Month of Love - Forbidden Fruit


Forbidden Fruit. Pencil, graphite & white charcoal. 7.5" x 11.5".

My very belated drawing for the last Month of Love challenge: "forbidden fruit". I wanted to take my time with this piece because the myth of Hades and Persephone is one of the most heart-wrenching in all of Greek myth.

Persephone was the gentle goddess of spring leaves and new birth, had many suitors, but her stern mother, Demeter, refused them all.  She hid her daughter far away from the other gods.

Hades, god of the dead, passionately loved Persephone, but had no hope that Demeter would ever give her to him.  But Zeus told Hades that if he could find a way to take her, he could keep her.

Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword and glorious fruits, [Persephone] was playing with the deep-bosomed daughters of Okeanos and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus…a snare for the bloom-like girl…

[Hades] caught her up reluctant…and bore her away lamenting. Then she cried out shrilly with her voice, calling upon her father, [Zeus] the Son of Kronos, who is most high and excellent. But no one, either of the deathless gods or mortal men, heard her voice…

So Hades took her, and when Demeter discovered her daughter was missing:

Bitter pain seized Demeter’s heart, and she tore the covering upon her divine hair.  She sped, like a wild-bird, over land and sea, seeking her child. But no one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal man; and of the birds of omen none came with true news for her.

Then for nine days she wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never ate nor drank.  Then she came to Helios, the sun, who is watchman of both gods and men, and enquired of him:

`Helios, if ever I have cheered your heart and spirit, answer me.  With your beams you look down from the bright upper air over all the earth and sea.  Tell me truly of my dear child, if you have seen her anywhere, what god or mortal man has seized her against her will and mine.'

So said she. And Helios answered her: `Queen Demeter, I will tell you the truth; for I greatly reverence and pity you in your grief for your daughter. None other of the deathless gods is to blame, but only cloud-gathering Zeus who gave her to Hades, to be his wife. And Hades seized her and took her loudly crying in his chariot down to his realm of mist and gloom.’

Grief yet more terrible and savage came into the heart of Demeter, and thereafter she was so angered with Zeus that she vowed that she would never let fruit spring out of the ground until she beheld with her eyes her own fair-faced daughter.

And so the earth knew its first winter.

I'm in the process of turning this drawing into a painting, and I will post the conclusion of the myth along with the finished painting.


The text of the myth is adapted & abridged from the Homeric Hymns, based on the translation by Hugh Gerard Evelyn-White.

Month of Love - Love Thy Neighbor


Love Thy Neighbor. Pencil, graphite & white charcoal. 8" x 6".

For the Month of Love challenge.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"

Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Matt. 22:35-40

Art Order- Reckless Deck Challenge

recklessdeck If you haven't heard of the Reckless Deck, it's a 72 card deck that is "a shock to the creative system for illustrators, concept artists, cosplayers, and gamers"-- with a wild variety of prompts.  I asked for a set for Christmas, and I love it.

The Art Order recently hosted a challenge based on the Reckless Deck.  A set of prompts would be randomly generated, and entries would be created based on them.  Above you can see the cards I was given.   And here is the finished drawing created from them:


Prototype. Pencil, powdered graphite, & white charcoal on toned paper. 14" x 11".

If this has a Winter Soldier/Mass Effect flavor, it's probably because I've been playing a lot of ME recently, and mulling over the tragedy of Bucky Barnes.


Drawing: Dark Angel


Dark Angel. Pencil & white pastel on toned paper, 9″ x 14.5″.

My final SmArt School project for the semester was an assignment given by Karen Berger, former AD of Vertigo Comics.  The assignment was a spec comics cover of a half-angel/half-demon lady confronting a mortal man in a cemetery.

While I was drawing I listened to Jen Titus' "O Death" on loop.

Idunn - Drawing

idunn_drawing_pcarpenter Ivaldi's Youngest Daughter. Pencil & white pastel on toned paper, 14.5" x 11".

In the dales dwells, the prescient Dís, from Yggdrasil's ash sunk down, of elven race, Idun by name, the youngest of Ivaldi's elder children. -Hrafnagaldr Óðins, Benjamin Thorpe's translation

The apples of youth grow in Idunn's orchard. Her apples give the Aesir their immortality-- without the apples, even Odin begins to wither and die. No wonder everyone in the Nine Realms covets her fruit.

The drawing for my current SmArt School assignment. I'll be painting over this in acryla gouache.

New Blog & SmArt School

Welcome to my beautiful new blog. I can't thank Stacey Carpenter enough for all her work designing it. I was stunned when I saw what she had created. I always loved fall semester when I was in college: the hard heat of summer softening into fall, and finally the blissful cold of winter. (I went to college in Tallahasse, Florida. Believe me, cold weather was a treat.) I spent endless hours in the libraries. I even enjoyed the stress of studying for finals, because as soon as the last exam was over, that meant Christmas was here and weeks of freedom.

Spring semester was never as much fun. Instead of the weather gradually cooling, the days got hotter until the sun felt like a slap in the face, and finals were twice as stressful. As a vocal student, I also had my end-of-year jury to look forward to, which meant my head was on the chopping block, and the voice faculty would decide whether I passed to the next year-- or failed. I would have felt less terror if I had been going to the guillotine.

"I'm going to bed before either of you two come up with another clever idea to get us killed-- or worse, expelled."

Hermione Granger, I feel your pain.


Pencil & white pastel on toned paper, 8.5" x 11".

I haven't enrolled again in university, but a few weeks ago I started Rebecca Guay's SmArt School class. The assignment we had to have ready for the first week: a piece in pencil so that she could see how we used reference and evaluate our drawing skills.

Enthralled, Revised

paigecarpenter_faun_small I posted this "finished" drawing a while ago, intending to transfer it to illustration board and start painting. But during the craziness of the holidays, moving to Texas, and a bout with the flu, this drawing got pushed aside in favor of more urgent projects.

A few weeks ago I took out the drawing again. I was still unsatisfied with several things, like the position of the faun's legs and the bushes. I asked my sister-in-law Stacey to take a look at it. Stacey is a photographer, and she's really good with composition.

With some help from her, I ended up with this:


More bushes on the far left, framing the figures. Extending the faun's lower leg so that the curve of his torso continues downwards. Adding more folds to the dress, flowing off the frame, so that the figures were not so boxed in. Raising the treeline. Adding the ruined towers at the right.

A lot of revision, but I think the piece works much better now. And I've started painting:


See the original post here.

Stacey's photography:

Enthralled - Drawing



Pencil & white pastel on toned paper. 19" x 15".

enthrall verb

capture the fascinated attention of (also inthrall) archaic enslave

Origin: late Middle English (in the sense 'enslave'; formerly also asinthrall): from en-1, in-2 (as an intensifier) + thrall

thrall noun
a slave, servant, or captive
the state of being in someone’s power or having great power over someone

Origin: Old English thrǣl 'slave', from Old Norse thræll



Definitions from The Oxford Dictionaries.