Creature Series

It was hunting season — 1997 when Max encountered his first “creature”. During hunting season, Max carried an enormous pistol, and I carried a camera. The camera was very useful; the gun was never fired! Max didn’t think he could ever really kill a deer or a small mammal.

At the top of a trail at the Izaak Walton League forest near Wooster, Ohio Max first encountered “Log Dog”. It was snowing gently and Log Dog had a white mustache. We were both enchanted. It was spring before Max decided he wanted to paint “Log Dog” — hence the greenery in the foreground.

The creatures were all painted from photos — most of which were taken while we were on one of our hikes at the Izaak Walton League forest. The “Root of all Evil” was on the easy way up the side of the hill. “Log Dog” was on top of the hard way up the hill. “Woods Hole”, “Here’s Looking at You Kid” and “Coil & Stretch” were also found during several walks in the woods.

“Cliff’s Eye”, which was one of the first paintings, was not from that forest. Instead, it was from a rock formation near our home at the time. “Yoder’s Bend” (not in creature series) was also just down the road from our house.

“Buried Alive” was created from a pile of rubble on one side of a trail at Inniswood Metro Garden in Westerville, OH. I have always thought that “Buried Alive” was as close as Max came to doing a self portrait. He was suffering from normal pressure hydrocephalus, which may have helped him “see” the creatures in these scenes of logs, plants and rocks.

Written in 2013 by Malinda Yoder, Max’ wife