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Sedna, Inuit goddess of the sea

Today's post is about Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea.

She's definitely a "badass" goddess, known for her vengeful and violent nature when protecting the sea creatures over which she has dominion and protection rights. But her origin story, as is often the case, is also a tragic one. She could be said to epitomize the #MeToo movement of the icy Northern seas.

Sedna is worshiped by hunters and fishermen who depend on her for their livelihood. As a beautiful young maiden living with her father, Sedna rejected many suitors until a deceitful god tricked her into marriage and stole her away to be his bride.

Her father sailed to her rescue, but the trickster god caused a cataclysmic storm, which threatened to capsize the boat. Her father was so terrified by her husband's wrath that he threw Sedna overboard. When she clung to the side of the boat, her father cut off her fingers to prevent her from climbing back on board. Sedna sank to the bottom of the ocean and her fingers transformed into the great creatures of the sea, and she became their fierce protector.

Sedna is regarded as both a benevolent provider of sustenance and a vengeful deity capable of withholding marine resources if displeased. Her myth emphasizes the delicate balance between humanity and nature, stressing the need for respect and harmony with the environment.

Sedna was one of the first "badass goddess" I created. In fact, she was "Miss January" in my first calendar, 2018. The pose was based on this pencil drawing from a Dr. Sketchy's session in 2017. I miss Dr. Sketchy's! It was such an awesome opportunity to draw heroically proportioned women in exciting poses, ideal for Badass Goddesses. But they closed during Covid, like so many things, and never came back.

As I do with most of my digital paintings, I scanned the drawing into Photoshop and removed all the whitespace, making it a transparent outline. I then created layers for skin, hair, shading and details and, of course, removed the chair and left hand from the image.

I searched several databases of public domain photography (my favorites are Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash) for the undersea background image and found the perfect Orca whale in a vector-based format, which was easy to manipulate in space. I resized and angled the Orca, and reshaped its body to form the ideal animal companion and reclining surface for Sedna.

The rest of the process involved hours of tinkering with skin tones and filters, zooming in and nitpicking with shading and hair strands. In the original calendar, I used the names of the goddesses as part of the image, which I stopped doing after the first year. I love this font, though. It's called Bright Young Things (a free font available from DaFont) and I thought it was perfect for a sea goddess and also beautifully evocative of a 70s album cover.

I'll be posting here about different goddesses from around the world, so watch this space, or better yet, visit the home page and subscribe to get updates when I post something new.

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Alison Price
Alison Price
16 janv.

You are a wealth of information. I love hearing the background stories to your goddesses. I’m looking forward to all your new posts this year! 💛

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