Acrylic on canvas board. Moving into the area of myths now, so rich in imagery .
“The story of Blodeuwedd is one of the legends belonging to the Mabinogion, a famous collection of old Welsh legends. Her legend is part of the Fourth Branch of Mabinogi legends. Although full of magic, myth (and a bit bizarre in places) it is still one of the most interesting legends of the Mabinogi.| A woman named Arianrhod had two sons, one whom was named Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Although she went lightly on her eldest son, she put three curses on Lleu: that he would not receive a name unless it was given by her, he would not receive his armour unless from her, and the last curse was that he would never be allowed to marry a mortal woman.| After hearing of the last curse, two wizards, Gwydion and Math, thought they would be able to help. They created a wife for Lleu Llaw Gyffes out of flowers and gave her the name Blodeuwedd, meaning ‘Flower Face’. Blodeuwedd was beautiful and innocent; immediately Lleu fell in love with her and the two were married.| Not long after the marriage, Lleu had to go and meet his uncles, and left Blodeuwedd alone in their castle at Tomen y Mur. As she became bored and lonely, she suddenly heard sounds nearby and looking from her castle, she saw a hunting party approaching the castle. The leader of the party was Gronw Pebyr, the lord of nearby Penllyn. He told Blodeuwedd that his party was looking for somewhere to stay and Blodeuwedd did not hesitate to let them inside the castle. Almost immediately she fell in love with Gronw Pebyr and the two began an affair. They decided that because they wanted to be together, they would kill Lleu.| This wouldn’t be easy, as Lleu couldn’t be killed in any normal way. When Gronw and his hunting party left and Lleu returned, Blodeuwedd asked him what was the method used to kill him, appearing to be worried and sympathetic. Lleu told her the following, difficult, method in which someone could kill him:| He could only be killed before he was about to take a bath on the banks of a river. One foot must be on the bath and the other on the back of a goat, and he could not be either indoor or outdoors. The only thing that would kill him then would be a spear, which had been worked on for exactly a year. After hearing this from Lleu, Blodeuwedd went to Gronw Pebyr with the news, and he began working on a spear immediately.| Exactly a year later, as Lleu was able to take a bath underneath a thatched roof along the banks of a river, Gronw Pebyr threw a spear into Lleu’s side. Because Lleu had one foot on the side of a bath tub and the other on the back of a goat, Gronw’s plan was successful. But what Lleu had not told Blodeuwedd was that he could not be killed; instead, as soon as the spear hit him, Lleu burst into an eagle and flew away to a forest.| After hearing the news, Gwydion set out to find Lleu. Luckily he found him in a tree in the forest nearby, living off the meat of a wild boar at the trunk of the tree. Because of his magic powers, Gwydion was able to turn Lleu back into a man. Finally after some time, Lleu was back in the form of a human and he set out to find Gronw Pebyr and Blodeuwedd. Lleu killed Gronw Pebyr, but in fear Blodeuwedd had run to the forest. She was not lucky, though: Gwydion managed to corner her and as punishment for what she had done, he turned her into a tawny owl, telling her that every other bird would fear her and thus she would have to live the rest of her life in solitude.”
another green man / woodwose. He looks pretty sulky, I think it’s because he knows that Autumn is here and it has come too soon.
Ted Hughes, “Wodwo”
What am I? Nosing here, turning leaves over
Following a faint stain on the air to the river’s edge
I enter water. Who am I to split
The glassy grain of water looking upward I see the bed
Of the river above me upside down very clear
What am I doing here in mid-air? Why do I find
this frog so interesting as I inspect its most secret
interior and make it my own? Do these weeds
know me and name me to each other have they
seen me before do I fit in their world? I seem
separate from the ground and not rooted but dropped
out of nothing casually I’ve no threads
fastening me to anything I can go anywhere
I seem to have been given the freedom
of this place what am I then? And picking
bits of bark off this rotten stump gives me
no pleasure and it’s no use so why do I do it
me and doing that have coincided very queerly
But what shall I be called am I the first
have I an owner what shape am I what
shape am I am I huge if I go
to the end on this way past these trees and past these trees
till I get tired that’s touching one wall of me
for the moment if I sit still how everything
stops to watch me I suppose I am the exact centre
but there’s all this what is it roots
roots roots roots and here’s the water
again very queer but I’ll go on looking
* * *
This is a painting about a monkey, Jean Factotum . He was owned by a nobleman who as an experiment had Jeans hand cut off. The nobleman had a pair of silver hands made for his pet to replace the ones he had cut off. Jean was then handed over to the housekeeper/cook to look after as the poor creature couldn’t do anything for himself. He was then reported to be a very naughty monkey, destructive and aggressive … can’t say I blame him.
I have lost all my notes on where I got this tale from, but I know I was very affected by his story.
I found this frame in a junk shop and have ‘refreshed’ it with some black oil paint, I am really pleased with how it suits the painting .
Another guardian spirit … The world seems a perilous place these days, we need as many helping hands as we can find .
acylic on canvas.
Poor Minotaur imprisoned in the dark, fed on hapless human flesh. He must have had dreams of light and flowers …
I have been going through all of my old paintings trying to be ruthless . Any that I feel are weak or that I have been half hearted or not fully engaged with I have been painting over or chopping up. It has made a little space in the studio and I have some refreshed canvases to paint on.
Some work I have decided to have framed, but properly, not my previous IKEA attempts. I think that some of my disatisfaction with my work is how sad it looked in frames that didn’t quite fit ( note to self to make some work that is a standard size , as some of these frames are actually quite nice ).
Here is a small horse approx A4 acrylic on canvas which satisfies my love of over decorated surface. Not a brilliant piece but it pleases me now it is framed.
And this weeks painting is done over a disastrous painting of a cat that I painted for a restaurant owner who wanted a series of them … Not one sold, so I got them back and I’m painting what I want to paint and I am pleased to be rid of the cats just hanging around the studio .
This painting decided itself. Sometimes paintings develop past where I think they will go, and this is one of them. I had the kitten and birds in mind and then the rest just grew. 🙂