lauantai 16. joulukuuta 2017

Winner of Kalevala painting challenge

To honor the 100th anniversary on Finland I arranged a small scale painting challenge with Kalevala theme.

I was supposed to do the winner draw on 6th december but a couple of entrants came in a bit late and this text took a little longer to write than I thought. But here are the participants, each with a short excerpt from Kalevala to open up their back ground a bit. And the winner of course at the end of the text.

Ilmarinen, Smith-eternal

Blew the winds, fanned the fire:
Blew the east wind, blew the west wind,
And the south wind blew still stronger,
While the north wind roared the loudest.
Blew a day, blew a second,
Even on the third day blowing:
Fire was spurting through the windows,
Sparks were shooting through the doorways,
Ashes floating to the sky,
Black smoke mingling with the clouds.

After the third day Ilmarinen,
Smith-eternal, went himself
To take a look, leaning over
To see the bottom of his forge:
Saw the Sampo being born
And the ciphered cover growing.

Forging of the Sampo By Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Ilmarinen
is the bearded figure closest to the furnace.

Finmirage´s entry to the challenge is Ilmarinen the mighty smith of Kalevala. In the stories Ilmarinen is a demi-god like immortal character capable of creating pretty much anything. He is the one who forges the Sampo, a magical artifact that brings riches and good fortune to it´s owner. 

Lemminkäinen and Tiera

Then he goes out through the village
To his old companion's house
And on arriving states his business:
"My dear Tiera, my old comrade,
My true friend, the one and only!
Maybe you recall the old days,
Good old times we lived together
When the two of us went warring.
We went through so many hamlets,
In each hamlet were ten houses,
In each house at least ten men;
There was not a single warrior
Nor a man of any worth
Whom we did not beat in battle,
Whom we did not overcome."

Lemminkäinen and the Elk of Hiisi By Väinö Hämäläinen (1902).

LM participates with a duo of fighters: Lemminkäinen and his companion Tiera. Lemminkäinen is one of the prominent heroes of Kalevala. He is often described as a young and good looking but impetuous man. Lemminkäinen owns a flaming sword which he uses to bring glory to his family. Lemminkäinen´s close companion is Tiera who is a skilled warrior with spear.

Usva, Louhi´s daughter

Usva By Traject0ry

That dark maid of Tuonela,
Blind eye of the barren wasteland,
Made her straw bed at the crossroads,
Laid it on unholy ground.
There she lay, her back to windward,
Slantwise to the bitter blowing
With the piercing cold behind her,
Facing eastward toward the dawn.

But a blast of wind came blowing.
From the east a furious storm wind
Blew her heavy, big with child,
Pregnant in a treeless country,
On the open twigless barrens,
Ground ungreened by turf or tussock.

Bore her womb, her painful belly,
Carried it for two, three, four months;
Five, six, seven, even eight months;
For the full nine months she bore it,
And, according to the old wives,
Even half the tenth she bore it.

Daughters of Louhi are listening to Väinämöinen
playing his Kantele in this painting By R.W.Ekman

Usva (Mist) the daughter of Louhi painted By Traject0ry. Louhi is the main antagonist in the Kalevala. She is described as a powerful and evil witch queen ruling over the northern realm of Pohjola, with the ability to change shape and weave mighty enchantments. She is also the main opponent of Väinämöinen and his group in the battle for the magical artifact Sampo in the Kalevala. She has a number of beautiful daughters, whom Ilmarinen, Lemminkäinen and other heroes attempt to win in various legends. Louhi´s sons are described as evil and malignant but her daughters don´t bear those attributes.

Tiny man from the Sea

The mighty ocean dwarf By TL

Out of the sea a man arose,
Rose up from among the waves.
He was not the tallest of the tall
Nor the smallest of the small;
Was no taller than a man's thumb,
About a woman's handspan high.

Copper-hatted, copper-booted,
Copper gloves with copper broidery,
Copper belt about his waist
And a copper axe he carried,
Wore it hanging from his belt
And it had a thumb-length handle,
Blade the size of a finger nail.

Falling of the great oak By Joseph Alanen.

Väinämöinen´s sowing is a part of the world creation story in Finnish national epic Kalevala. In this poem Väinämöinen who is a powerfull shaman summons Sampsa Pellervoinen the architect of the forests to sow the land with trees. He sows many trees and in time they grow and flourish; however, the oak will not grow.

The water giant Iku-Turso then rises and burns a haystack and in the ashes he plants an acorn and it begins to grow. It grows taller than any other tree in the land, growing up to heaven and blocking out the sun and moon. Väinämöinen calls the Water-mother to send him someone who can fell the great tree. Presently a man appears from the water, clad in copper from head to toe, a man no taller than a man's thumb.

Väinämöinen mocks the man, but the man grows so large his head in among the clouds. He swings his great copper axe and the great oak is felled on the third stroke. (Wikipedia)

Defender of Sampo

Defender of Sampo By VonKortez

From her wings the lads came dropping,
In the sea the men were splashing,
From beneath her wings a hundred,
From her tail a thousand plunging;
Then the eagle too came crashing,
Down upon the boat ribs tumbling
As a wood grouse drops from a tree top,
As a squirrel from a fir branch.

Still she reached out for the Sampo,
Hooked it with her nameless finger,
Hurled it with its ciphered cover
Over the side and into the sea,
Over the side of that red boat
Into the depths of the deep blue sea,
Where the Sampo crashed to pieces
And the ciphered cover crumbled.

My own model takes inspiration from Akseli Gallen-Kallela´s painting
Sammon puolustus (The defence of the Sampo).

The scene portrayed is taken from the 43rd song of the epic, where the hero Väinämöinen, seen wielding a sword, has stolen the precious artifact Sampo from the evil witch Louhi, and she, having taken the form of a giant bird, is trying to reclaim it. The battle for the Sampo is also given a deeper connotation as a battle for the soul of Finland. 

My idea was to create one of the spear wielding Warriors who are battling Louhi and her men. My model did not participate in the winner draw.

And the Winner (determined By a dice roll) is:

LM´s Lemminkäinen and Tiera

All the participanting models including mine will be shipped to LM. After basing
I expect to see the full warband and a scenario written for them :)

Congratulation LM!

Now to decide if I´ll run another painting challenge for 2018... Perhaps we´ll do some Pohjola baddies for Kalevala heroes to battle...

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