinned over each other
Pastel and ink

Vanitas from Latin is a kind of painting in art that shows symbols of death, transience and vanity of earthly accomplishments.

This installation drawing has 3 layers.

The top layers is a full size portrait of the artist in Japanese clothing with fawn curled around her feet. The artist is in her 20’s, has long reddish brown hair, no eyes and wears traditional artist scholar clothing from the 12th century. It was her graduation clothing from 3 years of painting studies. She is wearing a blue silk long sleeve kimono covered by a darker pleated high waisted hakama skirt tied in front. The hakama is often used in martial art too and often has 7 pleats for the virtues of benevolence (jin), truth (makoto), devotion (chugi), honor (meiyo), bravery (yu), courtesy (rei) , Equanimity (gi). Her right hand is in front of her heart and is holding a long Asian dark brown brush with pointed white bristles.
Her left arm hangs down holding a collapsible lantern. The same lantern used by nurses in the Crimean War. The Ukrainian War was starting at this time. The artist was a traditional Japanese art student and also a nurse in Japan.

Around her white toe socks and sandals is a dead fawn. The deer is a symbol of the buddha. The dead fawn is a symbol of impermanence for the artist. The deer’s head and part of its spotted back is on the left. It foreleg circles around the front. Its hind legs and tail stretch out from behind on the right.

At the lower right corner next to the hoof is a blue skull ¾ view about 8 inches tall.

Although I am young in this portrait, the skull and dead fawn reminds the artist about impermanence.

The whole drawing is divided into 9 equal sized sections with Japanese washi tape, light colors of blue and brown puppies. This helps in the intentional design of making the drawings foldable in a world of fast climate or environment crisis. But also helps me fold correctly with my visual impairments.

This top layer of these drawings has hand sewn white embroidery floss running stitches like rays of light going outward from the center. They cover the entire background creating a tactile negative space around the objects. This is another emphasis to pay attention to space physically and impermanence spiritually.

The next transparent drawing under the top drawing are fanciful blue outlined bats. They are pointed downward to indicate blessings have arrived. You can see them through my self-portrait.

The final image design under the top 2 transparent images is a famous mostly blue colored Japanese decorative print. There are rows of circles filled with seasonal flowers. This large print sticks out beyond the other drawings like a frame. The circles are 4 inch diameter. 9 rows down and 10 across.

Dead Fawn in Japan: self portrait, Vanitas

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Dead Fawn in Japan Self Portrait Vanitas

The top layers is a full size portrait of the artist in Japanese clothing with fawn curled around her feet. The artist is in her 20’s, has long reddish brown hair, no eyes and wears traditional artist scholar clothing from the 12th century. It was her graduation clothing from 3 years of painting studies.

Dead Fawn in Japan: self portrait, Vanitas

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Dead Bambi Ukraine Lament

This is a pieta or image of grief. Historically it depicts the placing of the executed Jesus in the arms of his mother, Mary. The composition is a study from Van Gogh’s Pieta which was also a study from Delacroix. Artists often connect with art history to see their place in the world as validated and relevant to themselves and history.

December 2022

36″ x 36 ½”

Tactile Swell Paper, collage
Acrylic paint, decorative paper

Swell paper is thick and contains heat sensitive chemicals. When drawn on with carbon pens, then heated. the black carbon line become raised. These materials are mostly used to make illustrations, maps, and even greeting cards for the visually impaired.

Nine 11” x 11” squares have partial images that when connected become a large complete image. There are 3 rows down and 3 rows across like mathematical magical squares.

This is a pieta or image of grief. Historically it depicts the placing of the executed Jesus in the arms of his mother, Mary. The composition is a study from Van Gogh’s Pieta which was also a study from Delacroix. Artists often connect with art history to see their place in the world as validated and relevant to themselves and history. Artists are witnesses, journalists and dreams. Love art history.

The colors are mostly black and white with accents of deep vibrant blue and metallic gold.

Like Van Gogh’s style, the overall image is dynamic with curves and diagonals. The top middle square, the second row of three middle squares, and final row of the two right squares are mostly filled with the total image of 3 large figures.

From the top middle it starts with a white woman face with downturned lips and wavy downturned eyebrows. She is obviously in great pain and grief. Her face is surrounded with a large halo crown of flowers. Brides in Ukraine wear these spectacular crowns. The flowers in this crown are blue and gold bird of paradise for freedom, white lilies for rebirth of the soul and purity, lots of small white roses for purity in the face of evil, and thin stalks of wheat emanating from the top border of the crown. This a symbol of bounty and resurrection. In the front base of the crown is a very large dark blue lotus.

The lady’s clothing covering her arms, surrounding cloak and small part of the dress at the bottom is a deep ultramarine blue.

On the right side of the face is a large 13 petaled white rose, a symbol of a nonviolent resistance group that was executed by the Nazis. There is WeiBe or White Rose resistance monument to the young martyrs in front of the University of Munich.

In the lady’s lap between her outstretched arms of grief is an adult man’s head and chest slumped to the left. He has a sunflower halo in gold. Petals fall down from it and are shaped like gold hearts.

On top of his lap is a large fawn tilting downward from the right middle to lower left corner. We are looking at its back with large white spots. The above view of the young fawn head shows large long ears, closed eyes with thick lashes and a dark nose. The forelegs are stretched out diagnally to the left. There are lots of tactile lines in different directions to make the fur. Bambi also has a large white rose behind her left ear. It reminds me of the rose, landscapes or bone paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. There a few more small scattered roses in the total image.

The 3 stacked characters do not show much perspective. The flatness of image is like old Eastern Europe religious icons.

Like in Asian paintings, there is a moon and a sun.
The white moon is filling the upper left corner. Its circular border has black circular wavy lines. The wavy lines sink heavier at the bottom resulting in thin black drips to the bottom. The upper right corner panel has a gold sun with a fringe of short wavy pointed rays.

The nine panels are adhered to a sewn paper quilt backing. There is 1 ½” of this paper quilt exposed between the panels. The foldability of this artwork continues the thoughts of portable life in dangerous times, especially repeated evacuations from fire. Or war.

Dead Bambi Ukraine Lament

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Dead Bambi Ukraine Lament

This is a pieta or image of grief. Historically it depicts the placing of the executed Jesus in the arms of his mother, Mary. The composition is a study from Van Gogh’s Pieta which was also a study from Delacroix. Artists often connect with art history to see their place in the world as validated and relevant to themselves and history.

Dead Bambi Ukraine Lament

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Dead Bambi in the Red Light

The fawn has collapsed from the heartbreak of abuse. She is dark blue and lays at the bottom 1/3 of the image. Her body is slightly curled up in the center and to left. Her forelegs are crossed together over her head. Her eyes are tightly closed with long lashes.

Dead Bambi in the Red Light

2022

32”H x 40”W

Sewn crushed cotton vellum

The fawn has collapsed from the heartbreak of abuse. She is dark blue and lays at the bottom 1/3 of the image. Her body is slightly curled up in the center and to left. Her forelegs are crossed together over her head. Her eyes are tightly closed with long lashes. Her face has white patches around her eyes, nose, inner ears, near the hooves and of course the back. Her pink tongue hangs out slightly. The hind legs are crossed and tail down.

Behind Bambi is a light blue teddy bear falling over to the right. It has a tattered and torn red bow tie.

The background wall and floor looks like dingy grey with gray blue streaks. Overhead just left of center hangs a bare red light bulb with a red and yellow glow.

Dead Bambi in the Red Light

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Dead Bambi in the Red Light

The fawn has collapsed from the heartbreak of abuse. She is dark blue and lays at the bottom 1/3 of the image. Her body is slightly curled up in the center and to left. Her forelegs are crossed together over her head. Her eyes are tightly closed with long lashes.

Dead Bambi in the Red Light

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Blue Buddha Bear Carries Bambi

The artist knows of a cave with the Buddha portrayed as a blue bear. She inspired to create images and stories around the Blue Buddha Bear. The gold haloed transparent light blue bear stands in the middle. The fawn droops down from the bear’s forepaws.

30”H x 22”W Vertical

Watercolor paper
Watercolor and Gouache

The artist knows of a cave with the Buddha portrayed as a blue bear. She inspired to create images and stories around the Blue Buddha Bear.

The gold haloed transparent light blue bear stands in the middle. The fawn droops down from the bear’s forepaws. Bambi is darkish brown with white spots on body, neck, around eyes. Her dependent head has a large light blue halo. The forelegs and hind legs dangle down over a foreground of multiple scattered transparent and dark colored teddy bears. All of them have tattered red bow ties.

There is a large slightly to the left of the bear that disappears out of the top border. The tree also divides the background into moon and dusk on left and sun with blue sky on the right.

The whole image has a dreamy simple folk art look because of simple solid shapes with also veils of transparent color.

Blue Buddha Bear Carries Bambi

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Blue Buddha Bear Carries Bambi

The artist knows of a cave with the Buddha portrayed as a blue bear. She inspired to create images and stories around the Blue Buddha Bear. The gold haloed transparent light blue bear stands in the middle. The fawn droops down from the bear’s forepaws.

Blue Buddha Bear Carries Bambi

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Dead Bambi Constellation

Bambi is floating downward in a ¾ view in a deep red sky. Her legs spread out to the left. She is drawn with very fine ink lines. Her body is about 36” long and 24” wide.

Dead Bambi Constellation

August 2022

45”H x 22”W. Vertical

Chinese red calligraphy paper with gold glitter
Black ink, metallic gold pastel and collaged gold stars

Bambi is floating downward in a ¾ view in a deep red sky. Her legs spread out to the left. She is drawn with very fine ink lines. Her body is about 36” long and 24” wide.

There are 7 gold stars about ½” diameter scattered through the red background. These are the same stars that teachers put on students schoolwork. Metallic gold pastel powder highlights the tail, hair at the hooves, body spots, inner ears and around her tightly shut eyes.

Dead Bambi Constellation

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Dead Bambi Constellation

Bambi is floating downward in a ¾ view in a deep red sky. Her legs spread out to the left. She is drawn with very fine ink lines. Her body is about 36” long and 24” wide.

Dead Bambi Constellation

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No School for Bambi

Grey colored fawn is falling downward with hind legs near top border. She is about 34” long. There are thick and thin calligraphic lines outlining her. The white spots seem to fall off her back. She is the largest object in the painting.

No School for Bambi

42”H x 24”W

Original Chinese gongbi paper
Black ink, watercolor
Translated by digital painting

Grey colored fawn is falling downward with hind legs near top border. She is about 34” long. There are thick and thin calligraphic lines outlining her. The white spots seem to fall off her back. She is the largest object in the painting. Her front legs stretch downward almost touching a withering and squashed pink and red outlined tulip plant with wavy green leaves. Near the leaves there is a pink cell phone with 911 numbers. Some torn petals float around the painting.

Around Bambi are other school items. At the top third on the left are pink handled scissors and eraser and light gray protractor. In the middle is a red apple for the teacher. In the lower third are red crayons and a gray ruler with a pink petal under it.

The far left has a column of black grass-like calligraphy 4” characters which says beautiful flower for the tulip. But the second character is red because it is also the character that means deer.

No School For Bambi

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No School for Bambi

Grey colored fawn is falling downward with hind legs near top border. She is about 34” long. There are thick and thin calligraphic lines outlining her. The white spots seem to fall off her back. She is the largest object in the painting.

No School For Bambi

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Dead Bambi Party

We are looking at the deer’s back with its legs splayed outward in awkward positions. The figure is about 2/3 of the total image. The fawn’s head is twisted looking upward. Surrounding silver gray and white spotted deer are black balloons.

Dead Bambi Party

23”H x 36”L

Crushed cotton vellum paper

Pencil and silver ink

We are looking at the deer’s back with its legs splayed outward in awkward positions. The figure is about 2/3 of the total image. The fawn’s head is twisted looking upward. Surrounding silver gray and white spotted deer are black balloons. Two on the upper left are full and round. One is near the middle left is smaller and slightly deflated. Two balloons at the bottom are broken and smashed. There are silver ink ribbons tied to the balloons. The silver lines meander through the drawing.

On the upper right corner there is a light gray feather and a tiny scraggly gray bird looking like it is falling downward.

Dead Bambi Party

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Dead Bambi Party

We are looking at the deer’s back with its legs splayed outward in awkward positions. The figure is about 2/3 of the total image. The fawn’s head is twisted looking upward. Surrounding silver gray and white spotted deer are black balloons.

Dead Bambi Party

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Artist

Catherine Lecce-Chong

In the blink of an eye, in 2018, my life and art changed; I lost much of my vision. Decades of classical western painting or traditional Asian painting and calligraphy, would fade away…  But not the passion or the essential drive to create.