For week 17 of my Art Challenge 2015, I created this little beauty — Persephone, goddess of spring — for Arts Margaret River’s Visual Stories exhibition and competition, responding to the theme “Seasons”. (Not that it mattered — the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place-getters didn’t represent the theme! Ooopsyyyy!)
WHY I painted Persephone
Persephone was the daughter of the goddess Demeter, who was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld. Demeter, torn with grief, dropped everything to search for her daughter, including her duties as goddess of the harvest.
During this time of search and desperation, the world plunged into darkness. Nothing flourished, animals hibernated, and people became hungry.
Upon finding Persephone, Demeter negotiated her release, and Persephone returned to the light with her mother. With her return, the sun came out, crops grew again, flowers bloomed and the people stretched and turned their faces to the light.
But uh-oh… as part of the negotiation, it was agreed that Persephone would be freed on the condition she had eaten nothing while imprisoned. Ooops, was it an accident, or did she willingly eat some pomegranate seeds?
The upshot was that in eating the seeds she was obliged to return to the underworld for six months each year.
And thus, the seasons were born. When Persephone descends to the underworld, the world experiences winter. And when she emerges back into the light, the world embraces summer.
So, when presented with the theme “Seasons”, I thought Persephone was the perfect subject!
How I painted Persephone
We were limited to a size no bigger than 50cm square. As all the blank canvases in my studio are… ahem… BIGGER than that, I painted this onto a canvas sheet.
Anyhoo… As this video of the work-in-progress shows, I started by drawing my design onto the canvas with a Sharpy marker, painting an affirmation across the whole canvas with gesso (“I am light, bright and outta sight!“), and splashing a happy background behind her face and hair. Then … ah shoot … just watch the video and you’ll see the “how”.
Once she was finished and sealed, I mounted her onto a plywood backing, with help from the blokes at our local Mens Shed who showed me how! Love those guys to bits!
❤ Anita Revel
PS Wanna cheer me on in the Art Challenge of 2015? Or watch me fail (ha ha!)? Follow me on Facebook to stay in the loopity-loop.
PPS Wanna buy THis original art? You can!
Original: 29×39 cm, canvas mounted on ply, $250 including postage within Australia
Isn’t she purrrrty?
Or, order a print: