For Every Lock...

For Every Lock… is an ambitiously-sized work (by my standards!) and one of the more satisfying & deeply rewarding paintings in this collection.

If the work has a theme, it’s probably this: Whenever you’re in need of a ‘key’ to unlock a problem, or help turn a situation around in life, quite often the answers you seek, can be found in most unexpected ways… Or are delivered by a Peacock sitting on a Javan Rhino! 

There’s so much to talk about here, so let’s begin with the title. A common phrase – ‘For Every Lock…’ – is usually answered with ‘There is a Key!’ and so it is here. Look closely and you can see a Golden Key gripped tightly in the beak of an albino Peacock. And the lock? I’ll leave that to your own imagination… 

The painting’s original title was ‘The Ambassador’, as I see the Peacock as a visiting dignitary of some kind, bearing a ceremonial key. This links back to an earlier work called ‘Keeper of the Keys’; this latest key will likely end-up with that same guardian! The Peacock took longer to paint than any other aspect of the work, thanks to his delicate feathering. Have you noticed how the lowest parts of his elaborate tail look a little ragged? The next time you see a Peacock up-close, watch how its tail feathers scuff on the ground and you’ll see why!  

There are clues elsewhere, as to the Peacock’s lofty status. The largest – literally! – is the Javan Rhino on which he rides. Critically endangered in its native territory, our Rhino dutifully carries his passengers through dark & forbidding jungle, emerging from a bloom of exotic orchids, into a starry night. To help him see the path, his small horn has been magically transformed into a lantern! A string of filigree’d jewels around its base, give it the power to glow-in-the-dark; can you spot the fireflies in the mist? His armour is a finely-balanced mix of bold shapes & textures, that mould themselves to the Rhino’s numerous lumps & bumps: very fiddly to get right!

Sat on a little saddle between the Rhino’s ears, is a Javan Tree Shrew. Comically outsized by his mount (and passenger!) our little hero is himself of some importance, as he wears a Fez; regular collectors will be aware of the Fez’s importance in the world we’re building. Have you spotted his little flag? It’s not a million miles from the official flag of West Java, Indonesia..!

Scouting ahead of our delegation from the East, is a Javan Scops Owl. I love the look of the deep shadowing on the wings here, and the Owl’s delicate armour; such a contrast to that of the Rhino.   

Hmm… ‘Java’? I’m beginning to see a theme here…

  • Prints

    Choose from EITHER 240GSM White Matte Stock  OR Superb 300GSM Acid-Free, Fine-Art paper, Ready-Mounted & Signed  OR Luxurious Hahnemuhle Cotton Canvas; UnStretched, Signed & Printed strictly-to-order. Frames shown for illustrative purposes only.

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