Ink Pen Drawing
Greeting Card for Sale
Harpy's Song © 2015 Monica Gunderson - All Rights Reserved; Unauthorized Reproduction Prohibited
An ink pen drawing of a Harpy, a half woman and half bird mythological creature. The artwork is hand-drawn with fine-point sharpie ink pens. The greeting card includes original drawing on the front of the card and is blank inside the card. If you would like the artist to write something special inside the card, please inform during checkout.
Greeting Card comes with Envelope
Size: 5 x 6 and 7/8 inches
Story Behind the Art:
I have always had a fascination with mythological creatures and enjoy learning and reading about different ethnic cultures. When growing up, I loved to read Greek, Roman, Slavic and Russian folklore, and as my life as grown, I have become interested in other cultures folklore and mythology as well.
The Harpy, half woman half bird, has many mythological stories and can be found in several cultures. In Greek and Roman mythology, Harpies where known to be ugly and crewel. The winged beasts of half woman and half bird were sent down from Zeus to punish those who had angered the gods. Harpies were vigilant and violent when punishing those who angered the gods and where known as "the hounds of Zeus".
However, in some cultures, Harpies are seen as heralds, bringers of good and ill news. In Russian and Slavic folklore, the Alkonost were also a creature of half woman and half bird, but were seen as beautiful creatures. The Alkonost had the ability to use their beautiful song to mesmerize humans. Her voice would stop people from what they were doing including war, just to hear her beautiful voice.
Then there is the mythical half woman half bird creature named Gamayun. In Russian folklore, Gamayun lived on an island near Eden, and represents joy, harmony and peace, and is considered as a messenger of the gods. Like the Alkonost, the Gamayun also has a beautiful voice, but her singing includes words of wisdom of which can only be understood by few.
Later on in history, Alkonost and Gamayun became entangled into Christianity, most likely to help convert those who still practiced paganism. To help convert paganistic Slavics and Russians, the church used the image of Alkonost as the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of God's will.
When drawing "Singing Harpy" I was thinking more of the Alkonosts' beautiful song, stopping people in their tracks of their fears, anger and worries.
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Monica Gunderson Fine Artist