Sunday, August 31, 2014

Leda and the Swan

I would describe myself as falling nicely into the had-enough-coffee-to-last-me-a-couple-of-days category.  So I turn now to Leda and the Swan.

[long pause as I paint the thing]

Okay.  Here it is ...

Nice.  Disregard the little white bits on each side.

And here's a Robert Motherwell painting -- a famous one, titled "Elegy to the Spanish Republic #110" -- just so you can get a sense of why everybody wants to paint like Robert Motherwell ...

It's not about actually looking like a Motherwell, since that's certainly not in the cards.  But it's the whole Abstract Expressionist idea of really just whaling away with the paint on a big canvas that I'm finding attractive.  And I say this with the full understanding that Leda and the Swan is a tiny, finicky thing and nobody was whaling away at anything.  It should also be noted that I may be wandering away from my original goal of painting with linguistic characters, which is a problem because I like the way the Motherwell kind of reads from left to right ... and that's one of the things we're shooting for.  But I'm not going backwards, just to change stuff.  I'm moving forward.

Also, just so we're clear, Leda was the wife of Tyndareus, the King of Sparta.  Zeus was hot for Leda.  He appeared on earth in the shape of a swan and seduced/raped (sources differ) Leda on the same day that she had had sex with her husband.  Four children emerged:  Castor, Pollox, Clytemnestra and Helen.  Helen and Pollox were said to be the children of Zeus.

Clytemnestra later married Agamemnon.  Helen became later known, rather famously, as Helen of Troy.  Because I like to keep things local.


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