“The Mule Buck”
This is a vintage piece; the well-known artist’s life ended much too soon, in the 1970’s. Apaches have historically been known as hunters, and Vigil lavished wonderful detail and realism on his paintings of animals.
Notice the delicacy of the handsome antlers, the strong muscular chest, and natural proportions. This majestic buck stands confidently amid the high forested mountains of his domain.
The artist’s skill has rendered it almost palpable – you can just about feel the wind that is swaying the grasses underfoot. These delicately echo the similar lines of the antlers. Even the clouds and distant mountains repeat the general compositional theme of v-forms.
The tall, narrow, upright trees on either side keep the eye focussed on the center of the painting.
With masterful composition and a wealth of fine detail, this watercolor shows the skill and love for the animals and landscape of his native land that characterized this gifted painter.