Davin Watne.

“My desk is in the Review Studios in Kansas City, MO. This is where I mix all my paint. It is in the center of my studio. It’s a sacred place.”

Davin Watne is an artist based in Kansas City with an established record of professional achievement. He has been awarded several grants and public art commissions. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Davin is currently a resident at the Review Studios Program in Kansas City and an adjunct professor in 2D design and multi-media at UMKC.

FROM YOUR DESKS: I’ve had so many close calls with deer, to the point you can almost feel the breeze of the animal. It’s exhilarating. I assume everyone has a deer story. Have you ever made contact?

DAVIN WATNE: Well, I have hit several deer in my life time it’s something that a lot of people have experienced. I see the incident as this metaphor for the greater collision between man and nature. The conflicting trends of urban sprawl, wildlife conservation and the loss of major natural predators have created a real problem of whitetail deer population. We have seen this locally with the Shawnee Mission Park deer problem, where they had to open it up to hunting.

FYD: Man versus Nature. It seems like the animals are dying. Who wins?  

DW: Great question after reading the book “The World Without Us” I think nature will. In the short-term humans will win, in the long-term nature will. It will take a long time for nature to come back but it does. There are examples in Chernobyl and the Bikini Atoll where humans have left because of radiation, but wildlife has come back and thrived. What wildlife needs to thrive is our absence.

What wildlife needs to thrive is our absence.

FYD: Deer are so innocent yet amazingly destructive. What do you make of them?

DW: Deer are incredibly beautiful. They are often most people’s “experience” of nature. When we see one we are often surprised and quieted. There is such a history of its use as a symbol in art. In this country deer mean different things to different demographics. I’m thinking of the hunters in the Cabelas crowd to the urban, yoga, coffee shop crowd deer are going to symbolize different things.

In reality deer in this region are a major source of food for a lot of wildlife. They are like the cows of the wild. I think they are an entry point for our association of what “wild” means or represents. Unfortunately deer have become such a trend in art in the past five years I can’t stand it. It’s potency as a symbol of what is “wild” has been so diluted.

5 Comments For “Davin Watne.”

  1. Bredan says:

    Just ran across your blog and love it. Entering mindscape through workspace is a fascinating method! (P.S. overused metaphors eventually morph into their opposites, deer become horned burgers or anything that runs like hell away from us.)

  2. Jeremy McConnell says:

    I really appreciate this look into Davin’s creative process and whats behind his imagery.

    fyi: You may want to change the typo in your article where you call Davin both Davin & David!

    proof reading is important

    Keep up the good work otherwise.

    • kate donnelly says: (Author)

      Thanks Jeremy. I appreciate your reading. Davin is fantastic. Re: Typo…Thanks for catching that. I always proofread; but sometimes you can’t catch everything 🙂


  3. Just Pollard says:

    I think what Davin said about deer being most people’s real experience with nature (‘real’ as opposed to what they pick up on the Discovery Channel) is so true. Depicting the collision between man and wildlife in his artwork strikes me as both a realistic yet haunting vision of the race for each species’ survival. I hope he continues to develop and expand this theme in his work as it provides an insightful, darkened view into our relationship with the world around us. His paintings really are beautiful to look at. Any idea about how one would go about getting an original work or reproduction from this artist?

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *