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!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vanth

This is the other piece I did earlier, another of that deck I'm now calling the World Goddess Oracle. It's of Vanth, an Etruscan underworld Goddess Who was often depicted on tombs and sarcophagi carrying a torch to help guide the souls of the dead. Because that's what Her presence signified, that someone's death was near. She is, however, a neutral force. She does not bring death, I don't think, but is there to guide the spirit on its new journey.

Here she is:



I've depicted Her in a very typical pose from one of the Etruscan tombs, where She is shown on one side of a door.

Isaac

I suppose I should let everyone here know that Sir Isaac Mewton has died, since I mentioned it earlier. He died the Monday before last, in the early morning. He had been up and walking around as late as that Friday, but declined over the weekend.

He was a good, good, kitty.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Art

Funny enough with everything going on I've got a couple pieces of art done. I have no idea what's going on or what that means, but they are two more Goddesses for the World Goddess Oracle (née the Goddess Oracle Deck). Actually there are three now, but I haven't scanned in the third, because with the new (to me) computer and the issues it has with not recognizing the scanner it's this huge big deal of swapping cables and restarting to the old computer that will do Classic to scan something so I'll wait till I'm doing a couple at a time. Anyway.

I redid Chalchiuhtlicue, the Aztec Goddess of water; I was never really happy with the original, and like the new one much better.  Aztec Goddesses just kind of aren't the fluffy love and light kinds, you know?

She's still got hair after the way the Aztecs drew water in the codices, with seashells and water droplets; Her dress is after a pattern from a statue which I've colored in to look sort of like the mosaics the Aztecs made out of bits of turquoise, which was sacred to Her for its blue watery color.  Also the tassels are part of Her usual iconography, though they kind of ended up with seashells on top, though I'm not sure what they are originally supposed to be.  It works, though.

The second one (well, actually the one I did first) is Yhi, an Australian sun Goddess Who was said to have created all the living creatures.   As she's Australian I always figured She was a bit of a quirky sort Who loves pockets; after all She created all those marsupials as well as the platypus.  Here She is, Her hair sunbleached, rising over the Outback, with white lines painted on Her body like sun-rays:

Both of them are available as prints over at my deviantArt gallery, here for Chalchiuhtlicue and here for Yhi.  Enjoy!

Things

Wow, it's been almost a year since I've posted here. I'm not sure what to say.

It hasn't been busy, so much, at least not on a mundane level; on the level of processing things though I suppose it has been very busy.

And recently, in the past couple of weeks, some things have happened.

The first is that my father has died. He was ninety and had been failing for a long time; he had been in a nursing home since 2006, after a stroke that took away most of his mind. As it was he had had some dementia prior. It was not a surprise, really, his death. Also, before the stroke and the dementia he was an abusive bastard, a hoarder and a control freak who did his very very best to make sure the people around him were as miserable as possible. That sounds harsh I'm sure, but it's true. And I will speak the truth about this.

So I'm not in mourning, not for him. I am in fact quite relieved, and the day after his death I recognized that what I was feeling was in fact freedom, for one of the first times in my life.

But then there's the other thing that has happened, and it is agonizing to watch and to deal with.

One of the cats (there are eight here these days) was looking a bit under the weather a couple weeks ago. For some reason, even though he didn't look that bad it felt urgent, so I brought him to the emergency vet, because they were the only ones open on the Fourth of July.

Turns out Sir Isaac Mewton has a very large mass or tumor in his abdomen.

The local ultrasound person who makes the rounds with the vets here was out of town, on vacation at the time; but the emergency vet (and a couple days later my usual vet) said it's not good. They took x-rays, and even though that doesn't tell as much as an ultrasound would, like for example what it is or what it's growing from, like the stomach, liver, or pancreas, still they could tell it's not good. Even with an ultrasound and knowing what it is, chances aren't good it's something surgery could fix.

So my choices are to track down an ultrasound and based on that decide on surgery, which means subjecting him to another vet ride and procedure and then just possibly surgery. But probably not. Odds are an ultrasound wouldn't tell me anything any better. And he's an oldish cat, twelve years old now. Not very old, but old enough that putting him through major surgery, especially given that he's been sick a while and so weaker than usual, would be a big deal. But most likely surgery wouldn't help.

Or basically let him die, while making him as comfortable as I can, and when the time comes and his suffering is too much, have him put down.

I have sort of opted for the latter. I have no idea if this is the right decision. I especially can't tell if I'm just being lazy or in denial; it's certainly easier to do nothing than something. Though the thought of putting him through a bunch more tests, which he will hate, keeps coming up. I don't want to do that to him. The money, oddly enough, is there; but if I opted for surgery it would still be something like several thousand dollars spent on something that's not likely to work.

If he were a human, then yes, you take what chance you can; also if he were a human he'd probably be the one deciding this, not me. So it's hard.

I'll also have to figure out, probably sometime soon, where that line of too much suffering is. I have no idea where that is. Right now, though he has more or less stopped eating, he is still fairly perky and alert, and can still follow me downstairs to the kitchen to lick at a little baby food. He's still reacting happily to catnip. It's so hard to tell; cats in particular don't show it when they're in pain. When Ratty had a broken hip, such that the head of his femur was out of the socket, when the vet tried to listen to his heartbeat she couldn't, because he was purring too loudly. (Ratty may not be the brightest bulb, but still, he's a happy guy just by default, pain or no pain.) So I don't know.

I really don't know.