Elpis Hope on Fire Picture

faestock for the model


Phatpuppy for the background

Created in Picture-it 99 for a graphics tournament on the forum for the MMORPG Fallensword

Thought for anyone curious about what exactly was going through my mind when I made my piece that I'd take some time and explain.

Elpis is a little obsure eh. Lets see if I can explain what all went into the piece, why it is as it is. I had a hard time thinking of what to choose for an emotion, until "Hope on Fire" by Vienna Teng popped up on my playlist. I then listened to the song, on repeat, as I formulated, found my stocks, and composed the piece. It reminded me of the Greek myths of Prometheus' theft of fire, and Zeus' reckoning of man's punishment - the box he gave with all of the ills in life, which he gave to Pandora who cursed with curiosity opened the box despite warnings and bestowed mankind with all sorts of ills.

Elpis is the spirit or deity of hope in Greek mythology. Found to be the only such spirit to stay in Pandora's box, man's only succor for the other trials released from the box. She is most often depicted as a young woman carrying or surrounded by flowers. So there we have it, the basic concept of flowers in the foregound, and female figure in brief garment.

In the mythology, 'hope' is a double edged sword. Not only is it hope as we know it, a boon, but also suffering and anticipation by extension of that. Thus, the figure needed a somewhat introspective expression, and is turned aside from looking directly to the dove (faith and hope), as if starting to question hope. The dove of course, a traditional and universal symbol of hope, is ablaze with light, and caught in a shaft of light penetrating to brighten lit, and yet slight shadowed glade.

In the foreground, the flowers:

Hyacinth for rashness - hope stayed behind (so this is lit and in front of her, she seems to be looking down at it, as if looking at it in reflection at the rashness of the other entities that rushed out of the box.) Furthermore, these are purple hyacinth, so also symbolic of sorrow, ie the sorrows that the other entities bestowed upon man.

Delphinium for courage, presumption and boldness (for daring to aid man in his despair). Also big-heartedness in that she stayed behind and grants relief and her very essence, hope, to mankind.

Black-eyed Susans for encouragement. Sometimes to hope you need to be encouraged to do so against the odds. Yet again, this is a brighter foregrounded display of flowers, this time around the foot. The placement to imply that if she stood, she'd be stepping into that encouragement and embracing it.

Anemone - anticipation, these are fuzzy to downplay the darker side of hope, as well as to lessen the 'male' influence of the piece as they myth of Adonis includes their creation from his blood.

Blue Irises - again, faith and hope springing forth from the earth itself.

Color Psychology:

Yellows, to warm the piece, to draw in the sense of heartwarming that fresh hope can imbue.

Oranges, in the upper regions for encouragement and the joy of hope realized. The darker tones in misc. notes in the lower portions for the desire and thirst for action to achieve those hopes.

Reds, the hair color - for energy in the piece, A dark red, for willpower, courage and the passion that hope can be driven by.

Greens, the strong and constant use of green carries with it the burden of hope, as seen in heraldry.

White, the dove, and the little motes of pollen caught and illuminated in the shaft of light are for faith, an aspect of hope.

And finally, the bluish purple shift that Elpis is wearing. The blue tones are for tranquility. The purple for magic and ambition.

Hope truly has a magic of its very own as an emotion. When it is strong enough it allows us to reach for our dreams, our desires. It reminds us that if we are strong enough and have faith in ourselves, and in others and have the courage to preserve in the face of setbacks we can reach our goals. If we can see that one spark of hope, like a shaft of light sneaking down through the trees in a gloaming forest when all seems lost then we can achieve anything. This is the essence of being a part of the human race and why hope has so much power as an emotion. So much so that it is truly a driving force throughout history.
Continue Reading: Elpis