Belly Bashed, Face Mashed, Skin Gashed, Nose Slashed, Body Splashed

 

When I was a boy wrestling was on television on Saturday afternoons. There were many wrestlers but the meat of the matter was made Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks – and there was some meat. Big Daddy had a 64" chest and Giant Haystacks was 48 stones at his heaviest.

 

Six foot seven Big Daddy specialised in the “Daddy Splash”, body block and the scoop slam; Giant Haystacks specialised in the elbow drop and the standing splash. I’m sure both specialised in flatulence (all those scrambled eggs and baked beans.)

 

Big Daddy’s was called Shirley Crabtree but you wouldn’t make fun of him or he may slam you on the floor and belly flop onto you into an instant pizza. Giant Haystacks (or “Stax”) was called Martine Ruane but this brawling grizzly bear masked a devout church-going Catholic who wouldn’t wrestle on Sundays.

 

Sadly both died about the same time, Big Daddy of a heart attack at 67 in 1997 and Stax died of cancer at 52 the following year - more faces vanishing from a gallery of familiar faces from childhood days. Giant personalities on screen, giant voids to fill, giant leotards left unworn. It was a brill Saturday afternoon when these two were throwing each other about.

 

So here if a painting of two hefty wrestlers. This was easy to paint but the dib dib dib of faces of the crowd was laborious. All went well. Normally paintings go wrong and I spend most of the time rescuing them but this one was a pleasure to paint.

 

 

Bear Gryls and President Obama seemed to think the painting’s okay to far…

 

Pointing at the crowd I’m dabbing in…

 

Coming together slowly…

 

Stuck, about to drink a bottle of T-Cut…