Ink and watercolour on acrylic paper. 405 x 508 mm, 2020.
"I will not sell thee indeed," said Ecohaid, "but let him put his arms round thee in the middle of the house as thou art." "It shall be done," said Midir. He takes his weapons in his left hand, and the woman he took under his right arm, and bore her away through the skylight of the house. The hosts rose up in shame around the king. They beheld two swans in flight around Tara. (from the Wooing of Étaín)
It's hard to summarize this story as it's a crazy one, and easily beats any soap opera! So in short, Midir takes Étaín, the most beautiful woman as his wife. But his first wife turns Étaín into a pool of water, from which she evaporates and becomes a fly, and after many adventures she lands in the drink of the wife of Étar, a warrior. She swallows the fly and becomes pregnant, giving birth to Étain again after 1012 years of her first birth. She gets wed to Eochu, high king of Ireland. Meanwhile Midir learns his long lost love is alive, and challenges Eochu in a chess game to get a kiss from Étaín if he wins. Of course he won, and when embracing Étaín they both turn into swans and escape.
This painting was commissioned to contain a folklore element and swans, so I chose this love story from Celtic mythology to serve as my inspiration.