Illustration Friday prompt is star. I went with stars, plural, because I'm a bit of a sky picture person.
Most of us in English-speaking North America and Europe know this constellation as The Big Dipper, The Plough, The Wain, or some variation. It's not a constellation at all, though. The Big Dipper is an asterism; a new picture made from a chunk of the bigger, actual constellation.
Scientifically, a constellation is a section of the night sky and all of the stars it contains. For most of us, though, when we think constellation we think of the imaginary picture our brains form by playing connect-the-dots with the stars in that part of the sky. Either way, this constellation is known as Ursa Major, the Big (or Great) Bear. The Graeco-Roman myth attached to it has to do with Callisto (or Callistro, sometimes), a nymph who was changed into a bear by Artemis (or sometimes Hera. Or sometimes Zeus. Mythology has a lot of sometimeses) for abandoning her vow of chastity and having a son named Arcas (sometimes Arctos...) with Zeus. There are many versions of what happened next. You can find my retelling of one of them on my other blog, here. Keep in mind that it's only one sometimes of many, however.
You'll notice that some versions explain the long tail of that bear by having it hauled up to the sky using the tail as a handle. Many cultures have seen Ursa Major as an animal (if you look up the constellation without my superimposed drawing, it looks like one), but not all of them see a bear. The Anishinaabe see a Fisher, a member of the weasel (mustelid) family. They have a wonderful story of how Fisher brought spring to the earth, and rather than embarrass myself by telling a story that really doesn't belong to me -- although I've done it before and likely will again -- I'd encourage everyone to read the story of How Fisher Visted Skyland.
Personally, I think it's important to look at the sky through different eyes, sometimes.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
This week's Illustration Friday prompt is ink, so last night I got out the sketchbook and... decided I didn't really feel like it at that time of the day. So, literal two-minute doodle with the book on my knee, which is why things are so wobbly.
To give Inktober its due, though, here's a couple of things that were done a few years ago with some actual effort: