"Hurdy Gurdy Man", 11x14, oil on linen
In case you don't know, A Kobzar (Ukrainian: кобзар, pl. kobzari Ukrainian: кобзарі) was an itinerant Ukrainian bard who sang to his own accompaniment. (From Wikipedia)
Kobzars were often blind, and became predominantly so by the 1800s. Kobzar literally means ‘kobza player’, a Ukrainian stringed instrument of the lute family, and more broadly — a performer of the musical material associated with the kobzar tradition.
The cossack or Kobzar above, is depicted as playing either a bandura, or a hurdy gurdy, both of which are stringed folk instruments. Since Hurdy Gurdy kind of resonates with me, being a child of the 60's and a Donovan fan, that's what I decided to title it.
I love painting figures of ethnic people and I found a photo of this old bard in a very weird place- a book in a pricey hotel on Jekyll Island, South Carolina. We went to Jekyll Island while traveling through the South, and I just had to see stop at the island to see where the rich elite concocted their plan for the Federal Reserve. The book (not Creature of Jekyll Island) was entirely written in Ukrainian, so as much as I'd love to credit the photographer, I can't. Hopefully he isn't blind, (the cossack, not the photographer), and hopefully he won't mind that his face took on a rather uncanny resemblance to former President George W. Bush.
The painting is not for sale since I cannot give credit to the photographer of the reference photo, but it sure was fun to do!
Have fun researching Kobzars, Hurdy Gurdies, Banduras, Donovan and Jekyll Island!