8 x 9 inches, watercolour with gouache, 2008
This piece was painted for the EBSQ Nude In Art Show (my previous entry was rejected). It shows Adonis sat under a tree on a summer afternoon faling asleep. My aim with the piece was to create a painting with the feel of a pre-raphaelite painting but with a male as the subject . Adonis' mother was Myrrha, and she committed incest with her father Theias at the bidding of Aphrodite. She tricked him by slipping into his bed in darkness but when he discovered her deception he was enraged and she fled from him. Aphrodite turned her into a myrrh tree and Theias shot an arrow at it. The bark split and from it was born Adonis. Aphrodite entrusted him to Persephone's care but she refused to return him. Eventually Zeus decreed that he should spend four months of the year with Persephone, four with Aphrodite and four alone. Adonis was killed by a boar sent by Aphrodite's lover Ares. He was essentially a vegetation god - The Festival of Adonis was celebrated in midsummer and was essentially a female cult. Women would plant gardens of Adonis, such as fennel and lettuce, that grew quickly and had short lives.