Sassy Aphrodite

exquisite, elegant, extraordinary--Maike's Marvels

“With her, beauty comes.
The winds flee before her and the storm clouds;
sweet flowers embroider the earth;
the waves of the sea laugh;
she moves in radiant light.
Without her there is no joy or loveliness anywhere.”

~ Edith Hamilton, Mythology

There she is, in LOVEly company at Dick Blick Art Materials.

You can view these melancholy, humorous, inspirational and beautiful art works until March 18.

love show at Dick Blick Evanston

What I love about the Agora’s Aphrodite statue is that the sculpture has such an aura of confidence and contentment. This is a Goddess who is self-aware. She is proud and knows her place in the world. As the embodiment of love and beauty she channels that love and beauty. She has wonderful curves and embraces her femininity.

Greek mythology portrays its pantheon as very human, prone to mood swings, at times quite selfish and with extreme (often ego-driven) fluctuations in morality and its enforcement (I guess not much has changed with regard to people in power). Aphrodite was no exception.

“In later poems she is usually shown as treacherous and malicious,
exerting a deadly and destructive power over men.”

~ Edith Hamilton, Mythology

Sassy Aphrodite by Maike's Marvels

That is what I like about the statue though. She is so human. Her form may be exquisite, but beauty would not be recognized without contrast, and we often have that contrast residing within ourselves.

I started my Aphrodite with a background of hearts. The wedges of those flower petal stamp pads make fun shapes. The Mini Hearts stamp from Impression Obsession added pattern. The words were written with a fountain pen ink-dispenser.

background of Sassy Aphrodite by Maike's Marvels

Then I typed words that I associate with love and a happy relationship and printed those out. They are an affirmation of self-love and the growth and joy that comes from being loved by another. I fused them onto the canvas with encaustic medium. I also added some purple I had left from the Swallowtail project.

text for Sassy Aphrodite by Maike's Marvels

“The Goddess of love and beauty, who beguiled all,
gods and men alike; the laughter-loving goddess,
who laughed sweetly or mockingly at those her wiles had conquered;
the irresistible goddess who stole away even the wits of the wise.”

~ Edith Hamilton, Mythology

I used letter stamps to stamp the word Aphrodite onto a sheet, along with a butterfly stamp from a bargain bin. Paper scraps were fused with a pink encaustic paint.

exquisite, elegant, extraordinary--Maike's Marvels

Exquisite, elegant and extraordinary are my words for the year.

A friend called me elegant recently, and I realized I needed to hold that thought and embrace it as I move forward. It embodies grace and luxury at the same time.

Exquisite is how I want my art to be perceived, and myself too; why not?

Extraordinary represents every day. I am no longer living a life of conformity, nor am I an ordinary person. I need to embrace that transition and the flux that comes with it.

love is within by Maike's Marvels

Because Aphrodite is so self-contained, and because not everybody (yours truly) has a partner on Valentine’s Day, I wanted to convey that one does not need someone else to have love. “Love is within” is something I hold true.

We project loveability onto others. We seek approval from the community to validate our being. But ultimately true love comes only from oneself. It is a huge burden to make another person the source of one’s self-esteem. The power you give that other person can be abused and mis-used.

Because a Goddess has a higher power, I wanted to give her a bit of an aura. The purple glow was applied with a sponge that had purple ink on it. I then “floated” Sassy Aphrodite onto the collage with mounting tape.

floating aphrodite

The key is to accept oneself as one is. Aphrodite didn’t have a perfect life. She was blamed for many things. She influenced situations for better AND for worse. The love and beauty she doled out didn’t always lead to a happily ever after. There was pain, manipulation and death. But per this representation, and all the other confident hip-jutting statues of her, she owned who she was and didn’t apologize for it.

So stand tall, embrace your beauty. And love who you are.

believe you are special

You too, are exquisite, elegant and extraordinary, and you should celebrate every aspect of your uniqueness.

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