Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's been a good week, which means several hours of painting time. Eve now has several layers of both the primary colours, red, blue, and yellow and blends of ‘fleshier’ tones. The lily in her hair gave me fits. White lilies are supposed to signify innocence, but how to get a white lily that didn’t over power the softness of the rest of the painting? That took a whole evening to iron out, many layers of glaze, and a resulting lily that is a pinky cream. (Turn your moniter to it's brightest setting for truest colour)
So you may ask, why a symbol of innocence in the hair of what some would have you believe is the first sinner??
Be warned if you take the Bible as literal to the word truth you are about to be offended.
The oldest versions of Genesis, lays the ‘blame’ equally at the feet of both Adam and Eve. It’s only the later versions that support the woman as the original sinner. Research it for your self if you don’t believe me. One of the best sites (bibliography, and historical references) is from ’Images of Women in Ancient Art" specifically ‘Eve and the Identity of Women’ by Christopher L. C. E. Whitcombe
At the time that much of the Old Testament was being written, the Canaanites who worshipped Astarte, a mother/fertility Goddess, and her consort Baal, a storm God and the Lord of Nature,
were in a battle for control of the area with the Israelites who worshipped Yahweh.
One of Astarte’s symbols was the snake, a symbol of healing and re-birth (it sheds its old skin and becomes a ‘new’ snake), and one of Baal’s was a golden bull, remember Moses and the golden calf??
Taking that into consideration suddenly the newer Adam/Eve story in Genesis looks more like anti-Canaanite propaganda than a creation myth.
So why the lily?? I think Eve and subsequently her daughters got a bum rap. She’s innocent!
Now it’s time to go play with backgrounds. ‘Till next time, Robin

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