Encountering the Inner Aphrodite

Moleskine, Pen and Ink, Photoshop, sketch | October 18, 2005 | By

After posting my contour drawing of Perseus a few days ago, an art buddy wrote me a very nice note and suggested that maybe sometime in the future I could draw something a little less scary, like Aphrodite, for example. So here it is, based on the statue of Venus de Milo. Again, this was about a 3 minute drawing while keeping the penpoint on the paper. It wasn’t blind. I did look at the paper frequently.

If we take a trip back to junior high history and English, we’ll remember that Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty and one of the many Olympian deities who took pleasure in meddling in the affairs of humans. In spite of her captivating appearance and charms she was not particularly a nice goddess, unless you were a devoted follower. Aphrodite, after all, was responsible for starting the Trojan War when she promised Paris the hand of Helen (a married woman) in exchange for Aphrodite being chosen the most beautiful goddess of all. Paris fell for this bribe, stole Helen’s heart, enraged Helen’s husband and the rest is history, not to mention more than a few bad movies.

The very embodiment of passion, Aphrodite is generous to her followers. But to those who deny her and her cause (love), she can be wrathful and punishing. She caused prideful women to grow cow’s horns on their heads, and made Poseidon’s sons to go mad. All sweetness and light? Not by a long shot.

So what can we learn from her, creatively? Aphrodite reminds us to be passionate about our lives and to embrace each day as a lover. A promiscuous creature, the goddess encourages dalliances and amorous liaisons. So if you always draw with a pen – have a fling with a pencil. Above all, let art become more than an idle flirtation. It’s time to turn up the heat.


  1. pink, etc.
    October 18, 2005

    Ah man! Be careful what you ask for!!!!! Those Greek Women are complicated. Thanks so much, Karen!

    Well, ya gotta admit, Love does get in the way and she’s got a better stylist than Medea.

    LOL! You made my day. Beautiful drawing! 3 minutes, huh?

  2. Karen
    October 18, 2005

    Yup, just about three. I didn’t look at a clock but the pen was moving the whole time, one continuous line. Want to guess where the starting point was?

  3. Kate
    October 18, 2005

    Wow, I was relieved to see you looked at the paper!

  4. Karen
    October 18, 2005

    Yeah, contour but not BLIND contour. That would be crazy! I might try one just for the fun of it though, now that I’ve been through it once with eyes open.

  5. Fran
    October 20, 2005

    What a beautiful drawing this is; I may make a copy of this and put it in my own journal. I’m catching up with blogs as I got back last night from my week away at the reunion and visiting my sis.

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