Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Month: March 2019 Page 1 of 2

11 Empowering Goddesses

The Artdog Image of Interest

I found an infographic that seemed appropriate for rounding out my collection of Women’s History Month miscellania: a collection of Eleven Empowering Goddesses, from Invaluable’s “In Good Taste” blog. The article that goes along with it is quite informative, too.

Whether you choose to worship these deities or simply find them interesting, even inspiring symbols of some of the strengths found within women, I hope you’ll enjoy the infographic.

This is an infographic titled "ll Empowering Goddesses to invoke creativity and passion." The subtitle reads, "These inspiring goddesses reflect the power & perspective necessary to tackle any obstacle that shields you from creative achievements."
The following material includes pictures of each goddess with some information about her.
Saraswati, Hindu. Goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom, and learning. Symbols and features: lotus or peacock, white sari, vina (musical instrument), crescent moon, four arms. Everyday Wisdom: Call up on her to free you of lethargy and ignorance, and restore a flow of wisdom within your career, artistic ventures, or daily life.
Hera, Greek. Goddess of: Marriage, life, and love, "Queen of the Gods." Symbols and features: scepter, diadem, pomegranate. Everyday wisdom: Overcome hardships and prove to yourself that you have the ability to take back control and tell your own story.
Seshat, Egyptian. Goddess of: wisdom, knowledge, and writing. Symbols and features: reed pen, palm stem, papyrus scroll, 7-pointed star, leopard skin robe. Everyday wisdom: Draw inspiration from Seshat when you're hitting a creative or writing block, as this patroness of writing pioneered many artistic endeavors.
Diana, Roman. Goddess of: the hunt, the moon, and nature. Symbols and features: bow and arrow, hunting dog, crescent moon. Everyday wisdom: Grasp strength from Diana's hunting spirit to advocate for your own dreams.
Hathor, Egyptian. Goddess of: joy, music, and motherhood. Symbols and features: sistrum (musical instrument), Ankh, horns and sun disk, blue lotus, cow. Everyday wisdom: rekindle your physical and psychological well-being and restore joy.
Kuan Yin (Guanyin), Buddhist. Goddess of: compassion. Symbols and features: white lotus, willow branch, vase, dove, book or scroll of prayers, rosary, sweet cakes. Everyday wisdom: Dedicated to relieving suffering in the world, Kuan Yin can embolden in times of fear. Draw confidence from her powers to step out of your comfort zone.
Freya (Freyja), Norse. Goddess of: Love and fertility. Symbols and features: Viking helmet, sword, cloak of falcon feathers. Everyday wisdom: Freya's fierceness and passion for education will inspire you to pursue your own passions in life, love, and the arts.
Athena, Greek. Goddess of: wisdm, courage, the arts, and skill. Symbols and features: owl, olive tree, snake, armor. Everyday wisdom: Call upon Athena to restore your poise and courage. As a lover of the arts, this important goddess can help you regain focus and utilize your surroundings to succeed.
Brigid, Celtic. Goddess of: fire, poetry, healing, childbirth, and unity. Symbols and features: fire, lambs, entwined serpents, St. Brigid's cross. Everyday wisdom: Brigid's healing capabilities may inspire you to express yourself through a creative outlet, especially poetry (her strong suit).
Inanna, Sumerian. Goddess of: love and procreation; "Queen of Heaven." Symbols and features: hook-shaped twisted knot of reeds, rosette, lions, doves. Everyday wisdom: Inanna's journey to the underworld was harrowing, but it parallels many everyday struggles. Call upon her courage and prowess to overcome barriers in your own life.
Nike, Greek. Goddess of: victory. Symbols and features: shield, wings, laurel wreath, palm branch. Everyday wisdom: Representing triumph and victory, Nike's strength will guide you to successfully execute even the loftiest of goals. At the bottom of the infographic is the sponsoring organization's name: Invaluable.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Invaluable’s “In Good Taste” blog, for this infographic.

How will women bring governmental change?

Once I started looking for inspirational thoughts from women about women and their place in the world, my problem quickly became deciding which ones I thought were most important to highlight in my remaining time and space. 

This graphic has a black background, with white and yellow letters reversed out of it. On the right is a photo of Susan B. Anthony. on the left and in the center are her words: "The true republic: men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less."

Today’s post features three quote-images from strong women (two from the past, one contemporary) whose names we should recognize. It might be well to consider their words as our dialogue unfolds in the changing political atmosphere of post-2018-midterms USA.

This graphic has a deep blue background with white lettering reversed out of it, and a color photo of Michelle Obama on the right side. Her words say, "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens."

Unfortunately, a focus on diversity, whether in gender/identity, race, or ethnicity, seems to be increasingly concentrated within one particular partisan “corral. 

That is, in itself, a problem. If we start assuming that only Democrats elect women (a severe overgeneralization, but it’s a growing perception), what good does that do for the overall diversity of debate and philosophy of governance?

In this graphic the words of the late Representative Bella Abzug are reversed in white out of a black background, with a black-and-white photo of Abzug on the left. She said, "Women will not simply be mainstreamed into the polluted stream. Women are changing the stream, making it clean and green and safe for all--every gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, age, and ability."

It remains to be seen how much an influx of women will change the tenor and focus of politics, whether in the aspirational directions Abzug envisioned or in other ways

As far as I’m aware, only Nevada’s legislature actually mirrors the demographics of the general population, and their new legislative session just opened a month ago. This is early days to see how they’ll prioritize. Another state legislature to watch is that of Colorado

Change may be afoot, but it’s incremental. And change, by its very nature, is full of surprises.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Goalcast, for the image featuring Susan B. Anthony and her words; to Black Women’s Journal for the Michelle Obama quote-image; and to the ever-invaluable AZ Quotes, for the Bella Abzug quote-image. I deeply appreciate all three!

Three voices from three centuries make an important point

The Artdog Quotes of the Week

Women’s History Month is coming to an end soon. Perhaps it’s time to make some evaluations, based on the words of strong women from history. 

Do you feel well-represented?

This is a quote-image combination graphic that features a black-and-white engraving of a Gilbert Stuart portrait of influential American political thinker Abigail Adams, along with some of the words she wrote: "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation."

How do you think today’s political parties measure up, by this standard?

This quote-image features a black-and-white photo of the American women's suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony, and her words: "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party who ignores her sex."

How well do you think our international agreements align with this principle?

This quote-image features a color photograph of the contemporary Afghan political leader and feminist Fawzia Koofi, along with her words: "women's rights must not be the sacrifice by which peace is achieved."

These are three different women from three different time periods. But each reminds us that women matter enormously

I do not believe we can settle for having our needs left unmet in the name of “not the right time,” “strategic compromise,” or some imagined “greater good” that does not include good for us. 

But each reminds us that women matter enormously. I do not believe we can settle for having our needs left unmet in the name of “not the right time,” “strategic compromise,” or some imagined “greater good” that does not include good for us. 

How much of that have you seen in your own life?

IMAGES: Many thanks to AZ Quotes, for the words of Abigail Adams, to Nomadic Politics, for the quote from Susan B. Anthony, and to AZ Quotes once again, for the quote-image featuring the remarkable Afghan leader Fawzia Koofi. Many thanks to all!

Catcall and response

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest

Have you ever been walking down a city street, especially past a construction site, and heard somebody yell, “Hey, baby! Gimme a smile!” or similar stuff? If you’ve ever been a woman–particularly a young woman–you have. Guaranteed. Probably daily. (If you’re a man, then probably not, and you may not see what’s wrong with it).

This image is a photo of artwork by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, in this case a self-portrait, with the message "Stop telling women to smile." in this photo the artist's words have been added near the top, saying "It's a matter of control over women's bodies. And it's a serious issue to address."
Tatyana FazlalizadehStop Telling Women to Smile

While the occasional inexperienced country girl may mistake these catcalls for harmless flattery on first exposure, it soon becomes clear that the objectifying intent is neither harmless nor benign. Day after day, the merciless barrage can drag you down

This photograph shows a poster glued to a section of a wall with wood-grain like a piece of plywood. The poster shows a young woman's head and upper torso, and at the bottom it says, "My name is not Baby, Shorty, Sexy, Sweetie, Honey, Pretty, Boo, Sweetheart, Ma." The artwork is by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
Tatyana FazlalizadehMy Name is not Baby 

t’s recognized more properly as street harassment–and NO, women don’t like it. But what can be done, right? Most of us just duck our heads and keep walking

This photo shows a large-scale poster on a brick wall, featuring the faces and upper torsos of three women, with the words underneath: "Harassing women does not prove your masculinity." The artwork is by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
Tatyana FazlalizadehHarassing women does not prove your masculinity

Enter Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and her “Stop Telling Women to Smile” public art campaign. All those things you so wish you could say to harassers? She says them. With large public art displays, right out there in the harassers’ space on the streets.

This photo shows one of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh's posters on the side of a mailbox, overlaying several graffitti-scrawled messages. The drawing shows a young woman's head and upper torso, above the message: "Critiques on my body are not welcome."
Tatyana FazlalizadehCritiques on my Body are not Welcome

Fazlalizadeh has illustrated her messages with the faces of women she knows, women whose lives are impinged upon daily by these assaults. Her images empower all of us, not only her friends.

This photo shows a poster by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, with a drawing of a young woman's head and shoulders over the message, "Women are not outside for your entertainment."
Tatyana FazlalizadehWomen are not Outside for your Entertainment

She speaks what all of us wish we could, in a way that few can mistake

Which speak best for you? Please make comments below!

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Huffington Post, for the image at the top. Deepest gratitude to Katherine Brooks’s  2017 Huffington Post article, “Public Art Project Addresses Gender-Based Street Harassment in a Big Way,” for My name is not Baby, Critiques on my Body are not Welcome, and Women are not Outside for your Entertainment; and honor and props to  Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and her “Stop Telling Women to Smile” page, for Harassing women does not prove your masculinity. I plan to feature more of these posters in future Images of Interest.

Karen Ann Hollingsworth’s enchanting fantasy artwork

My personal highlight of the Capricon 39 Art Show

I’ve written several posts about Capricon 39, this year’s Chicago convention from Phandemonium. I wrote about assorted (weather-related) experiences, and about fellow panelists who are authors, but no group of posts from me about a convention would be complete without mentioning the art.

In this case, one amazing artist, whom I particularly associate with Capricon. Although Karen Ann Hollingsworth exhibits her work at many different sf conventions art fairs, and other exhibitions, and although she is an accomplished illustrator as well, I first met her when we were on a panel together at Capricon 38. That also was the largest collection of her art all in one place that I’d seen.

I was enchanted.

 I’m also beyond excited to share some of her gorgeous work with you in this space. I hope her visual magic will enchant you, too.

"Imagine" is Karen Ann Hollingsworth's signature piece. Mostly rendered in tones of green and yellow, it's a picture of a beautiful fairy on the right side of the composition, looking straight toward the viewer, surrounded by Celtic-looking swirls and leaf-shapes.
Imagine is Hollingsworth’s “signature” work, because it embodies so many aspects of her art.

I asked Karen for permission to post some of her images here, and she not only gave me permission–she gave me stories for each piece. Here’s what she said about Imagine

“I must lead with my signature piece Imagine. It combines both [of] the ways I approach my work. The right side the way I work when I do illustrations and commissions and the left is done in the intuitive way I approach my fine art pieces. It also embodies the sense of magic and wonder I try to infuse in all my work.

“Most of my work is done in watercolor and colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper. The only time I involve the computer is when I scan the images in to make reproductions, for a client or for doing promotion.”

"Catnip Dreams" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth shows a light tan cat curled up asleep in the center of the design. around the cat is a green, embossed-looking design of catnip leaves. In bands at the top and bottom of the composition are stylized designs. The band at the top is a green, embossed-looking frieze of flying birds. The one at the bottom is a similar, green embossed-looking design of stylized fish.
Catnip Dreams by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Karen wrote: Catnip Dreams is an example of one of my private commissions. I got permission from the client to sell reproductions of this one of the three images I did for them.

"Shades of Grey" is a stylized, fantastical design of abstract, vaguely tree-branch or plantlike looking forms, rendered in a range of gray tones the go from near-black to almost white.
Shades of Grey by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Karen described the origins of Shades of Grey“This is an example of one of my intuitive fine art images. I was experimenting with doing a black and white watercolor.”

not only saw the next piece at Capricon 39, I voted for it

"Just a Dream?" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth was created for the Artist Challenge at Capricon 39, which it won. The composition is a study in mostly green foreground images on a lavender-to-greyed purple background. In the upper part of the painting is a very goatlike green kaiju, entangled in an aggressive-looking seaweed. In the lower third of the painting a small white goat sleeps in a nestlike bowl structure, with its head on a glowing green-and golden egg.
Just a Dream? by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Just a Dream? is my very latest piece, winner of the Capricon 39 Artist Challenge,” Karen wrote. Challenge artists had to “incorporate a goat (the convention’s mascot) and three of the following five items: an animal skull, a carnivorous plant, a kaiju, a strange/glowing egg, or a monster-hunting weapon” in their composition.

"Coffee Dragon" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth is a study in black, brown, and tan, with a light green coffee mug in the lower fourth of the composition. Above it, appearing to form out of the steam rising from the cup, is a serpent-like brown, wingless dragon, whose head is turned to look directly at the viewer.
Coffee Dragon by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Green Tea Dragon is one of my most poplar images. This year I finally got around to finishing the series, with the Coffee and Hot Cocoa Dragons,” Karen wrote. “I do like doing series. I don’t always realize . . . till after I do something that it will become a series.”

And speaking of series (she has created 7 or 8 series so far), here’s an example of another:

"Great Horned Owl" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth is a fanciful painting of a Great Horned Owl, with a swirly blue background and a tan, brown, and white owl, whose enormous, yellow eyes with black centers dominate the composition. The owl is painted in a stylized manner, almost seeming to be made of the dark green leaves from which it emerges at the bottom of the picture plane.
Great Horned Owl by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

“I completed [this series] last fall. My owls,” Karen wrote. “I started with the Screech Owl that I had been hearing outside my window at night. I didn’t know what it was. When I found out and saw photos I had to draw one. More often I hear the Great Horned Owls. To my amazement they sound just like the owls in cartoons. It’s always special hearing them. I don’t find they sound spooky at all.” 

I told her I usually like to include links to pages where people can buy prints, but she is still rebuilding after website problems last year. “As far as buying reproductions or prints of my work the best way to do so is in person at the Art Fairs and conventions I participate in,” she said. “People can contact me online via email if they know the image they want.”

What’s next for Karen? “At the moment I am hard at work prepping for my next Art show/convention. . . . I’ll be in Kansas City, MO [March 29-31, 2019] showing and selling in the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live pavilion [Booth #1412] within Planet Comicon

“It’s my 6th time doing Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, but [my] first at Planet Comicon. Not certain how my work is going to go over. I plan to have more updates on my website soon about some of the special products I will have at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live  / Planet Comicon.”

Don’t worry, Karen. If the Planet Comicon attendees have eyes, they’ll love your artwork!

IMAGES: All images are © 2007-2019 by Karen Ann Hollingsworth. They are posted here with her express permission. Please do not re-post any of them without her permission! For prints or more information about purchasing her originals, please follow her blog to learn about the art shows where she’ll be exhibiting and selling her work, or contact her directly. Unfortunately, she’s currently having to rebuild her website. Perhaps you can buy her art there at a future date.

Entering the space that art creates

The Artdog Quote of the Week

For artists, our art is our voice. That may seem fundamental, but people forget it often.

today's Quote-image pictures the artist Unni Askeland from Oslo, Norway, and her words. She said, "To me, as a woman, peace is birth, love, education, tolerance, and communication. As a female artist, I consider art a space in which I can enter, and the speed of life itself slows down. Through my art I can visually express my emotions. Art is peace." The image was created for the organization Women in Art for Peace.

Women in Art for Peace published this about today’s quotable person: “Unni Askeland is a Norwegian artist. She studied at The National Academy of Fine Arts, Bergen, and The National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo. Her art has transitioned from Munch-inspired painting to American-style photography-based serigraphy, Askeland creates work that intends to shock and challenge conceptions of the contemporary art world.”

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Google+ page of Women in Art for Peace, for this quote-image, and the information about Unni Askeland.

7 facts illustrating the discrimination against women in science

The Artdog Image of Interest

Very few women in the world today have any question that gender-based discrimination exists. Everything from loud, in-your-face sexism or violent physical aggression to the softer forms of diminished expectations and subtle direction away from riskier, higher-profile, leadership, or more lucrative options. 

We’ve all seen at least some of it, but we don’t often see it diagrammed out. The focus here is science, but no field is immune. Imagine the expanded potential if women could achieve parity!

This infographic is titled "Seven facts illustrating the discrimination against women in science." It lists: 1. Women make up only 28% of all research personnel in the world. 2. Women are under-represented in research and development posts in all parts of the world (it shows a map of the continents with the percentages of women on each: the Americas, North and South, 32%; Spain, 39%; Central and Eastern Europe, 40%; Sub-Saharan Africa, 30%; Southern and Eastern Asia, 19%; and Central Asia 32%. 3. Only 1 in every 5 countries has achieved gender parity, that is a situation in which between 45% and 55% of research personnel are women. 4. In Spain (where the graphic was made), the percentage of female scientists decreases as researchers move up the career ladder. Doctoral students, 5 out of 10 are women--gender parity. Management positions, only 2 in 20 are women--glass ceiling. 5. Only 7% of 15-year-old girls in Spain want to pursue a technical profession, compared with 21% of boys. Numerous barriers prevent women from considering and pursuing a scientific career: stereotypes and biases affecting girls; greater demands of family. 6. Only 3% of the Nobel prizes for sciences have gone to women since these prizes were first awarded in 1901. 7. The problem is so obvious that the European research area has made gender equality one of its five highest priorities.

IMAGE: Many thanks to IS Global Barcelona Institute for Global Health, for this infographic.

Sweet greetings!

Happy Pi Day!

This is a photo of a delicious-looking (possibly cherry) pie on a stove top, with a beautifully browned crust made from the cut-out numbers 3.1415926535898, made from pie dough.

IMAGE: This mathematically delectable dessert was created by the PBS News Hour’s Facebook friend and birthday girl Kay Sweet in 2015 (find out what was so special about Pi Day 2015). By now the pie’s all gone, but we still can savor it in our hearts.

Honoring K9 veterans

Today is National K9 Veterans Day in the United States. It’s an annual observance on March 13, the anniversary of the date in 1942, when the Army started training for its War Dog Program.

Go to Military Working Dog Adoptions for more information on giving one of these retired veterans a forever home.
This is the header for the National K9 Veterans Day Facebook Page, by graphic designer Chris Crawford.

Chris Crawford, the designer of the National K9 Veterans Day Facebook group’s composite illustration above, added these notes about her illustration:

“The dogs depicted are the Belgian MalinoisDoberman, mixed breed, Labrador, and Husky and, of course, the German Shepherd in silhouette at the bottom. 

The breeds are commonly used working dogs. German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the most common working breeds now and in the past. The Doberman was used extensively In WW2, particularly in the Marine Corps, and the Husky and other northern breeds were used to carry equipment and pull sleds in WW2 and during the Cold War. 

The mixed breed dog in the center is Stubby, of WWI fame, but he’s representing all the mixed breeds and unusual breeds used by the armed forces and civilian agencies.”

I thought I should finish off this post with my all-time favorite tribute to Military Working Dogs and their handlers, by Josh Tannehill. You’ve seen it on this blog before, but it bears re-posting!

Image created by Josh Tannehill.

These magnificent animals have no choice in whether they will defend our country and our troops–but they give the full measure of their devotion and provide an important force-multiplying factor. We owe it to them to honor them, and make sure they are well cared for throughout their lives.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Tails of a Foster Mom for the “Honor our Veterans” adoption poster-image, to the National K9 Veterans Day Facebook Page and graphic designer Chris Crawford, for the inspirational composite image with the silhouette, and I am deeply appreciative to Josh Tannehill for the “I am the Sheepdog” image.

How to stay creative

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Angelou had good reason to know this truth. Like love, like generosity, like any attitude, discipline, or craft that you practice, the more you practice it, the richer your store.

This image shows an ink-drawn portrait of Dr. Maya Angelou on a lime green background, along with a quote from her that says, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

IMAGE: Many thanks to Brain Pickings, via The Fox is Black, for this image and Maya Angelou quote, featuring artwork by Lisa Congdon.

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