Man and hiisi

30 Jan

EPSON scanner image

 

 

 

 

Right. So still something else. I’m trying to get the hang of acrylics so I’m painting a lot right now, but lots have ended up in the ‘this is not quite working’ pile. Some are probably salvageable, some not.

Reasonably happy with the colors. The color gradations look smoother on the painting than on this scanner image, the process heightens the visibility of the brush strokes, and even slight differences in color become noticeable. I really have to learn how to use those damn graphics programs, it would be nice if I knew how to make the scan represent the painting better.

Hiisi has no completely accurate English translation, although I suppose goblin isn’t too far off if we are talking about the small devil or troll like creature the word can also mean. Originally it seems to have meant a place of worship, a holy grove or a holy tree or rock, but with the coming of Christianity the word gradually got the meaning of a sort of a devil. There is no single idea of what they were supposed to look like, but horns and tail seem to be rather usual, as well as hairiness. Perhaps something a bit like a satyr, or a cross between a satyr and a dwarf, with a bit of a werewolf thrown in as claws and sharp teeth are also sometimes mentinoned – usually they are described as small in the stories, although there are occasional giants too. They pester people in the woods, and they can kill, although usually they attack only from behind, if you turn to face them fully they are supposed to retreat. As is usual for Finnish folklore, they often are also rather stupid and easily fooled. So perhaps the best idea would be something like Gollum, only a scarier and hairier and more animal like version, something that when confronted will pretend to be small and scared and possibly beg for mercy, but will jump you and tear your throat out if you make the mistake of turning your back to it.

And now I’m getting the itch to try to tell a story about that picture. Well, maybe… after a few weeks, right now I’m still a bit too scatterbrained to write well. But I’ll make notes.

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