ONCE when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. “Pardon, O King,” cried the little Mouse: “forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?” The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters, who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, sent up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. “Was I not right?” said the little Mouse.

“LITTLE FRIENDS MAY PROVE GREAT FRIENDS.”

Ok, I admit the blog title today is a bit cheesy, but appropriate. Today’s piece started out as a simple homage to Rousseau’s jungle art, but subsequently added a bit of Max Ernst in, and then all tied together in Aesop. Let’s see the start…

In the sticks

In the sticks

Even at this early stage, all three influences are showing through: 1. The jungle setting of Henri Rousseau, with a lion placed in a rather ecologically incorrect mannter. 2. The almost mechanical forest paintings of Max Ernst and 3. The fable of the Lion and the Mouse. The metal sticks used for the jungle backdrop are something that have shown up in a few of my pieces, including Stick in the Mud, as well as a series I did in Second Life.

Let’s look at the Lion:

Lion around

Lion around

My father’s used bike parts served a great deal in the formation of the lion, with a gear as mane and a brake part as the piece that goes from the tail to one of the front paws. The head is a latch of some sort. The other two legs are shower faucet handles, I believe. After the lion was all attached, I quickly got to painting everything:

Purple trees and orange skies

Purple trees and orange skies

I initially had the lion alone in the jungle, but as seen above, he seemed a bit lonely, and wanted a little story to it. That is where the Aesop’s fable came into play. It also yet another night and moon scene at first, but the dusk feel seems to work well for this setting, and I probably needed a change after about 10 moon scenes in a row. So it became a sun.

Almost done

Almost done

The lion temporarily lost his eyes here, but was attached to the box, as well as all the jungle trees, and this was the first point I could stand the piece upright. Though hard to see, the mouse and rope bindings have been added back in again. At this point it was just a matter of cleaning up the mouse and attaching the ropes, as well as the eyes of course. Here are a few views of the final piece:

The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse - Left Angle

The Lion and the Mouse - Left Angle

The Lion and the Mouse - Right Angle

The Lion and the Mouse - Right Angle

The Lion and the Mouse is a 15 x 13 x 4 inch shadowbox and is available. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Also get a print!

Art Prints

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4 thoughts on “The Mane Event: “The Lion and the Mouse”

  • April 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm
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    this is absolutely brillant how you’ve tied it all together and capturing the worry of the lion!

    Reply
    • April 18, 2012 at 9:13 am
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      Thanks Katz! yes he is a bit concerned with his current predicament…

      Reply
  • April 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm
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    Wow..beautiful, and touching along with the tale.I think the tale should be included in the package..What an amazing gift for a child to hang on his or her wall..or an adult with a child’s joy still in tact..Love it Scott!

    Reply
    • April 18, 2012 at 9:15 am
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      Thanks so much Kari! it might be neat to find a way to present the text of the tale alongside the art piece…will have to think on that

      Reply

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