W is for Willendorf: A-to-Z Challenge

I am reblogging my post from zenkatwrites, my other blogging identity, with changes:

377px-Willendorf-Venus-1468I am entranced by this small figurine, known as the Venus of Willendorf.  I began drawing and painting her twenty years ago.  I saw her in a museum in London and bought the small reproduction they had.  At the time I knew little about her.  I like going to museums and being with the pieces, art or antiquities, not reading about them until much later, if at all. Most of the time it is a visual experience for me, and I don’t collect that much from the bits of words written about this or that.  I saw her in an exhibit with several other ancient images, some pornographic (or so I have been told, as I drew and painted them.)  I was able to just sit with the mystery of why this voluptuous figurine had a bee-hive head, as I saw it.  I sketched her in my hotel room at night, and carried her home in my purse.

I wanted to plant a larger statue of her in my garden, as an homage to the bees, wondering in a Tom-Robbinish way of there was a bee-goddess I did not know about, and if the bees would tell me their story if I planted her there.  For a short time my small reproduction lay in the bird bath in the middle of the herb garden, and I would watch the bees land on her when they were going for water in the height of summer.

Struggling with my own issues of “fat,” she was a memory of how other eras honored women who were zaftig.  I have always fought weight, but at thirty-five was working on being happy with my own body, at a time when my former husband was telling me he was unhappy with my body, despite the response from his penis; penises don’t lie.

web venus of willendorf or conch womanI began drawing and painting her, and soon had a collection of other goddesses with pendulous breasts and large hips and buttocks.   Living with her in drawings and smaller painting culminated in the large painting above, which I call Conch Woman.  She is dark of night, mysterious, of water and land, a comfort.  She waxes and wanes, on her own rhythm.   I love her!

I finally read a bit about her discovery, and thought about her covered in red ochre.  Blood, fertility, seemed likely, when women held the secret to procreation.  She was found on an archeological dig near the city of Krems, Austria, near the rivers Krems and Danube.

I also began collecting pendants, and when I made my jewelry line she was a prominent figure.  Sadly, not one of her images had ever sold; I assume that women do not value her fat body shape, as they see it.   Some of the pieces are below.

The lovely bronze image of her (left) is my favorite, hung on vintage Italian whitehearts with African bronze “clubs” flanking each side.  I bought her first and only bought two, and could never find the vendor again.  The earthy autumn colors of unakite, a type of jasper, sets off the Jane Iris version of her top left, a bit tame and petite but lovely nonetheless.  I wanted to create a necklace as beautiful as I found her to be!  These and others can be found in my shop on zibbet!


I am now agreeing to the  Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or, visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.  My images/blog posts can be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.
The image of the ancient goddess is from Wikipedia.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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4 Responses to W is for Willendorf: A-to-Z Challenge

  1. I love the history of the piece. I’m not so big on sculptures, but I can understand why you’d like her. I love that blue impression of her–such lovely contrast and texture.

    True Heroes from A to Z


  2. Aren’t we blessed that we have an outlet for our experiences by painting, making jewelry, WRITING. Glad I stopped by as we get to the end of the #Challenge.


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