bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: art

Month for Loki, First: Prayer

Welcome to the first day of July!*

So here I am again, facing another July with an ever-evolving devotional practice that includes Loki… and Odin.

To that end, a week or so ago, I ordered a pair of gorgeous prayer cards from Wyrd Curiosities on Etsy so you can imagine my delight when they were delivered this morning — just in time for the first of the month:

prayercardinsert

((left): Loki prayer card, artwork by Grace Palmer; (center) Loki note card, artwork by W. McMillan; (right) Odin prayer card, artwork also by W. McMillan)

 

While Wyrd Curiosities sells several different prayer cards for Loki, I’d chosen this particular one mostly because it features Grace Palmer’s beautiful artwork as well as including one of my favorite prayers to Loki, written by F. Arismendi:

lokiprayercardprayer

Lovely.

As well, I was delighted to see that the two cards I’d purchased were enclosed within a gorgeous notecard created by Dionysian Artist, featuring another stunning portrayal of Loki by Wayne McMillan…so that was an unexpected but pleasant surprise ❤

~~~

*As you may know, many Lokeans around the country celebrate the month of July by writing;  that’s 30 days of devotional posts for Loki.

 

 

Can’t take my eyes off You…

LokebyStripedSmokerDA

The fire god says hello

(Loke-spam #2 by Striped Smoker on DeviantArt.)

Month for Loki, Day 2: Smile.

 

 

SceithAilm on DeviantArt has done it again:

 

the_man_with_the_tattered_smile_by_sceithailm-d8b6wet (1)

 

 

The Man with the Tattered Smile.

I love this rendition of Loki; the subtle tattoos, the jingle bells, the gorgeous braiding…!

Honestly I don’t think that she has ever drawn anything that I haven’t liked.

Process, and projects.

So, as I mentioned a post or two ago, I have been working on several projects.

I have been making jewelry that mostly consists of beadwork and wire-wrapping.

I began last summer making necklaces and ankle bracelets, simply because I found that the process has become quite a meditative and calming activity for me.

I’ve made several pieces now, mostly for myself, as devotional jewelry, because most of the devotional jewelry that I’d purchased from retail was beginning to fall apart.

As well, I have been wearing an ankle bracelet 24/7 * for several years now, and I have found through experience that a lot of ankle bracelets (whether purchased retail or hand made by me) aren’t sturdy enough for such constant wear…or at least, the clasps aren’t.  I’m still trying to work out a means of clasp attachment – or a clasp/attachment combination – that will hold for longer than four months.  I’m getting there.

On the other hand, I switch out my necklaces a lot more often.  I have made several pieces each that are dedicated to specific Gods, and so I often wear those necklaces for shorter periods of time.  I might just phase out some of my older (retail purchased) pieces in favor of wearing exclusively handmade ones.

And, of course, there are times when I make something quick, thinking that I might wear it, and then I get the distinct impression that Someone likes it so much that I’ll end up just leaving it on Their altar…

Laufeynecklace

 

…as is the case here.

The beading cord is recycled hemp, which I’m not familiar working with, and thus the attachment point for this toggle clasp is probably not sturdy enough for wearing for any length of time anyway.

But I have come up with other ideas to expand upon this design, as I really love the earth-toned color scheme.

 

*Loki seems to appreciate that I have been wearing an ankle bracelet which has a design/color scheme that honors Him and His families.

~~~

I’ve also been working on an embroidery project that features all the Futhark runes.

When it is finished, I will be sure to post a picture of it, as it has taken me a while.  Certain runes seem to be a lot more difficult for me to stitch than others, and my perfectionist tendencies aren’t serving me so well in that department.

But as it is with beading, I find embroidery a very satisfying and meditative devotional activity.  I am guessing that there might not be too many people in this world who enjoy embroidering their altar cloths as much as I do, but I enjoy it very much.

I probably should switch out my altar cloths more often, or likewise, create more layers on the altars to showcase the ones I have finished.

I usually have one to three unfinished cloths at any given time, so I definitely have an altar cloth embroidery addiction, at the very least.  Ahem.

~~~

And finally, drawing.

I was puttering around DeviantArt the other day, and I realized that it has now been 3 years that I have had an account there, and yet I have never submitted any artwork.  Still.

(Still, a year or more after saying that I would.)

So, I was having a conversation – no, more like an argument, honestly – with an artist friend of mine yesterday.  In the course of our heated discussion, my artist-friend gave me all kinds of grief in regards to my obvious procrastination/aversion towards actually posting artwork, which led to his calling me out in his frustration, in a very Loki-esque manner:

You know what, Heathir?  

You need to stop talking about doing, and…f***ing DO.  

You need to either shit or get off the pot.

And it was a small thing, such a small thing, my not posting any artwork, you know.

I don’t know what I have been waiting for these past three years.  I’ve never had any excuse whatsoever not to post artwork…but I kept hemming and hawing, anyway.

And there was absolutely no reason to be afraid.

So, as soon as I got off the phone with him, I went to DeviantArt, scanned, and finally posted some artwork.

And the more that I scanned, the more that I wished that I’d keep my artwork in one place in a more organized fashion.

I scanned six pages from my sketch-book.  I started to wonder where I’d put some of the other sketches that I had done last summer.  I began looking through my notebooks, looking specifically for my vulture sketches, and all those face and figure studies that I did last month.

I couldn’t find a lot of what I was thinking to post on DeviantArt because I have been so disorganized in storing my artwork.  *sigh*

But, there’s actually artwork there now.

(There should be more, but I learned that my scanner doesn’t pick up my graphite sketches as well as I would have liked.  I’ll take that as a sign that I need to draw more confidently, ie; press down a little harder with the pencils, so the scanner will pick up the lines.)

 

In related news, I did a few more face studies, and one figure study yesterday in preparation for a t-shirt silkscreen project that I have been putting together:

Figure study 1

 

(Figure study #1: I am pleased with the leanness of the body, but I’m not as pleased with the face as much.  The eyes are fair to good (right eye is clear, left is not because of erasures), and I like the slightly raised eyebrow, but the mouth, nose, and facial hair need work.  And I realize that the hair on the head is all wrong.)

Face Study 1

(Face study #1: I love the hair, and even though it’s shorter than intended, I like the flow.  I like the left eye; too many erasures are muddying up the right eye, but the eye placement looks good to me.  The nose seems wrong somehow, and the mouth seems a bit too wide/too stiff of an expression.  Overall, He looks older than I intended, as well.)

Face Study 2

(Face Study #2: Facial feature placement seems good, but He still looks older than I intended.  Nose is better, and mouth is better.  Tried to keep the raised eyebrow.)

Face Study 3

(Face Study #3: Most of the time, I look at several photos of actual people and study their faces, and practice drawing the parts of the face several times before incorporating the details of several faces while I’m drawing one face.  This was a total freehand in that this face came together all at once, rather than incorporating the various details of several faces from studying photos.  This is the last, and oddly enough, the most simple face of the three that I drew.  I know that this one still needs work, but I really like that He doesn’t look so…middle-aged as He did in the other ones. )

 

Hail Loki, Fair of Face ❤

~~~

File under: A few of my favorite things.

I swear to Gods, I’m not a wreck all of the time.

But lately, one might think so, judging by how often I have chosen to write posts that detail my latest struggles.

So, in an effort to be more positive, I wanted to post something that makes me happy.

 

This is one of my Loki altars:

cropaltarpicMay7

This altar happens to be the first thing that I see every morning and the last thing that I see every night.  And, as you might imagine, it holds several devotional items that have come to have a lot of meaning for me lately.

First, there is the very large picture of Himself, a special commission that I had done (for my 43rd birthday) by talented Pagan artist, Kimberly Williams.   While this picture might not be everyone’s cup of tea – as some folks are of the opinion that He has a frighteningly voracious grin – but I find His grin tremendously comforting, if not downright friendly at the end of a particularly trying day.

Secondly, there are those lovely – and powerful! -Loki prayer beads purchased from Fiberwytch on Etsy.   I can’t say enough how much I love and heartily recommend Beth Lynch’s work.   The beads often reflect light with a lot of fire and flash whenever I use them, and the hematite and jackfruit beads are positively silky to the touch. The sleepy fox charm, on the other hand, comes across to me as more adorable than sneaky, and that’s just fine with me.

Overall, these prayer beads are a joy to handle and use.  I pack them whenever I will be away from home overnight.

Thirdly, is my latest purchase -also from Fiberwytch – a tinned candle with a wooden wick for Loki that is so strongly scented of espresso that my family often insists that I must be brewing a bottomless pot of fresh coffee in the bedroom. (Though I would imagine that He wouldn’t mind that one bit.)  As well, the wooden wick does crackle like a miniature bonfire – which also sounds and smells woodsy and wonderful – creating the perfect atmosphere for Lokean meditations.

And so there you have it -three of my favorite devotional items made by two talented Pagan artisans – both of whom I would highly recommend.

~~~

Perhaps tomorrow, I will post some of my own personal artwork, crafts, and offerings that I have been making to the Gods

 

 

….as well as the beginnings of my latest long-term fun project that I’m hoping to expand upon this summer.

 

 

 

Hela

I am getting the nudge to create two new altars.

One of them is going to be for various things that I am doing regarding ancestors, and perhaps other aspects of death-work, so I ordered a lovely ritual cord from Beth at Fiberwytch on Etsy.

It arrived in the mail the other day, and I cannot say enough how lovely it is.

(While I’m not usually one who is able to sense such things, I will admit that as soon as I held it in my hands, I could sense that this cord was definitely created with skill and powerful intent.  The essential oils that she used creating it also seemed to strike me as… incredibly mentally stimulating.   She does wonderful work.)

So I set to work on creating the altar space, and I went looking for some other helpful objects.

Like artwork.

You see, I like to have at least one piece of artwork on each of my altars to serve as a focal point for myself, since I sometimes need something to look at in order to focus.

 

But I was having difficulty finding any artwork of Hela that I liked.

 

 

And then this morning, as it sometimes happens, I had a short but rather intense dream…about Hela.

 

As soon as I awoke this morning, I felt the urgent need to sketch Her myself:

 

Hela

 

I’m not certain if I really want to fully color it, though I wanted to remember the sharp yellow color of that eye, as I could not seem to bring myself to look away from it.

That seemed to be the focal point of Her face in the dream, unfortunately, and I felt as if I was being rude for staring.

The yellow isn’t well-conveyed here as I realized too late how muddied it would get in being smudged beside the charcoal pencil lines.

 

Month for Loki, Day 14: Art…and anxiety.

My only anxiety is what I can do… Could I not be of use and good for something?….This world only concerns me insofar as I feel a certain debt and duty towards it and out of gratitude want to leave some souvenir in the shape of drawings or pictures…to express sincere human feeling.  

                                                                                           – Vincent Van Gogh

~~~

This past month, I’ve been doing a lot of drawing.

I’ve still yet to put any of my artwork on DeviantArt, but I’ve got quite a stack now, so stay tuned.

For one thing, I’ve been getting a lot of practice drawing facial expressions – including lots of noses.  (I’m getting better at drawing noses, so that’s a plus.)

Such as it is, I’m really pleased with yesterday’s sketch – which came together relatively quickly –  but I have to do some clean-up on it, or otherwise I’d be posting it.

~~~

I had just been saying to a dear friend that I very rarely draw things directly out of my head, as I often use photos or at the very least, I’ll do a few body/face/positioning studies before I actually draw anything.  Within about twenty minutes from ending the conversation – and having not much intent to draw anything moments before – I found myself absentmindedly sketching a face on my drawing pad.

And next thing I know, a whole scene started quickly to come together, and I sketched a woman’s face, eyes nose, mouth…and then, her shoulders and torso, and then…sketched the outlines of a face of a man… his shoulders, chest, and torso…and soon —

I realized that I had drawn a pretty detailed rendition of a young man with long hair and a goatee, lying with his head resting casually in the woman’s lap. The woman is looking downward, smiling at him, and her hand rests lightly on his bare chest.  He is looking up at her, with a playful grin, and he is winking at her.

I could hardly believe that the sketch came together so quickly, so smoothly, with so few erasures/corrections — all within about twenty minutes of first putting pencil to paper.

(If I had sat down with the focused intent to draw such a scene, my usual attempts would be made slowly, carefully, and fraught with erasures as I stress over perfecting the jawline, or re-drawing the nose for the third time, or what-have-you, and that whole process would usually take me hours.)

 

So you might imagine how surreal it felt to suddenly find myself drawing …

 

And everything

— their facial expressions, the positions of their bodies —

just seemed to flow effortlessly from the pencil to the paper, almost without stopping, and entirely without much intent on my part

within the span of 20 minutes.

 

~~~

Later on, while making dinner, I was talking to an artist friend of mine, and he asked me how my sketching had been going.

I excitedly mentioned how easy things had been that day while I was sketching, and he remarked that it seemed supernatural compared to my usual anxious plod-through.

 

Hey, d’you think that it means this thing was divinely inspired? I laughed.

I dunno, but I love it when sketching’s like that, he responded.  It may not be divine, but it sure is magic.

 

Indeed.

 

~~~

Hail Loki ❤

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 8: Drawing

MsAandMrL

 

I thought that some of you might like to see a sketch that I’ve been working on of Ms. A and Loki

 

I really like this so far, but Somebody wants it colored.

 

And then there is the other option – another sketch that involves Them kissing that I tortured myself with in MS Paint this afternoon.

Eh.

 

But I will say this:  I like how Their noses came out, anyway, here.

 

Month for Loki, Day 7: I love Your face.

Here are some of my favorite images of Loki.

 

 

Loki_and_Alberich_by_bluefooted

This is Loki and Alberich by bluefooted on DeviantART.

I really love that only the orange spectrum is used here, and I love the sweet youthfulness of His face.

~~~~

 das_rheingold_by_sceithailm-d7eva42

Here is the most amazing piece from Sceithailm

There is so much that I love about this piece:

 His elegant horns,

the luscious flush of His skin,

the gnarled shadow-trees

that effortlessly bleed into fur and drapery

… and those sorely pink knees of His.

It makes me wonder what kind of shamanic magic He has been working here.

There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground…(indeed!)

~~~

lhar_3_majkl_1

This one is a book-cover, drawn by Piotr Cielinski, for a Polish series of novels that was titled The Liar.

I just like that smile, the good luck charms (as if Himself needed such things), and the runes on both weapon and its silencer.

Hell, I just like the concept of Himself as some deranged yet fun-loving Amish mercenary.

What’s not to love?

~~~

And lastly, in a similar vein, here’s one of my most recent favorites:

surprise__motherf_cker__by_s_anita_rium-d5kk44h

This is Loki from another DA artist – Red_Szajn – titled aptly Surprise, motherf_cker!

from that same Jakub Cwiek series, Klamca (The Liar).

I do wish that this sketch was available for purchase.

I’d hang this in my bathroom, or some similarly random area, just for fun.

Why?

( Because I believe that it would seem that Loki is exactly the sort of entity that would approve of such surprises — also referred to His version of a ‘good idea’  –exactly at that moment when one is either unsuspecting, alone, or both — and therefore, a captive audience.)

I mean, how would I know?

I’m just sayin’.

~~~

Hail Loki, Fair of Face ❤

Loki and Sigyn image

This is the Carl Gebhardt print, Loki and Sigyn, 1896.

It hangs over the bed in my bedroom.