Watercolor on Arches cold-pressed 140 lbs, 11" x 15", September 2014.
Reference courtesy charligal-stock Gilded Queen ID
Great goddess of the Baltic pantheon, Saule is the sun itself in the mythology of Lithuania, Latvia and Prussia. She is an important goddess, so much so that one version of the world's creation myth holds that she formed the earth herself. She is a benevolent, much revered goddess, and is a protector of the unfortunate. She is said to manifestos a woman with golden hair and clothing, and a gold crown. The wheel is her emblem.
The solar goddess is reflected in other cultures, often of northern climates where the sun's warmth is seen as life-giving rather than harsh as in warmer cultures. There are parallels between Saule and the Nordic Sol, the German Sunna, and the Slavic Solntse, to name a few. The theme of the solar goddess lives on in part in varied myths and tales ranging from the Celtic Sul, the Greek sorceresses Circe and Medea, as well as Medusa, and even the fairy tale of Rapunzel.
This piece was somewhat of a departure for me in several ways. The beautiful reference photo is very high key (read: light and bright). I definitely lean toward lots of dramatic darks and strong contrasts in my paintings, so I knew this would be a bit outside of the box for me. More than once I had to remind myself not to go too dark! Also, I've always been drawn to lunar imagery - cool colors such as blues, purples and greys. Warm, solar colors? Not so much. But as mythology geek I wanted to pay tribute to the many solar goddesses who have been lost to the pages of history. So this seemed the perfect chance to try something different. Despite a few small mistakes, I love how it turned out.