Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cuchulain 1981

In 1980 I went to Ireland and brought back a lot of Irish stuff including an English rendering of the epic of Cuchulain, the national hero of Ireland. I tried to do a "barbarian action" painting from the legend showing the hero with his spear, naked like a Celtic warrior, defending a river ford against a tribal enemy who is about to be skewered. This is my attempt and my figure drawing and muscle anatomy is far from heroic. In fact this picture is lousy but at least back then in 1981 I gave it a try. The rendering of the bronze shield is pretty good, strategically placed in front of Cuchulain's heroic privates. I also tried to depict Cuchulain's starry eyes and tricolored hair, described in the epic. The shrunken heads impaled on branches is a nicely barbaric accent. In my early days trying to be an Illustrator I wanted to master the action scenes that every other artist was doing but I never did. The art directors kept telling me, "More action! Your art is static and dull!" But I never did get with the program, which is why I draw wine barrels, geraniums, and garden umbrellas instead of epic battle scenes.

"Cuchulain at the Ford" is acrylic on illustration board, 11" x 21", January 1981.

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