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…
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:
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:
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.
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 is a 15 x 13 x 4 inch shadowbox and is available. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Also get a print!