"There is a quiet at the heart of love, And I have pierced the pain and come to peace."
— Sara Teasdale 
The goddess Aphrodite fascinates me. Actually, the role of women in Greek mythology fascinates me. 
Reading one's myths and folklore one would not be at fault to believe that women held real power in everyday life. However, this isn’t true. Writers, male writers, spoke about the beloved virtue of a silent wife. Seen, not heard. 

I’m generalizing here. This wasn’t true of all ancient Greek societies. In Sparta women held greater levels of freedom. Though the level of freedom, would not be at the standards of our modern age. This exercise in the individual was appalling to the average Athenian. To witness Spartan women flaunting their well-formed bodies in revealing tunics. However, appalled Athenian men were of Spartan women they also fascinated them. Maybe it should not be of a surprise the face that launched a thousand ships was a Spartan woman—Helen of Troy.

All for the sake of love, twisted and manipulated by the whims of Aphrodite.

 Painting the goddess I wanted her to be beautiful but to feel real. Not in the sense of a photograph but tangible.  I wanted the viewer to see in her eyes the same loss and gain and loss again as we all share. What is it that makes us repeat the definition of madness? And why is it the wielder herself cannot escape its clutches?   
Behind the Scenes
First lines after creating the grid.
Slowly working my way across the page.
Adding some depth along the way.
Almost done with the sketch.
Adding some shadow to give this form.
Drawing is done--time to paint!
Adding a raw sienna wash.
Layering a more concentrated of raw sienna.
Adding washes of burnt sienna for underpainting.
Adding washes of burnt and raw umber.
Adding skin to bone.
Correcting the tones of the goddess.
Quiet night in the studio.