Thursday, December 19, 2013

Art Contest – Teen Winners, Midwinter 2013

We have a truly international group of winners in the teen division of the second art contest at The Norse Mythology Blog. I'm very happy that young adults from around the world are not only deeply interested in Norse mythology but are able to visually interpret the meanings of myths in such creative ways. The theme of the competition was midwinter, and these three talented artists managed to evoke this time of the year in very different ways. Congratulations to all three!

I would like to again thank the two wonderful artists who joined me on the judging panel, Anker Eli Petersen and Erik Evensen. With all the wonderful entries this year, it was very difficult for us to choose the winners! If you haven’t seen them yet, you can check out the winning entries in the 12 & under division by clicking here.

Note: You can click on the art to see larger versions.

Hynek Šnajdr
Age 16
Olomouc, Czech Republic

Hynek writes, "I paint goddess Frigg when she found that her lovely son Baldr was murdered. I choose this myth because I feel a little winter feelings, like sadness, in it. I draw a lot of details and other ornaments that came to mind if I was thinking about her and her sad story, to suggest a chaos in her mind – and I use cold colours to express a mood."

I knew that this piece would be the winner from the moment that I first saw it. This is one of the most beautiful images inspired by the Norse myths that I have ever seen, from an artist of any age. It is truly haunting and heartbreaking. Be sure to click to the picture and view the full size version, so you can see all the detail and read the words that Hynek included in this gorgeous work. Anker Eli says this is "a good interpretation to connect the Baldr myth to the year's end." Erik says, "Hynek's piece is both mythologically sound and skillfully rendered. The graphic detailing in the background is a nice touch."

First Place: Hynek Šnajdr

Nordhild Siglinde Wetzler
Age 15
Korsberga, Sweden

Nordhild writes, "I took inspiration from my absolute favorite celebration of the year – Krampus Night. I always loved it as a child and wanted to take this chance to turn it into a piece of art. It portrays a girl, that has not been so nice this year, teasing the Krampus until the dawn of day. She is not alone, though, but has help from a good friend of hers, the Yule Goat – another beloved child-memory. As the days are getting longer again, she will finally be rid of those demons, at least until next year. We have goats ourselves, and I used our own billy-goat as a model. He was more than happy to be of assistance. I call it A Midnight Ride."

I think that Nordhild has created a work that really captures the magic that it is at the heart of midwinter. Her picture manages to be both joyful and haunting at the same time. Erik says, "Nordhild drew a very cool goat, and her anatomy is quite good. I really enjoyed the concept and connection to Krampusnacht." Anker Eli enjoyed the juxtaposition of folklore figures, calling Nordhild's inclusion of both Krampus and Yule Goat "a funny blend of the same element. Escaping from the Krampus-troll riding the Yule-goat, which are probably the same phenomenon, just originated from different regions."

Second Place: Nordhild Siglinde Wetzler

Erik Teittinen
Age 14
Pieksämäki, Finland

Erik describes his work: "My drawing is of Odin riding with Sleipnir on a Yule night in the light of a full moon, carrying a bag of gifts with Gungnir. I also drew a spruce tree covered with snow on the left side. I used charcoal pencils and a 5b pencil to draw it."

Erik Evensen admired the technical aspects of the work: "Erik put a lot of energy into his charcoal drawing. His piece is moody and dramatic." Anker Eli commented on the mythic elements, writing that "Santa sure has some mythical and even shamanistic features, and I do sometimes think that the figure originates from Odin." The Norse gods live on, in many forms!

Third Place: Erik Teittinen

Adult winners will be announced tomorrow!

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