Umay, a word with a Mongolian root to express the placenta and womb, is the goddess of fertility and abundance in Turkish mythology and Tengriism, who protects children and pregnant women, and is a female name.
I found myself thinking about Umay from time to time for about 2 years now, and creating some fictions related. A fiction I wrote, maybe I will share it someday, a lyric-like-thing, where the story tells that she’s taken away by force and the devastated village lost its many children in her absence. In the mythology when she leaves a child/baby for long, the child gets ill. When she leaves a baby/kid completely, it means death.
About the composition of the painting of this post, I should say that it has evolved from somewhere completely different: It was November, I drew a naked woman figure alone with cross arms she is half hiding. But this one is already going to be a long post, so I want to tell you about this ink drawing in the next post and explain about the man on the other side of the water because it is also an interesting story. Another ink sketch which is about where I hid the foot in the previous ink drawing, getting closer to wildflowers also. This sharp form of the flower comes from a completely different ink work I did in October. More of those flowers I drew, with a pile of tile-like texture on the background, each tile is different from each other. And those edgy wildflowers. And a sketch here, where how I apply all of it into my new Umay oil painting, deciding its colors and what to include from my ink drawings. I like the idea of the woman, she is after the battle and naked, still powerful, standing mighty against the big clouds, high mountains and the bad spirits above the village. By her returning the bad spirit is leaving in the form a cloud mass. And behind her, there are light-colored light clouds in little pieces are delivering the good news of the good days ahead. Steps of the painting. I drew a detailed version of it at first then applied oils.
Besides in the mythology, she has long silver hair, and in the painting, according to the fiction’s context, she is after a battle with traitor natural forces. But she still has her power, is standing and watching the dark cloud of death leaving, this time cross arms not to hide but just a gesture while gaining her power back.
Let’s examine the composition now.
The village is almost at the center. You can see the layers as Umay is at the foreground; the middle ground is the big green major mountain on the right side; then the background is in the middle of the painting where you can see the village and the rising ‘thing‘ in a spiral way towards the cloud mass above; then the light blue sky at the far background.
You can see that the clouds, mountain chains and the meadow in the foreground, they are all a group of elements in the painting and they have a horizontal flow into each other. Umay, the goddess, is the only vertical ‘element’ in the composition, which describes her power&rise. Detail, the left up corner. Close up. Close up to the major cloud’s left part, the pinkies float and push the dark cloud away.Detail.Where clouds meet the mountain.Flowers down there at the foreground (Yeah, I know, I need to change my camera, obviously).Moving right a bit. Initial, PEYL, December ’18 and you can see red-like-brown with a navy-green mix in the texture of the mountain. The whole composition is horizontal, except the human figure that’s vertical, which matches up with the topic where the goddess is back and rises/watches the land without her.
Even though I don’t like contouring, but to fit the figure in this composition I decided to match the figure to the rest and contour a bit with the scapula etc.
So, ‘Umay, The Look Over The Devastated Village‘ 40×60 cm oil painting on canvas.
I’d be so happy to hear your thoughts about this topic and how it’s applied to a surface.
Happy painting for Y’all!
If you’re interested in the painting, here is the link of my Etsy shop: