"On a Mission" 16x12, oil on masonite
I took a picture of a rooster during one of my many trips to Key West over the past 5 years, and this provided the reference photo for this new painting. This cock definitely looks like he's on a mission in The Conch Republic of the world! If you have never been there, Key West is a very interesting place to go for many reasons. Historically speaking, it seceded from the United States for one whole day and claimed a new name and flag- The Conch Republic. The islanders claim that they seceded where others failed, which is true according to this website of The Conch Republic.
Here's more from the site:
"The Conch Republic was established by secession of the Florida Keys from the United States of America, on April 23rd, 1982 in response to a United States Border Patrol Blockade setup on highway U.S.1 at Florida City just to the north of the Florida Keys. This heinous act effectively isolated Keys Citizens from the U.S. mainland since the blockade was on our only land artery to and from the mainland. This roadblock portrayed Keys residents as non-U.S. citizens who had to prove their citizenship in order to drive onto the Florida mainland! Hardly an American thing to do!
We protested! A totally American thing to do! Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow along with a few other 'key' Conchs, went to Federal court in Miami to seek an injunction to stop the federal blockade, but to no avail. Upon leaving the Federal Court House , on the court house steps , Mayor Wardlow announced to the world, by way of the assembled TV crews and reporters, that ; "Tomorrow at noon the Florida Keys will secede from the Union!"
At noon, on the day of secession, at Mallory Square in Key West Florida, Mayor Wardlow read the proclamation of secession and proclaimed aloud that the Conch Republic was an independent nation separate from the U.S. and then symbolically began the Conch Republic's Civil Rebellion by breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform. After one minute of rebellion, the now, Prime Minister Wardlow turned to the Admiral in charge of the Navy Base at Key West, and surrendered to the Union Forces, and demanded 1 Billion dollars in foreign aid and War Relief to rebuild our nation after the long Federal siege!"
Okay, that's enough history. Google 'Conch Republic' if you want more. Roosters roam the streets freely there, and that is cool in a day and age where there are limitations on where roosters can roam!
I hadn't done another rooster painting since I'd painted the award winning Mr. Clucky of Miami so I enjoyed painting this new clucker. Interestingly, when I first painted Mr. Clucky and took him to gallery owner Leah Sherman at Collector's Gallery to be framed, I didn't know what to call him. Leah told me that roosters are icons in Miami, and that I should name him Mr. Clucky. It was not until today, while doing research on the Conch Republic, that I discovered that there is actually a REAL Mr. Clucky! He's a big celebrity, peace activist and a symbol for farm animal advocates. You can read more about Mr. Clucky of Miami here.
"On a Mission" was done with a palette knife only and has lots of thick , juicy paint and impasto color. Roosters are supposed to be good luck symbols so here's to good luck in 2011 for whoever buys this cocky painting!