Its been quite a while since I’ve last posted, but as always things are more than well worth the wait. I have recently finished a painting entitled “The Legend of Jack O’ Lantern”. I think it should also go to mention that this is the first painting that I have done in 16 years. I have always felt that the legend of Stingy Jack himself has never been captured before in image form. I decided to give this devil his due. The legend of Jack has been around for hundreds of years, but alas no image. I did it in the traditional way that the painting of old were done. It is 24x 36 acrylic on canvas.
Jack O’ Lantern was said to be one of the most evil men to have ever lived. The story of the Irishman Jack started on one fateful night when the devil decided to pay Jack a visit to see if he truly lived up to his evil ways. Jack and the devil spent many hours drinking in a local tavern on this evening in particular. Once the drinks by the two had been finished Jack convinced the devil to change himself into a silver coin to pay for the drinks. The devil agreed and upon changing into the coin, Jack placed the coin in his wallet next to a crucifix so that the prince of darkness could not change back. The devil begged Jack to free him from this imprisonment and Jack agreed that he would under one condition….If his soul could not be taken for ten years. The devil agreed and Jack set him free.
Ten years later Jack happened upon the devil again, who had returned for Jack’s soul. Jack knew that it was time to go to the gates, but asked one last plea of the devil. If he could have an apple from the top of a nearby tree to feed his starving belly. The devil agreed and climbed to the top of the tree to retrieve Jack’s apple. Upon doing so, Jack placed crucifixes at the bottom of the tree entrapping the devil within the limbs. The devil demanded to be set free and Jack obliged under the condition that his soul would never be taken. The devil agreed and he was once again set free.
Eventually as all living things do, Jack died the way he lived. Once reaching the gates of heaven he tried to enter and was refused because of his evil ways. Jack then tried to pass through the gates of hell but he was refused by the devil because of their agreements. Since Jack’s soul could never be taken, he had to wander the earth forever. Jack asked the devil how he would see to light his way in darkness. The devil gave him a flaming ember from the inferno of hell to light his way. Jack carved out a turnip and placed the ember inside to light his way for the rest of time.
The legend has been passed on for many years and eventually came here to the states, and that is why we call them Jack O’ Lanterns. So next time you carve a pumpkin think of Jack, stumbling around out there in the darkness.
I hope that you all enjoy “The Legend Of Jack O”Lantern” as much as I did making it! Have a great and spooky Halloween!