The Ousel of Cilgwri (Feathers of Tales VI)2020
Ink and watercolour on cold-pressed watercolour paper. 297 x 420 mm (11.69 x 16.53 in), 2020.
"And the Ousel answered, 'When I first came here, there was a smith's anvil in this place, and I was then a young bird; and from that time no work has been done upon it, save the pecking of my beak every evening, and now there is not so much as the size of a nut remaining thereof; yet the vengeance of Heaven be upon me, if during all that time I have ever heard of the man for whom you inquire. Nevertheless I will do that which is right, and that which it is fitting that I should do for an embassy from Arthur. There is a race of animals who were formed before me, and I will be your guide to them.'" (from the myth Culhwch and Olwen)
The blackbird is believed to be one of the oldest animals in the world, along with the stag and the trout, and he's the advisor of many great mythical heroes. I see the blackbird as one of the kindest birds I know, there's a pair nesting in my garden every year. Their second batch of fledglings left the nest early August, but that doesn't mean they don't need their parents attention after. That's why I could get the reference photos of them as both parents were frequent visitors around the feeders at that time.
I used two photos in this painting: the posture was provided by the mum, while the texture of the plumage is coming from a picture of the proud dad. This is the 6th piece in my Feathers of Tales series depicting birds in Irish myth and folklore.
Prints are not available.