Our friend Kathy Leisen is an artist and musician here in Detroit. I had seen various works in progress during visits to the house she shares with an old friend of mine, but after I saw a recent exhibition of her final work (particularly this painting, from this series) I got the idea to commission a painting of my daughter's all-time favorite mythological story: the birth of Pegasus. If you don't know it, Perseus travels to Medusa's lair to retrieve her head in order to save his mother from the clutches of the cruel king who wants to marry her. Using winged sandals provided by Hermes and a mirrored shield provided by Athena, he avoids being turned into a statue and manages to decapitate the gorgon. From the blood, Pegasus is born. I suppose I could also provide a more adorable version of the myth:

Anyway, I loved the whimsical animals in Kathy's earlier paintings, and suggested she paint a few animals that had been turned to stone returning to life (as some versions of the myth mercifully allow). I had no idea it would turn out this magical. Kathy (without prompting) painted some of our favorite "Detroit wildlife": pheasants, foxes, rabbits, stray cats. And a llama. It was great to have the artist in the room when I brought my daughter over to see it: the kid literally drew in a quick breath and her eyes grew huge. There was no critical pretension or politeness of friendship to muck up the moment. It was pure awe. She loves it. And so do I.

Kathy was worried there was too much blood. I was like, "Are you kidding? Have you heard this kid tell a story?"

This blog is intended solely to share the things I come across that inspire me. If I have posted a copyrighted image, I have only done so to the extent necessary to comment upon or discuss it; I will always include a link to the original source of the image if that source is online or acknowledge the source if it is in print. If I have reproduced anything of yours here that is copyrighted and you want me to remove it, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will do so right away.