Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Microcosmos: Flea Circus

We have recently been invaded by a host of extremely bold, fierce & bloodthirsty fleas. They scoff at Frontline & seem to relish both cat & human flesh. I really, really wish they would go away.

This image was inspired by the proverb, "Big fleas have little fleas/ Upon their backs to bite 'em,/ And little fleas have lesser fleas,/ And so ad infinitum. "

I was imagining the dorsal inhabitants of one of our evil companions, & thought it would be funny if a strange little circus populated his back... & a leg or two...

So here you have it. Acrylic on map & text on canvas, 6x6" Click for a detail view-- I needed the magnifier for this one!

NEWS FLASH! This painting will be in the Raleigh, NC. Visual Art Exchange "What's In A Name/Microcosmos" show beginning this Friday. There's an opening event on the 11th, 6-9. If you're in the area, stop by!

FLASHIER NEWS FLASH! The folks at Visual Art Exchange called to tell me that my painting won a prize!

SUPER FLASH! I found out on opening night that it won first place! I guess I should be grateful to those fleas...

36 comments:

ENZO said...

That was very interesting concept for the flea, I love it. Good job with the catch phrases and the attention to detail. Great piece, keep it up, you are very good at what you do.

Renzo Hernandez

Wicky Woo said...

Beautiful! And yes, fleas are fierce lil bastards!

Juan said...

What a powerful image!
Is absolutely amazing!

carra said...

This is amazing! My favourite from this week's batch so far. I spent quite some time studying all the neat details.

j.dávila said...

Very cool! Beautiful and creepy, like all good insects.

*daisy said...

exquisite detail in the body! I love it! :) Beautiful illustration!

lucky said...

Wow!
Your work is absolutely beautiful.
The detail is just wonderful!

I enjoyed looking around your blog...

and particularly liked your octopus... he is fantastic!

Denise

Connie said...

A gorgeous image for an uncomfortable subject. I had full faith in Frontline. Oh dear.

Kay Aker said...

What an intriquingly intricate image!

Prozacville said...

ouch!

Mixed Media Martyr said...

Wow! This is incredible! Love your intricate work.

Nicola said...

If there is such a thing as visual therapy, this must be it; I suddenly feel quite affectionate towards things like fleas and nits!!!

milo said...

ooh what a fantastic image... so intricate...

i know my link is broken.. i removed my piece.. didn't like it :(. thanks for visiting me anyway

mitchowl said...

Awesome! I love all the detail. Great job!

Tony Sarrecchia... said...

Love the detail. Great piece. Sorry about your infestation.

Kate said...

This is so awesome! How wonderful that you found such inspiration fromsuch an uncomfortable situation.

sdzsmith said...

WOW! I like your style - great work! I'll be back to see what else you have up your sleeve.

Our dog has a flea (a big stuffed dog toy, that is) - it says "bite me" on it's back :)

johanna said...

i really admire your imagination and talent. this is astounding!

neilornstein said...

Reminds me of Jonathon Swift's "On Poetry: a Rhapsody":

"Each poet of inferior size On you shall rail and criticise, And strive to tear you limb from limb; While others do as much for him.

The vermin only teaze and pinch Their foes superior by an inch. So, naturalists observe, a flea Has smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet, in his kind, Is bit by him that comes behind..."

Katie said...

I'm amazed with this illustration. How you made it look carved out. Very cool.

jensdesign772 said...

This is truly an amazing piece! I love it.

Curious Art said...

Thanks to all for the kind words!

Neil, I do know the Swift poem & it was surely the source of the proverb. I learned the short version at my grandfather's knee though so it is forever engraved in my head.

And speaking of engraved, Katie, one of my inspirations for this piece was medieval ivory carving, so I'm pleased the effect came across!

studio lolo said...

This is un-freaking-believable! Your detail work always amazes me.

Okay, retired vet tech here and professional flea-speech person. The fleas life-cycle is 2 weeks, so even though you may not be seeing results from Frintline at the moment, you may have to wait a couple of months before you see the problem subside. Frontline and Advantage don't kill fleas, but instead they break down the chiton (the hard exterior) and therefore the fleas cannot breed and hence they die, eventually. The key is being faithful month after month with the product :)Trust me!
Now if only I got a comission from the flea companies.

ecm said...

You've captured the essence of the fierce little bugger. Lovely piece. It reminds me of an ancient artifact for display at a natural history museum.

-edna
www.justsketch.com

peacay said...

Congratulations on the prize Leah: I'm sure Robert Hooke himself would pass on his compliments were he still with us.
'- )

Ellis Nadler said...

one of your best

Digital Scott's Illustrationblog said...

Absolute genious!!! Brilliant and wonderfully done.

steve said...

Hi Leah! You are a winner for the ATC/goodie giveaway at my blog. Contact me with your address and I'll promptly send you your prize. My e-mail should be at my profile section at my blog. Take care! Steve

E.B. McHenry 2008 All Rights Reserved said...

Leah,
Your fine circus flea just slays me,
you are a magician, clearly!
xoE.B.

Emily said...

This illo is the bee’s knees!...or is it the flees knees? Hihi… superb detail and now I know what on a flea’s brain! Too cool!
cheers!

FleaCircusDirector said...

What fabulous flea circus artwork!

flossy-p said...

OMG, congratulations! That's brilliant news. See what fierce blood-thirsy fleas can inspire? Not so bad after all right? ;)

I can send you some blood sucking leaches from the swampy end of our garden if you like, I bet you'd get grand-national first prize for those :D

tanaudel said...

This is really beautiful, yet a little bit unsettling. I like it.

jene said...

I believe that your fleas speak of the infinite thing (like the paradigm of Zenon) but in my text, the flea is the metaphor of a parasitic person.

Lisa Evans said...

Stunning work and great blog.

Oliver. said...

wow, excellent illustration, so detailed and well designed. I'm browsing your blog.