‘Leda’                   This is my latest oil painting on canvas: I wanted to make a painting primarily about a dancer and in particular, a ballerina. So this was my initial inspiration for this picture to begin with. The pose of the dancer was my next concern and i sketched and produced many different variations of drawings before choosing this pose featured in the final painting. The rest of the idea came to me much later and developed as i worked on the figure. I was flicking through one of my many art books and was attracted to a drawing by Da Vinci, a small sketch depicting the greek myth of ”Leda and the Swan’. The composition spoke to me and echoed the ‘S’ shape like rhythm i already had in my dancer. That serpent like swans neck shape created movement through the picture and so i added to this idea and exaggerated it. My painting depicts a glittering strong dark haired woman, the character of ‘Odile’ in the Ballet Swan Lake. This subject shows Zeus disguised as a black swan to try and seduce her as the old Greek myth was told. But I decided to reverse the role of the female victim being seduced and seen in art history as the weaker sex. In modern day society i wanted to distance myself from these old fashioned and sexist views of which i do not agree. Leda in my version is Odile, a strong and powerful dancer rejecting Zeus. Zeus the most powerful of Greek gods is surprised and frustrated unable to seduce the young but fiercely independent ballerina. Her veins bulge with blood, her muscles contract and her bones hold her structure in defiance, but her face is calm and considered. I set the background finally with a shower of flowers angrily blasted down by Zeus from the thundering skies above as he catches one in his beak and tries to offers it to Odile in one last attempt at seduction.