I'd like to thank my fellow judges Simon Coleby (comics artist for 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lobo, Punisher and much more) and Dr. Kendra Willson (researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Turku in Finland) for all the time they spent considering the entries and for their thoughtful comments on all the works. This contest would not be possible without their kind donations of time and labor.
Congratulations to our winners! The assignment was to create a piece that somehow related to the character and legends of Frau Holle. If you're unfamiliar with this figure of folklore, click here to read more about her in the original announcement of the contest.
These four young artists created wonderfully imaginative works of art inspired by Frau Holle. I hope that they will all continue exploring mythology and folklore as they develop their artistic skills!
Fort Myers, Florida, USA
Katie writes, "My drawing is based off of the legend of Frau Holle, who is the goddess of the sky. My drawing depicts Frau Holle creating snow that falls down to a small village. As the folklore states, every day when Frau Holle makes her bed she stores the snow until winter."
This is such a beautiful and mature piece of art. Great work!
Simon says, "This is a very accomplished image. I particularly like the serenity of the facial expression, and the gesture of the hand, with the details around the wrist. The colors work well; a simple contrast between the purples and blues, and the flesh tones which, in turn, are picked-up by the gold enhancements in the snow. The whole painting works well as a cohesive image. Very well done, Katie!"
Kendra comments, "I like the combination of bright blue shades, the shading in Frau Holle's face and her secretive expression. The texture in her hair and feathery eyelashes is very nice. The composition with the close-up figure to the right, the village viewed from a distance at the bottom and the more abstract or decorative pattern of the sky also works well."
|First Place: Katie U.|
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Rowan's mom writes, "This is what the hard-working girl saw after she fell down the well. She looked up the well and saw the snow falling from the clouds, and she imagined the clouds were actually pillows and the snow was feathers so she wouldn't feel cold and scared in the well. The red is the pillow she imagines."
I love the creativity of this piece. The perspective is such a unique idea.
Simon comments, "This is an intriguing picture. I very much like how it invites the viewer to ask questions and investigate the legend of Frau Holle. I also like the perspective drawing used in the piece. It's very well rendered, and it gives a sense of depth and distance from the trees at the top of the well. Excellent, Rowan!"
Kendra writes, "I like the composition of this drawing, with the heavy gray bricks of the well around the window of sky. I also like the unusual perspective with the trees and sky."
|Second Place: Rowan Chiment-Scimeca|
Paul Jules Butler
Schweich, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Paul writes, "Frau Holle is always young, because snow doesn't have time to get old. I hope she comes to see us this year!"
This is such a technically accomplished piece. Fantastic!
Simon says, "This painting has an appropriate sense of coldness, winter frost and snow. The hair is very well rendered, and the image is nicely framed and enhanced by the details in the branches. An appealing, delicate choice of color palette, and a pleasing image. Good work, Paul!"
Kendra writes, "I like the texture and different shades in Frau Holle's hair and the way that it blends with the pussy-willow-like snow and branches in the background. The darker lines in her hair also echo the branches. Nice shading in the face, as well, and I like the way she looks at the viewer."
|Third Place: Paul Jules Butler|
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Torin's mom says, "Torin was very sad that the [Icelandic] Yule Lads were not an option this year, as they are his favorite part is the season aside from presents and cookies. So he bent the rules a little here. This is a picture of [Yule Lad] Askasleikir [Bowl-Licker] helping Mother Holle with her pillows. He can hide better when the pillows are big, and she asked for help, so he helped. Mother Holle needs help because her hands and feet are turning into snow clouds and Askasleikir's pillow is making snow, too."
Bringing in other elements from Norse and Germanic mythology and folklore not only isn't against the rules – it's encouraged! I'm very happy to see a young artist thinking creatively.
Simon writes, "This picture is really terrific! It made me smile as soon as I saw it. I love the Yule Lad's big hands, and I especially like Rowan's decision to include him in the drawing, alongside Frau Holle; that demonstrates enthusiasm for the subject. The drawing has great energy, and it's full of life and fun. I like it very much! Very well done, Torin!"
Kendra says, "It's fun to combine the Icelandic Yule lads with Frau Holle. The similarities in their postures reflects the universality of myths. I like the smiles and the transformation of Holle's limbs into clouds."
|Runner-Up: Torin Chiment-Scimeca|
Teen winners will be announced tomorrow!