Freyr – Pencil and white pastel on toned paper.

Freyr, the twin brother of the lovely Freya: he was the Norse god of summer warmth, fertility, and peace.  Freyr’s coming meant the end of winter and darkness.

Freyr’s name is really a title, meaning ‘lord’, while Freyja meant ‘lady’.

He is associated with the boar: a very large, very fertile, very ugly animal.  I tried to make this boar look appealing.  (This is not Freyr’s dwarf-made boar, Gullinbursti, whose bristles supposedly shone in the dark.  I wasn’t in the mood to draw crazy!Steampunk!boar.)  I named this boar Mr. Tusky.  Very Norse, I know.

Freyr was given Alfheim, the land of the Elves, as a tooth-gift.  (It was tradition to give a child a gift when he cut his first tooth, like the way people give christening gifts nowadays.)  I imagine him being rather Elvish in appearance as well, very different from the bearded Thor and the war-loving Aesir.

(And yes, in case you were wondering, that is Tom Hiddleston’s face.  Though he plays Loki in the Marvel films, his own personality fits how I imagine Freyr– cheerful and warm.)

In Gisla Saga a priest of Freyr died, and it was said that he was so cherished by Freyr that the god ‘would have no frost between them’, and so no snow nor frost ever lay on his mound.

-Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, H.R. Ellis Davidson

At Ragnarok, Freyr will ride into the last battle armed with nothing but an antler, as he left his sword with his wife, Gerd.



Freya – Pencil and white pastel on toned paper.

Freya, the Norse goddess of love and beauty.  She was always getting kidnapped or demanded as a bride (sort of like the Norse version of Princess Peach).  Freya and her brother, Freyr, were two of the Vanir hostages sent to Asgard after the Aesir/Vanir war.

She owned a legendary necklace, the Brisingamen:

It has been suggested that it was a girdle, and again that it was a piece of amber, but the word men is generally used of a woman’s ornament worn at the neck…The meaning of the name has not been explained, and we do not know whether it was based on a family or tribal name, ‘the necklace of the Brisings’, or whether the reference is to the brightness of the ornament, from a rare form brisingr, ‘fire.’

-Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, H.R. Ellis Davidson

(Wasn’t one of Christopher Paolini’s books in the Eragon series called Brisingr?)

She had a carriage pulled by cats, and she also owned a feather cloak that let her turn into a falcon.  Loki borrowed it several times, and Freya was always very generous about lending it.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  In these past few weeks I’ve started a job at a library.  While I was driving to my first day of work, my hood latch snapped and the hood flew up and crashed into my windshield.  The windshield didn’t break, but the hood was wrecked.  My car is fixed now, but when I drive I still find myself staring nervously at the hood instead of the road.

Enthralled, Revised


I posted this “finished” drawing a while ago, intending to transfer it to illustration board and start painting. But during the craziness of the holidays, moving to Texas, and a bout with the flu, this drawing got pushed aside in favor of more urgent projects.

A few weeks ago I took out the drawing again. I was still unsatisfied with several things, like the position of the faun’s legs and the bushes. I asked my sister-in-law Stacey to take a look at it. Stacey is a photographer, and she’s really good with composition.

With some help from her, I ended up with this:


More bushes on the far left, framing the figures. Extending the faun’s lower leg so that the curve of his torso continues downwards. Adding more folds to the dress, flowing off the frame, so that the figures were not so boxed in. Raising the treeline. Adding the ruined towers at the right.

A lot of revision, but I think the piece works much better now. And I’ve started painting:


See the original post here.

Stacey’s photography:

Influences 2014

I found this old Deviantart meme thanks to Lucas Durham.

These are artists whose work I greatly admire, and their art has heavily influenced mine. I’ve been lucky enough to have some of them as my teachers. (Sometimes their skill makes me want to burn my paintbrushes, but they always inspire me.)


1. William-Adolphe Bouguereau

2. Gennady Spirin

3. Donato Giancola

4. Alphonse Mucha

5. Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

6. Kinuko Craft

7. Scott Gustafson

8. Arthur Rackham

9. Lawrence Alma-Tadema

10. Herbert Draper

11. Rebecca Guay

12. James Gurney

Feel free to try the original meme for yourself, and post a link in the comments if you do!

Meme created by fox-orian.

Journey Home, Part II

The conclusion of the book I wrote and illustrated at the age of seven-ish.  You can read the first part here.

Warning: some embarrassing Southern-isms ahead.


Seventh Page:
Soon She Came to a sign. It said,
(my mother’s handwriting) “Candy Forest.” “Yee-ha!
(my handwriting resumes) I Can’t Wait”


Eighth Page:
She went along the path till She came to another Sign. It said “Candy Forest” “OK!”


Ninth Page:
“Candy! Candy! OK!” So off She wint.


Tenth Page:
The Forest was not very big Soon She came to the End of it. “HH” She Side.


Eleventh Page:
She up and done. But She Staid on the path.


Twelfth Page:
So She Went along the path She Saw Some Smoke. “AAHH”


Thirteenth Page:
“I AM Home!”


Fourteenth Page:
The End


Author’s Note:

I have no idea whether the mysterious Miss Lydia was a villain who kidnapped the infant April, or a compassionate guardian. Miss Lydia’s villainy is suggested by two things: first, the fact that April had never owned a doll, and second, April’s secret midnight escape. Her innocence is supported by the fact that she gives April the doll from the attic, and that I drew her as a pretty woman in a green dress. As a child I was raised on the most basic fairy tales, where ugliness meant villainy, and beauty meant goodness.

I must also admit that my concept for the Candy Forest came from Candy Land, which was my favorite board game for most of my childhood. (Later replaced by Pretty Pretty Princess, then Clue.)

Also, I don’t know who to blame for the phrases “Yee-Haw” and “She up and done.”

Journey Home, Part I

I recently moved to Texas, and I’ve been unpacking boxes that have been in storage for years. In one box I found a storybook that I wrote and illustrated at the age of…I don’t know, maybe seven?  I hope I wasn’t much older than that because the spelling is atrocious.

Here it is, for your entertainment:


Journey Home by Paige Carpenter, age seven (?) bound in cardboard and contact paper. Illustrated in pencil and Crayola marker.


Statues standing in folds of ivy,
Flowers blooming ever more,
Trees that sway without noise,
(continued in pencil)
The ruins of a castle,
orcherds overgron
Woods of Enchantment
A view of mountains, Rivers and Brooks
Water lilys in the ponds.
Romantic acrting briges over brook strea rivers

First Page:
In a little house in the Wood
lived a lady and a little girl named April.
April had a colt named Silver Sapphire. (Was just a colt?)


Second Page:
One day APril was playing in the attic She found a doll and a Book.
She took them downstairs to ask Miss Lydia if She could keep them.


Third Page:
When she did She Said yes. April was very happy!
She had never Had a doll before.


Fourth Page:
She Sat down and began to read. It Was a story about how she had
taken from her parents when she was baby.


Fifth Page:
She made up her mind to go home that night. When it was dark She began to make ready. She took food and clothing her doll and her book and her horse. So She Set off.


Sixth Page:
She would take a path Which led to the west. She set off.

(To be continued…In the next part, April and her colt Silver Sapphire enter the Candy Forest.)

Digital Doubts

I’ve come to realize that I really, really need to move into the 21st century–at least when it comes to art. I still want to work in traditional media, but adding the basic tools of a Wacom tablet and Photoshop would save huge amounts of time and frustration.

For one thing, I could take rough thumbnails from my sketchbook and develop them on the computer instead of trying to enlarge or alter the sketch by hand. (I always lose the energy of the original idea.)

However, there are a few problems I’m still mulling over:

Old Laptop + Upgrades vs. New Laptop

My laptop is seven years old. Last summer the hard drive crashed and a friend replaced it. But the operating system is old, and I have a suspicion that it’s only a matter of time before the laptop dies for good. Should I try to upgrade to Windows 8? Or just buy a new laptop?

Photoshop CC vs. Corel Painter.

Everyone I’ve asked seems to prefer Photoshop to Painter. Painter has a reputation of being difficult to learn. Painter costs around $400. Photoshop is now only available by monthly subscription from Adobe– the last non-subscription version, Photoshop CS6, costs around $700. Arg.

My Beautiful Tablet

No debating here.  I’m pretty much sold on this tablet.  It includes Photoshop Elements and a free trial of Painter.  (I still need an operating system that can manage either of those.)

If anyone has any advice to offer in regards to software and laptops, I’d appreciate it.


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