A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 268: Crowing About My Rooster

I Have Seen the Light

I Have Seen the Light! (Muhammad Ali Was Cocksure), Craft Foam Mosaic on canvas, 2017

There’s a first time for everything. For me, recently, there are two first time things combined: (1) first time making any artwork with a rooster as the subject matter and (2) first time creating a work of art for a specific art show, in this case The Atomic Rooster’s annual Cock Show:


Given my last name an the opportunity to follow a theme, I couldn’t resist. It also seemed the inspiration I needed to make another mosaic out of the colorful  craft foam I’ve used before.

At first, I thought of doing something to connect with the fantasy/allegory that is Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. Set in a barn yard, the central character is Chanticleer the Rooster. But the ideas weren’t coming for me around that concept so I kept seeking inspiration. One day when I was looking up quotes that had to do with roosters, I came upon a quote by Muhammad Ali:

“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.”

That was it – I had my inspiration. Sketching an idea and beginning the artwork was now an easy task. However, I was getting very close to the deadline for submissions and I had forgotten how painstaking the mosaic process was. In fittingly barn yard fashion I worked on that rooster like a rented mule for a week, grabbing hours here and there whenever I could and, miraculously, got the piece done on time!

Below are some photos I took during the process and some detail photos of the finished piece. If you happen to be in Ottawa from today until early November, stop by the Atomic Rooster on Bank street near Somerset and enjoy the cockerels. If I’m there, I’ll do some crowing for you.


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