Monday, November 14, 2016

Achvizr


This is new work of Achvizr, an Etruscan Goddess or personification of some positive quality. She is depicted on several engraved mirrors, and is often found in the company of Turan, the Goddess of love. The first part of Her name may be related to an Etruscan word for 'Doctor', and She may have a connection with healing or health. Accordingly I have put Her in the colors associated in modern times with doctors and the medical profession (and gave Her blood-drop earrings and pendants).

The original is in colored india inks, using white gouache as a resist, which has been all washed off. Basically the technique is to paint the gouache where the outlines don't go, so that the outlines end up being negative space, which gives them the quality of line work found in say a wood cut or linoleum block print. It's definitely been a learning curve with this technique (the first time I tried it I scrubbed the gouache off too forcefully and took off much of the ink itself, while ruining the surface of the paper!) but I think I may (fingers crossed!) have gotten the hang of it, somewhat. Anyway I'm really very pleased with the result this time.

I've put this up on prints at my deviantArt site as usual, here. I mean, not that anyone besides (Etruscologist) Nancy T. de Grummond and me (and now you) have even heard of Her!

More Li'l Greek Goddesses

I'm aiming to do the complete Greek alphabet of twenty-six letters, but for now, here are the new ones:


Psykhe or Psyche (Ψυχη), the Goddess or personification of the Soul, beloved of Eros.


Elpis (Ελπις), the Goddess of hope.


Khione (Χιονη), the Goddess of Snow, Whose father was Boreas, the North Wind.


Lethe (Ληθη), Goddess of Oblivion.


And Metis (Μητις), the Goddess of wisdom and cunning, the mother of Athena. I gave Her Her daughter's blue eyes.

They're all in colored india inks and are very small, only an inch and a half wide.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nantosuelta


This is new art of Nantosuelta, a continental Celtic Goddess, Whose distinctive attribute is a little house (or temple) on a pole. That's been taken to mean She's a Goddess of happy domesticity; She can also be shown with apples (or other fruit or perhaps loaves of bread) or something that might be a beehive, so that does sound about right. Her name means either 'Meandering Stream' or 'Sunlit Valley', though given She is not usually shown with watery imagery I'm guessing the latter is more likely. Though who knows; that's just going by the depictions of Her that have survived the ages, of necessity an incomplete picture.

She is also quite often shown with a raven, which gives Her a darker aspect, as the raven is as far as I know always a symbol of death (or battle) in Celtic thought.

She was associated with the Celtic hammer-God Sucellos, and was his cult-partner (or one of them, depending on the region). He was Himself heavily associated with the wine harvest (and the center of Their worship was the wine-growing regions of France and Germany, especially the Moselle River valley); I thought an autumnal harvest scene was appropriate, with a burgundy-colored shawl to make reference to wine.

It's in acrylics and is something like ten inches tall; I've put it up on deviantArt as a print as usual if anyone's so inclined.

Done for the October Goddess by Request over on my Patreon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Gorgyra


Another little ink piece using the brush for linework; this is Gorgyra, a Greek Underworld nymph. Her name means 'Drain', according to Aaron over at Theoi.com, but I wonder if it might be more like 'Rushing Whirlpool' or somesuch. Not that I know Greek, but 'gyre' comes from the Greek and means 'whirlpool', while there are a whole bunch of words in modern Greek that start with gorgo- or similar and refer to speed. Just a guess. At any rate it's more poetic than 'Drain'!

She was the wife of Akheron, the God of the Underworld river of the same name. She was also called Orphne, and may represent the darkness of the river Styx.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Selene and Amphitrite

And a couple more little Goddess works, this time experimenting with using a brush for outlines, rather than a pen. They are in colored inks, and are quite small, only an inch and half wide.


This one's Selene, Σεληνη in Greek, the Moon Goddess.


And this one is Amphitrite, Αμφιτριτη in the Greek, the Goddess of the Sea (or one of Them, anyway).

They're very fun, especially the Greek lettering!

Abundantia and Aeternitas

I've been obsessed with this odd technique lately, and though it's having its successes and failures I am determined to get something useful out of it. It uses white gouache as a resist, with ink painted over it. When the ink is dry the gouache (which doesn't stick to the paper) is washed off, leaving the ink behind, usually as outlines. I've seen it done with black ink as outline, but I thought I'd try it with colored inks in several layers of alternating gouache and ink. It's had, as I said, a couple failures so far, but I've got two little pieces that I think do work (the originals are about three inches in diameter).


The first one is the Roman Goddess of abundance, Abundantia, shown pouring out the riches of a cornucopia. I was trying to get away from outlines and just do some shapes. Not sure I succeeded. I'm really very fond of (and used to) outlines.


And the second (actually the earlier of the two) is Aeternitas, the Roman Goddess of eternity, with Her traditional imagery of the Sun and Moon (considered eternal), and the ouroboros, or snake biting its tail, symbolic of infinity.

The links go to the Obscure Goddess Online Directory entries for said Goddesses, and incidentally I recently converted all the OGOD stuff over to php. I also redesigned and streamlined things a bit there, which should make it easier to navigate and read all around.

Hathor of Gold


Hathor of Gold, Mistress of Turquoise, done for the September Goddess by Request on my Patreon. It's in metallic acrylic paint, with the color being the positive space, painted over the black outlines to get a certain line quality that I really like (like some prints). The original is nine by twelve inches, on canvas board, which I'm not sure I like all that well (too much texture for me). But I like the finished piece.

I've set it up as a print over at deviantArt as usual, if anyone's interested.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ceres



New art of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain; this was done as the monthly Goddess by Request for August over on my Patreon (hey, for $3 a month you can tell me what to draw!) This one is in colored pencil, in a bit of a different technique than my usual heavy thick blended layers. I was trying to keep it sort of ethereal, like indirect and reflected lighting on marble; I got it pretty close to what I wanted. I went with a sort of northern Italian look for Her because She is often described as a blonde to go with the golden wheat that is Hers. She is wearing the corona spicea or wheat crown, though only the outside layer of grain ears are wheat: the droopy light brown ones are spelt, and the inner pale ones barley. The crown also has dried poppy pods and ripe rapeseed, from which canola oil is made (mentioned by an ancient author as a crop to be blessed by Ceres).

It's always fun to compose for a tondo (the circular composition that was quite popular in the Renaissance); I shall definitely have to do more of them. The original is about eight and a half inches in diameter, in Prismacolor colored pencils on bristol board. And again, I've put this one up as a print over on my deviantArt page, in case anyone's interested.

Some L'il Roman Goddesses

Ceres, Venus, and Juno, to be exact:




They're not meant to be a series, but since I've made more than two now I suppose they technically are. I did them mostly as a lark (okay, as procrastination!) and they really are very small, just an inch and a half square. They're pen and ink with watercolor, and are meant to look sort of like Art Deco woodcuts. Not sure if I quite got the effect I was after, but I do rather like them.

Finished Hekate of the Crossroads


It took me a while to get back to this and tweak it (the file is giant and kind of a pain in the arse, honestly), but here's the colored version of it. I'm mostly happy with it, though it didn't want to scan as well as I'd like and I may still not be entirely happy with it, ha. But here it is.

It's in black colored pencil with acrylic inks over it for a deep dark layered look.

It was originally done as the Goddess by Request over on my Patreon in May.

And as usual, I'm offering a print of this over on deviantArt in case you need a copy of your very own.

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.