Rabbit food sketches

We’ve cut down the girdled apple tree, the snow is melting and exposing other food choices for the rabbits, and now I have started sketching ideas for a print.

First sketch: I started with a more direct narrative, showing a rabbit eating the bark and pooping. I never saw this happen. I see rabbits, I see rabbit turds and footprints, and I see the damaged plants they’ve eaten, but I never see them eat. This probably happens at night. I wonder if it should be a night scene dominated by deep blue snow shadows and yellow street-lamp light.

The second sketch is trying to show a little more of the unseen, how the connection between the roots and branches is broken when the vascular tissue of the inner bark is eaten, and also how the rabbit scat I see in the yard are mostly made up of bark from meals like this one. I was thinking about making a circular kind of composition, showing the scat returning to the soil near the roots. The rabbit is part of the arc of material, more of an idea than a documentation of an actual rabbit eating. I’m still wondering if and how I should include the concept of my expectation of spring flowers and summer fruit cut short by this winter hunger. Here’s one thought, maybe a circular composition could occur inside an apple or apple blossom.

The third sketch takes another view, showing the green living tissue in cross sections of the tree, and showing the rabbit digesting and using the energy and nutrients from this green life.

So, does anyone have any thoughts about these different ways of showing this relationship? What do these images communicate to you? What might make them stronger visually, or more nuanced conceptually?

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