My second annual poster illustration for the San Francisco Olympians
theater festival. This year, I was lucky to be chosen for the play featuring the goddess Hecate.
Hecate is one of the more intriguing characters in Greek mythology, and I have always felt that she was pretty ambiguous in her role in the pantheon. She is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, passageways, doors and crossroads... although the list goes on. She has many aspects, but she is commonly depicted as a "triple goddess:" three women as one. The "maid, mother & crone" archetype is one of my favorites in mythology (triads of women are found in myths of all sorts of cultures, such as the Greco-Roman Furies and the Norns of the Norse), so I couldn't help but illustrate Hecate in youth, fertility and age. Luckily, this archetype also appears in the play, about which I know only a few tidbits.
The other tidbit I know of the play sets the scene on the moor, which I tried to reflect in the image. I also brought along as many symbols as I could that were significant to Hecate: the moon, dogs and cats, Belladonna plant (also known as Deadly Nightshade), Oak leaves, Dittany, and a frog. As Hecate is often depicted with a torch in each hand (like the torches on each side of a doorway), I gave her two flames. The frog swallowing the key is a symbol of magical knowledge, which Hecate has the ability to grant.
I had a great time working on this. Mainly watercolor and gouache, I also used some pencil and acrylic ink to finish it off.