Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Artemis


 DistrationOnOlympus

“Distraction on Olympus” is a project I worked on with my students at the school I work in.  It was the final project in a drawing club the children where in when I taught them how to draw in the style of comic and cartoon characters.  The class had decided to go with the theme of the Greek gods and I would help them draw a scene around that idea.

In the process of creating the scene, the children asked to be represented as the gods in the project.  They would choose whom they wanted to be drawn as from the Greek gods.  One of the girls in the class reminded me of Artemis.  Strong, sure of herself and most important she was always looking for things, a natural hunter.  She wasn’t sure whom she would like to be drawn as so I suggested Artemis.  After I told her a bit about Artemis she liked the idea.

Artemis is the daughter of Leto and Zeus she was the first to be born of twins.  They say that she was first to be born and then she helped to deliver her twin brother, Apollo.   Thereby, landing her the role as the goddess of childbirth, whom she shares with Hera.  Interesting that she would be a divinity of childbirth but was a fervent virgin.

Even though she had this responsibility, she is also known for being the goddess of the hunt and her realm or sphere of influence is the night sky/moon.  However, her hunting side was the most depicted in mythology but sometimes they would crossover. 

One of the many stories about Artemis involves a hunter named Orion.  Orion was charged with clearing the island of Chios from wild beasts when he came upon Artemis.  When seeing her he tried to rape her.  She was so angry and protective of her virginity she brought forth a scorpion from the ground that killed Orion by stinging him to death.  He and the scorpion are seen every evening in the night sky with the constellations Orion and Scorpio.  They also say that the Dog Star Sirius is Orion’s hunting dog. 

She would almost always stay in the company of women, but there are times when she would team up with her brother Apollo.  Such as on one occasion when Queen Niobe insulted their mother by saying she was a better mother then Leto because she was rich and she had seven sons and seven daughters.  Therefore, because of Niobe’s hubris, excessive pride, Artemis and Apollo shoot their arrows killing all of the children through disease.  Before Artemis killed the last daughter, Niobe tried to shield her child but was turned to stone then transported by a whirlwind to a mountaintop where tears trickled down her face. 

Some of Artemis’ accomplishments and symbols include:

  1. The goddess of the hunt and childbirth
  2. Hera granted her six wishes; 

                        I.         Chaste for eternity

                      II.         Never to be confined by marriage

                    III.         Hunting hounds

                    IV.         Stags to lead her chariot

                      V.         Nymphs to be her hunting companions, 60 from the rivers and 20 from the ocean

                    VI.         A silver bow like her brother Apollo.

         3.  The temple to Artemis in Ephesus was burnt to the ground 356 because, they say, she was attending the birth of Alexander the Great.  

 

I drew Artemis in the same style as I did Aphrodite and Athena.  Though I made her appear more athletic.  Tough but feminine, like the girl that she is modeled after.  I added the silver bow and the archer’s glove and wrist protector.  I could not show all the wishes from Hera but I did add a hunting dog to counter Ares dogs. 

The girl was very pleased with the results and I hope you are too. 

Please enjoy Artemis the goddess of childbirth and the hunt.

Artemis, The goddess of the Hunt and Childbirth

Artemis, The goddess of the Hunt and Childbirth

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One Response to Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Artemis

  1. Pingback: Art Inspiration: The Greek Gods Distraction on Olympus: Apollo | Paul Gauchi

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