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Posts Tagged ‘midsummer’

My entry "People Watching"

My entry “People Watching”

Well shucks, I finally got first place in one of the art contests at Karl Siegfried’s Norse Mythology blog! This is particularly gratifying, as I’d been a bit frustrated trying to pull the different elements of this picture together. I really like the concept I hit on, so I’m glad that was able to come through! I’ll be putting a version up for sale on Redbubble soon (but right now I have to run to a baseball game…)

My idea here was to show a typical Scandinavian midsummer scene with the maypole (midsommarstång or majstång in Swedish, though I believe the “maj” in the latter doesn’t refer to the month “May”) up and people milling around, while in the foreground some of the Æsir and Vanir chill out under Yggdrasill, both viewing the human scene and constituting a mythic prototype for that scene. In particular I thought it would be fun to try to visualize the connection between mundane world and mythic world in a way I hadn’t seen before, with the connection between the two worlds fairly ambiguous here, but still clearly there with the roots of the world tree running through the human world like tree roots through an ant hill. I didn’t decide absolutely on what the roster of gods would be here, but going from right to left, I think maybe we’ve got Loki, Thor, Freyja (or Sif, originally I made her hair much more golden), and Freyr. But I’m open to other interpretations.

Karl’s blog is a great resource on Norse myth, in particular its reception among contemporary heathen practitioners, an area that tends to be overlooked in academia (well, not as much any more) despite being a pretty interesting phenomenon (and one in which the practitioners can actually tell us what it all means to them–my position is more like that of Snorri, or JRRT, a Christian writing with fascination in a pagan past but not participating). Karl also has a lot of great celebrity connections when it comes to the contemporary world of Norse-themed culture, as witnessed by the judges he gets for these contests, so his blog is definitely one to follow, whether you’re interested in Viking Metal or Marvel comics!

My previous contest entries are posted below–first is my third place winner from last years midsummer contest, and next is my runner up from the midwinter contest more recently. After that is my other relatively polished Norse mythology picture, though unfortunately it wasn’t really fitting for any of these contests…

Late Sun Tomte Fox Dragon copy

Idun and Loki FinalFinalFinal_edited-1

Volund and Hervor Smaller version Post Correction of Streak

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Late Sun Tomte Fox Dragon copy

The results are in. Spoiler alert: I GOT THIRD!!!  Pretty excited, considering the quality of first and second, and the fact that my entry was more tangentially related to Norse mythology (I didn’t have time to pull together a contest-specific entry, but thought maybe my recent Tomte and Friends Summer Sun pic would be appropriate enough).  Check out the winners for the different age groups (and awesome work by the other age groups!):

Kid Category

Teen Category

Adult Category

Sound like they are already gearing up for a Yule art contest, so get ready! Personally, I think it would be neat if people tried doing art in one of the Viking Age/Medieval Scandinavian styles, so I’ll try to (finally) get around to putting together a nice summary of Viking Age art for you all. Meanwhile, I know that Peter Foote’s The Viking Achievement has a good summary of Viking Age art, but it is out of print. Most larger introductions to the Vikings will probably have something on the art, but find one with pictures so that you understand what they are talking about!

My entry (which I first put up in this post) is part of what seems to be becoming a series, so keep coming back if you want to see the further adventures of Tomte and Friends. I cropped it to a wider size more suited for a mug from DeviantArt–I don’t know why, but I think the mugs are my favorite DA products…. though they do occasionally send you the wrong product, so watch out.

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