Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mokosh


New art of Mokosh, the Russian and Slavic Earth Goddess known from the old pantheon of Kiev, where She had a statue. She is associated with water and weaving, and a traditional Russian embroidery pattern, of a woman between two horsemen, is said to depict Her. She is sometimes shown in the embroideries with upraised arms holding a bird in each hand.

She's wearing a sarafan, a traditional cone-shaped dress, over an embroidered blouse with horsemen on the sleeves, with a Ukrainian flower crown or vinok on Her head. The vinok has wheat, poppies (a common weed in wheat fields), and flax flowers to allude to Her role as weaving-Goddess. The blue drops of Her earrings and necklace, as well as the long flowing blue ribbons are symbolic of water.

The background is after Russian folk painting, and Her name is in Cyrillic lettering (which I hope I spelled correctly!) in the manner of an icon.

The original is five by seven inches, in acrylic on watercolor paper. This was done as the monthly Goddess by Request for July over on my Patreon page. I've also put prints up at my deviantArt site, here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Eris


New art of Eris, the Greek Goddess of strife and discord, done for a commission. Her hair is after a description in Virgil (where She goes by the Latin equivalent of Her name, Discordia), where She is said to have "viperine hair ... caught up with a headband soaked in blood." She is contemplating mischief.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Hekate Black and White


Here's the black and white of the Hekate of the Crossroads I did for the May Goddess By Request; I've since put layers of colored ink over it. It's more or less done but I'd like to scan the final in again (it doesn't really scan well) and tweak it a little in Photoshop as I'm not entirely pleased with how it came out (I may be a finicky sort, especially when it comes to my own art). But I thought I'd share it in this state, because it does look quite nice. It's in colored pencil (though only the black ones), which, being wax based don't lift up when you layer washes of ink over them. It was certainly an experiment, and though I'm like I said a tiny bit dissatisfied with this one overall I am pleased with the technique and would like to use it again for another piece.

Anyway, though, here She is at a woodland crossroads, with a dense wall of yews behind, flanked by two dogs (Pharoah hounds provided the models, though they don't technically come in black). There is mandrake and henbane in the foreground, and behind Her is a primitive hekataion, which may have had its origins in three images of the Goddess hung on a pole, to act as a protective device at a crossroads. The masks are after Neolithic ones, and I have put Her in Thracian jewelry (the area She originally comes from), though the dress is a bit of a fantastic concoction meant to look like vipers' scales. Appropriate though, I thought.

Ameretat Art


Ameretat, the June Goddess by request, taken from suggestions over on my Patreon. She's one of the six Zoroastrian Amesha Spenta, or Divine beings/Deities Who emanated from the Creator Deity Ahura Mazda; They took part in Creation. Ameretat is the Amesha Spenta of immortality (that is precisely what Her name means, in fact) and long life on the earthly plane. She is also associated with plants, and therefore food in Zoroastrian thought.

The art is digital, to look like cut paper; I painted several large swatches with acrylic paint in some interesting textures, then scanned them in to use as patterns in Photoshop. There are a few reasons I did it that way, both physical and artistic. On the physical side, one) I'm just not that good with an X-acto knife, and two) I do have a little bit of carpal tunnel syndrome, and cutting finicky stuff with an X-acto knife for some reason really annoys it, so I prefer to avoid it. On the artistic side, it's so much easier to tweak colors in Photoshop if needed (in real life you'd just have to start over with a real piece of paper). The different colors are in layers, really quite analogous to the paper layers I'd be using if it were a physical piece, and each have a tiny little drop shadow. I think the illusion is pretty good, though it was definitely a new-to-me sort of technique, and I'm not necessarily real good at keeping things simple.

She's in ancient Persian (Achaemenid) clothing, as that was the main religion of that old Empire; I've shown Her with Persian roses, this really odd-looking type of rose that almost looks like a succulent, to allude both to plants and to food, as roses and rosewater are used quite a lot in Persian cuisine.

I've put Her up on prints here, if you're interested.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Tanit Art


So this is Tanit (or Tanith), the Carthaginian Great Goddess, known to the Romans as Dea Caelistis, 'the Heavenly Goddess'. She's not actually the May Goddess of the Month art (that's Hekate of the Crossroads, which I'm still working on), but a Goddess I've been wanting to paint for a while now. Her pose is taken from Her symbol, a triangle with a circle on top and a cross bar, probably a stylized and very abstracted figure of a woman, and Her dress is after Iberian Phoenician (yes, the Phoenicians got over to Spain!) Goddess figurines which probably represent Her. Pomegranates, doves, and palm trees are sacred to Her.

I posted about this piece step by step, from concept to finish, over at my Patreon, which, yes, I'm going to continue to plug, ha. Seriously, though, as I've said below, the whole Patreon thing has been really helpful, not just as far as encouragement and inspiration go, but because I've been writing there about my process on pieces as I make them, so it's helped also focus and clarify what I'm doing with a piece and how I'm doing it. I don't generally write about what I'm doing, but it's proving to be quite helpful.

Anyway I rather like this Tanit, all in Her Tyrian purple, with the Tunisian desert behind Her; I realized only after I'd settled on the pattern that the clamshell-thingies meant to represent sand dunes or desert hills look like gravestones, which is entirely appropriate given the controversy over whether Tanit accepted child sacrifices. I'm inclined to think that's mostly propaganda from Carthage's enemies; at any rate, I don't think it very likely that the separate child graveyards are entirely (or even mostly) composed of children sacrificed to Her, when infant and child mortality was so high some two thousand years ago.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bit of News

Well, I finally succumbed and signed up for Facebook (I had happily held out for years, which is not surprising given my extreme introvert ways). Come 'friend' me!

In other news, the Patreon experiment continues apace. I am surprised, actually, how helpful and encouraging it's been; it's got me making a good deal of new art on a regular basis. Some of that is an obvious consequence of asking for suggestions for monthly Goddess art as the reward for one tier. But I'm finding that in between that monthly commitment I want—and need—to make more art, because the pump has been primed. I am very grateful, not just for the monetary support, but for the artistic support that is keeping me inspired.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Artemis Brauronia


New art of Artemis Brauronia, or Artemis as She was worshipped at Brauron in Greece. Done as the requested Goddess for the month of April over on my Patreon.

The worship of Artemis Brauronia centered on Artemis as protectress of the young and newborn. Her festival was held in the spring, and little girls in saffron-colored robes danced to Her, imitating bears. Those little girls were called arktoi, meaning 'bears'. I have shown Her here as one of Her own arktoi in a saffron robe, holding a brown bear cub. Behind Her are willow branches and an old craggy laurel tree, sprouting again with the new spring.

I tried drawing Her first with long hair whipped by the wind, but She just wouldn't have it. She just wanted short hair. I don't know if it's the shaggy bear thing, maybe. She has primroses in Her hair as they are woodland flowers that bloom early in spring.

I've put Her up as a print over on deviantArt.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

New Isis World Goddess Oracle Card


I recently redid the Isis card for the World Goddess Oracle. I was never quite happy with the original; besides being skewed from the astigmatism in my left eye (in a way that will probably drive only me crazy), I always thought She was a bit too passive in Her mourning. Isis should be more active, I think. That old Isis was just numb. Which is part of mourning, I know, but it didn't really work for me.

The new one has Isis in a pose after mourners depicted on ancient Egyptian tomb paintings, with disheveled hair and stylized tears on Her face.

I've put the new art up as a print at my deviantArt page, as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Patreon

And I just launched a Patreon, woo hoo. Go check it out!

There are of course various rewards for different tiers of support, starting at just $1 a month; I'll note that if even one of you signs up at the $3/month level, I will be obligated to make a piece of Goddess art a month, picked from your suggestion(s).

So go support your local* Goddess artist!

*I'm probably not, actually, local to most of you. But that's the beauty of the internet.

World Goddess Oracle

I have also, incidentally, been researching print-on-demand card companies, like the kind who can make Tarot cards to order, with an eye to a potential Kickstarter (or the like) to get the World Goddess Oracle published. Most of those don't allow for a book, which I have to admit is rather freeing, as that's what's been holding me up all this time. I now have no idea about a book, though perfectionist-me of course wouldn't want anyone else (i.e. someone who is not me) writing it.

I'm not sure how much I should say about the writing, I guess. I will say that a few years back I got a brutally negative response to a question about it (not here, don't worry, you people are all lovely) and it proved extremely discouraging and disheartening, such that it has caused me a good deal of anxiety (I may be especially sensitive—or sensitized—to that).

So far what I need from the print-on-demand card companies are both a) the correct card proportions or the ability to do custom sizes, and b) the willingness to print some artistic nudity, ideally up to and including the Sheila-na-Gig. I ain't leaving Her behind, dammit.

But a bit more research is in order.

Some Recent Commissions

This commission thing seems to be working out, so I've decided to keep taking them for now. I spent most of the holiday season painting Muses as I got a commission for all Nine. Here are a few of my favorites from that set.

First, Ourania, the Muse of astronomy, with Stargazer lilies in Her hair:


Melpomene, Muse of tragedy:


And of course my personal favorite Muse (well, duh), Thalia, Muse of comedy:


For another commission I did an Asherah I quite like, with the Tree of Life embroidered on Her tunic:


And for a different commission this Ereshkigal, which may be my favorite one so far:


I seem to be rather obsessed with that panneaux format (though not all commissions have been those proportions). And oddly enough, doing a bunch of pieces in an old familiar style that still has plenty yet to explore has given me lots of ideas for other styles. I wouldn't have thought that's how that works. But it's been inspirational, and is starting (I think) to build some momentum.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I'm Taking Commissions

Wow, okay, it's been more than a year since I've posted here. I've been going through some interesting artistic rethinking/reshuffling/reimaginings I guess, though I'm not in any place to talk about it yet; it's still at the chrysalis stage and needs some time in the dark still. Though if you're interested in peeking at what I've been up to, the link to my deviantArt page is to the left.

And apologies for breaking the silence with shilling, but I need to raise a bit of fast cash right now. Which means I am going to do something I pretty much never do: I’m going to take some commissions. Generally I don’t work well within the kind of structure making art on commission requires, as drawing Deities is a genuinely religious experience for me and I must be inspired, but I think with some limitations I’ll be able to make it work. So here’s how it’s going to go:

—The art will be in the style of my World Goddess Oracle cards, i.e. pen and ink on paper with full color watercolor. They won’t be actual cards, like with the name underneath, but they’ll be in that artistic style with the heavy outlines and the flat color (scroll down this page for some handy examples).

—Any (female) Goddess of your choosing. No male Gods or fictional characters for now, just Goddesses, from any culture you prefer. I may take some limited direction on your preferences (like if you want a dark-haired Bridget) but a lot of that isn’t really up to me and the art is going to do what it wants to do. I also reserve the right to decline a commission if I’m just not feeling it for whatever reason.

—I tend to naturally work pretty small, so the finished pieces will probably end up around fifteen square inches, for example three by five inches or four by four, though the exact proportions will of course depend on the dictates of the composition.

—I will send you the original physical art, not a digital copy; I may however use the image myself in the future in my portfolio or to sell on prints or t-shirts, &c. You may not take the image and profit from it yourself.

—Prices are $75.00 US (via paypal) plus shipping and handling, which in the US will probably run about another $5.00. I’m happy to ship internationally but I’ll need to look up postage and get back to you about it. Payment in full is required before I start work.

I have no idea how long I’ll be taking these commissions, so if you want something you should probably act pretty quickly! Get in touch with me at thalia@thaliatook.com if you’re interested.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Athena

And another, though not an Aztec.  I'd never quite liked the earlier version of Her, so I redid it with rather a different emphasis.  It's tricky to find female tricksters, after all, but Athena absolutely qualifies (if you don't believe me go read The Odyssey.)



I don't know if anyone's going to pick up on this but I hinted at Her more martial qualities with the bronze jewelry in the shape of spear points and shields (the pins on Her shoulders are specifically Spartan shield-shaped).

I quite like Her.

As usual, I've put up t-shirts and prints with this art on them, if you are interested.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Itzpapalotl

I guess I'm on an Aztec kick right now. Here's another new card, this time of the Aztec Goddess Itzpapalotl, Whose name means 'Obsidian Butterfly':


She's the Goddess of the sacrificial flint knife; She's got some skeletal aspects to Her and She is usually shown with claws. The face (and hand/arm) paint are directly from a depiction of Her in the Codex Borgia.

As usual, I've got prints here and t-shirts here with this design on them, if you're interested.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Xochiquetzal

Well, more art. (I'm not going to question it, thanks.) This time it's the Aztec Goddess of flowers, Xochiquetzal. Her mother was said to be Tlazolteotl, the Goddess of Filth (or Earth), and She had a variety of husbands, depending on the myth; in some She's said to be Tlaloc's wife.

I've shown Her here with (of course) many many flowers, all natives of Mexico; She's holding a bouquet of dahlias (the national flower of Mexico), has strings of fuchsia in Her hair, and is crowned with a garland of marigolds and petunias. The marigolds are somewhat after the garlands typically seen on Day of the Dead altars; She doesn't have anything to do with that holiday (that I know of), but it seemed appropriate. Of course just now I read that marigolds are especially sacred to Her; I didn't know that when I drew Her.

Her name is made up of two Nahuatl words, xochi meaning 'flower', and quetzal meaning 'precious feather', specifically of the bird which is also called the quetzal. She wears the green feathers of this bird as part of Her headdress.


I've put up some prints at my deviantArt gallery here; and some t-shirts over at Printfection here. Enjoy!