I’m back, and here are a few more pictures!
Featured in today’s post are three paintings based on Homer’s story of Odysseus and the sirens. I heard the story as a kid in elementary school and have since returned to it many times in my artwork. I have placed three such paintings here in chronological order:
My first work displayed here, “Siren Song”, was made about twenty years ago. In the story, Odysseus’s sailors had their ears stopped up with wax and he had himself tied to the mast of his ship in order to save them all from the temptation of the sirens’ call. This allowed Odysseus to hear the beautiful music without losing his ship.
The second painting is of the sirens themselves and is perhaps a less literal interpretation. It shows a person held captive by the power of music, tempted by the sirens’ beautiful song. This painting was done around five after the last one.
This last painting was done much more recently and uses a brighter palette. In this version, I also show gods, the cyclops and the sirens, all somehow directing Odysseus’s fate as he stands precariously in the centre of the action.
I find it interesting to put these three paintings together and see how one story can generate such different feelings and imagery. It makes me wonder what other artists envision when they read the text!