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This painting is my interpretation of the character from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” who had been scared out of his skin by the Headless Horseman.  Ichabod was the new district school teacher who had been at a party where he was making advances towards a desirable lady acquaintance.  She had another suitor and he was so determined to win her hand that he devised a plan to eliminate Ichabod.  He gathered the partiers around him and told the story of the Headless Horseman and how he rode up and down the old school road looking for unlucky victims. Ichabod became more and more uncomfortable because not only was he afraid of the dark but he had to go home on the old school road.  Finally the party ended and Ichabod set out for home.  Every sound and shadow was personified in his mind by the imaginative description that the story teller had told.  Even the tree frogs sounded ominous and the wind sent a chill up his spine.  All of a sudden the Headless Horseman charged him holding his decapitated head in one arm and flailing a sword with the other.  Ichabod was scared to death and simply ran off as fast as he could.  No one ever saw him again.  He left the district that night never to return.  The truth of the matter is that the Headless Horseman was a competitive suitor who donned himself in a large cape and carried a smiling jack-o-lantern head.

It was actually very therapeutic for me to be working on this piece because it kept reinforcing the idea that you can not succumb to your fears.  You must face them head on and not allow your insecurities to inhibit the opportunities in life.  Although I felt afraid of the future I had to grab those fears by the nettles and keep on going.

“The only thing to fear is fear itself”,

"Ichabod Crane"

Painted in Calgary, Alberta in 1994.

  • 36" X  36"
  • Acrylic
  • Stretched Canvas
  • Unframed



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Wednesday, 03. September 2008 12:27:34 PM -0700
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