Tag Archives: Creative Everyday

Amaterasu

AmaterasuMy current series of works are inspired by various goddesses.  With each goddess, I’m researching their mythology and symbolism.  Then I’m devising a list of photo shoot ideas to explore with local models and a talented team that includes my husband, Brian, who photographs the shoot.

For this most recent Asian Goddess shoot, we had the  talented and beautiful local runway model, Mai Dang. She brought a full suitcase of various traditional Asian outfits.  Prior to the shoot, I had a brainstorming session with our hair/make-up artist,  Georgette Khaziran of Verdecia Salon, who came up with a complete list of hair styles and make-up combinations that would complement each goddess.

We also had our two friends, Michael and George, on site that provided tech support.  In addition, George was able to put his martial arts training to work by demonstrating marital art poses and forms for the model during the weapon shots that ranged from holding swords of all sizes and lengths to daggers and even an axe!

For my first Asian goddess painting I decided to paint Amaterasu, who is known in Japanese mythology as a sun goddess and the most important Shinto deity.  Her full name is Amaterasu-o-mi-kami (天照大神) which means “glorious goddess who shines in the heavens.”

In this soft pastel painting, I illustrated some of her symbols including the rising sun disc, which is also shown on the Japanese Flag. The sword or blade represents might and honor.  I also incorporated Japanese Kanji characters which, when translated into English, reads as “The Goddess of Sun”.

The goddess Amaterasu called out to me because of her diverse character.  As a sun goddess, she oversees the Japanese fields of rice.  She was also known as an accomplished weaver of stunning satins, silks, and brocades.  And for those of you interested in reading more about the myths written about Amaterasu, you can find more information at Goddess Gift, a site dedicated to “celebrate, to nurture, and to share understandings of the goddess in every woman.”

Her inner strength is part of her beauty, and thus, I thought it appropriate to include this work in this week’s theme at Illustration Friday, “Strong”.

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The Goddess Freya

freya

Freya is a Norse maiden goddess of love, beauty, fertility, war, wealth, divination and magic.   Traditionally, she is captured in warrior poses with a Viking helmet  and her sword.  Other folklore imagery illustrates Freya in her cloak of bird wings.

For this soft pastel painting, I’ve captured her transformational fairy powers with dragonfly wings that create the wave effect of  northern lights when in flight.

To see more fairy inspired creations, check out this week’s Created Byhand Challenge.

UPDATE:

Here is a photogtaph of the work in progress and the photographic reference Natalie was using to create Freya.  She said it was about 80% done at this point.  -Brian


natalie-painting-2009-07-18-011-goddess-freya

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Traveling Art bag

Dream

I started this pastel sketch last Friday at Nola Cafe while listening to all the entertainment for the night, and just had a few finishing touches that I did on Sunday at home with my pastel pencil.  So next time, I’m taking my traveling pastel bag so I have all the essential supplies to finish a piece:

  • Soft Pastels: I prefer the cheap ones made by Loew Cornell
  • Soft Pastel pencils: black ones are a must!
  • Fan Brush: helps brush away unwanted pastel dust (also good for correcting mistakes)
  • Sketchbooks: always bring more than one for anyone that wants to sketch with me
  • Canvas Rug: a huge piece of canvas with durable hard black plastic on the other side so I can sketch anywhere and clean up is a snap!
  • Baby Wipes: makes clean up easy and eliminates the need to go to the restroom to watch my hands
  • Fixative Spray: it’s what binds all the pastel dust together so it can be enjoyed for years to come

Now the inspiration for this piece came from this month’s theme, Dream, over on Creative Everyday, and Arty Girlz’s weekly challenge, Butterflies.  Both of which, always have great art challenges.  So go be inspired with the New Moon and create something…

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