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Witch Sorceress Enchantress

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 1:40 AM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:

The Witchas Multifaceted Icon

Throughout history artists of every discipline have been fascinated, inspired and transfixed at every historical stage of the shifting perceptions of the “Witch” in any given time or society.  The seams within every page of every chapter written against or in defense of the witch have been alternatively filled with oppressive sexism, blind eyed religious bigotry, occult doctrine, fevered and forbidden lustful sexuality, misplaced fear, and reams of wide eyed superstition.

Consequently, the colors, and lines within every stroke upon every canvas and visceral depiction, carry all the burdensome weight of the long intricacies of this subject.   With respect to this much maligned, religiously and politically repurposed, perpetually misunderstood subject matter, we bring a little of the Witch or Sorceress or Enchantress throughout art history and in the artworks of deviantART as she has appeared, the eternal female sometimes revered as symbol and icon of human power, but also sometimes reviled, hunted and depicted as symbol of all that is traitorous and deceptive.

Witches Sabbath, 1797-98
by Francisco Goya

The eternal “Eve.”  Or is it "Lilith"?

No other figure in art, or in common popular consciousness for that matter, has been so diametrically and extremely counterposed in dueling iconic presentation as the witch. She is either the repulsively ugly old hag with a bag of vile tricks she looses upon unsuspecting innocent souls – or she is the beautiful Earth Goddess, at one with all nature and the rhythms of life. Both iconic extremes were depicted in "The Wizard Of Oz". The evil witch was terrifying and dangerous. The good witch was positively angelic and acted as a protectoress of the lost little girl. Why the opposing “witch” narratives? Because both storylines are the received remnants of “true” stories from Europe’s knotted socio-political history.

When the Holy Roman Empire achieved control over most of Europe, Christianity became the official religion of the masses and was rigorously enforced. But the suppressed Druid and other pantheistic religions did not totally die out, with some adherents refusing to stop practicing their religious rites which had much to do with the woods and the fields. These practitioners – mostly elderly midwives and herbologists dispensing natural medicines – were slandered and labeled “witches” by the official church and violently suppressed. And so the schizophrenia swirling around the image of the witch was born. In our modern times the witch has become mixed in with vampires and werewolves as a Halloween monster, the children certainly having no notion that witches were “real” once upon a time.

Questionsfor the reader

  1. Which witch do you prefer to picture in your mind when that word in invoked?

    a. The fun Halloween character.

    b. The (maybe real) monster lurking in the deep woods.

    c. The Earth Mother Enchantress with special powers.

    d. The Earth Mother with knowledge of herbs and natural remedies but no special powers.

  2. Some are drawn to modern “witchcraft” seeking the very supernatural “powers” that Druid women were falsely accused of practicing and burned at the stake for possessing as “witches.”  Do you find this:

    a. Ironic.

    b. Sad but instructive in human nature.

    c. A victory for modern cultural acceptance.

    d. A comment on our “anything to gain an edge” society.

  3. What’s your favorite artwork depicting the iconic “evil” witch?
  4. What’s your favorite artwork depicting the iconic “good” witch?

Merrell Diorama Contest

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 5:35 PM

Merrell shoes and clothes invites you to get inspired by the change in seasons and bring your favorite fall memory to life in a diorama -- in a shoebox! Please join Merrell in the celebration of "Vendemmia" while paying homage to their unique and sophisticated Fall Collection of shoes and boots. Vendemmia is the age-old tradition of the Italian wine harvest, and for a few autumn months, the terraced hillside vineyards come alive with hard work and passion, and the fruits of this elegant dedication flourish for generations to come. Merrell wants to peek into your most treasured fall memory presented with creativity and love, and a diorama is the perfect way to bring that vision to life.

Choose a treasured fall memory that you've imagined or experienced.

Use a shoebox to recreate that detailed memory on a smaller scale. (Please see our diorama construction guidelines before submitting!)

Take photographs from up to four distinct vantage points to allow us to see every imaginative detail. (Please see our photography angle guidelines before submitting!)

In order to submit, place up to four images in a single JPG or PNG file as a single deviation.


  • $2,500 USD
  • A trip to attend a deviantMEET in either Portland, OR, or Seattle, WA, USA on March 16, 2013
  • A pair of shoes from the Merrell Vendemmia Collection*
  • Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set
  • 6,000 deviantART Points

  • dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack
  • A Print of your choice from**
  • One-Year Premium Membership to deviantART
  • *
    Depending on sizes and availability
  • **
    Depending on sizes and subject to availability. Maximum value $250.00 USD.

  • $2,000 USD
  • Nintendo Wii U Basic Set
  • 2,000 deviantART Points
  • dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack
  • DeviantART Gear T-Shirt of Winner's choice*
  • Six-Month Premium Membership to deviantART
  • *Subject to availability.

  • $1,000 USD
  • Apple iPod Nano (16GB, Silver)
  • 2,000 deviantART Points
  • dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack
  • DeviantART Gear T-Shirt of Winner's choice*
  • Six-Month Premium Membership to deviantART
  • *Subject to availability.

$50 USD iTunes Gift Card    DeviantART Gear T-Shirt of Winner's choice*
800 deviantART Points    Three-month Premium Membership to deviantART

*Subject to availability.


CONTEST BEGINS AT 12:00:00 AM (PT) ON October 1, 2012 AND ENDS AT 11:59:59 PM (PT) ON October 31, 2012 (THE "PROMOTION PERIOD").

  • Must be a diorama in a shoebox or in a box of the dimensions of a shoebox as specified in the Construction Guidelines at the Contest Site and in the Contest Article;
  • Must represent a favorite memory of the fall season experienced by the Entrant or as interpreted by the Entrant ("fall" is the season between September and December in the Northern Hemisphere of the globe);
  • Must be capable of transport by mail without significant damage to the Work if the Work is a winning Entry;
  • All items used in the Work may originate in any medium provided the medium is safe for international transportation through the mails;
  • For consideration as an Entry, the Work is to be photographed by the Entrant in up to four images in a single JPG or PNG file submitted only as a single deviation (the "Entry Photograph"). Your layout, with the four images, can follow any style you wish following the Photography Guidelines  at the Contest Site and in the Contest Article;

  • May not contain stock images obtained from other members of deviantART or other companies, however the following are acceptable: 1) licensed fonts, 2) licensed stock brushes, 3) licensed textures and 4) small three-dimensional objects which are not the central focus of the Work and which are purchased or made by another person; and
  • Must be entirely the original work of the Entrant however the Entrant may use another person to create the Entry Photograph of the Work for the purpose of the submission to the Contest.
  • other requirements and restrictions apply, please read the Official Rules carefully;
  • Membership to deviantART is required to Enter the Contest. Membership to is free.  You must be over the age of 18 to enter and people anywhere in the world may enter.

25 Finalists will be selected by full-time deviantART Staff. From the Finalists, the final three winners will be selected by Merrell's Vice President of Global Marketing!

All entries will be judged on the following criteria:

Creative Use of the Shoebox Space

Overall Impact of the Work

Successful Interpretation of the Theme  

  Technical Skill

In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing weekly Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes to the site, bug fixes, and feedback that was brought up by members in the last Site Update.

What's New

Prints Integration on Deviation Pages (Beta Testers Only)

Today we're bringing you an easier way to purchase art on deviantART! When viewing a deviation that is enabled as a Print, you'll be met with a sleek new menu that is designed to be simple, straightforward, and encouraging. 

Group Journal Editing in Writer (Beta Testers Only)

In addition, we're bringing you a feature that makes it easier for members to collaborate using Group Journals. Admins who have Journal editing privileges can now edit Journals posted by others. The feature makes it easier to edit, maintain and collaborate within your Group.

Change Log

  • Some country domain email addresses were not accepted for creating Shop accounts. Fixed by shahyarg
  • The Deviants widget on Groups pages did not respect the order preference set in the widget. Fixed by randomduck
  • On the blog entry page, the text area scrollbar was getting clipped off in Internet Explorer. Fixed by shahyarg
  • The Donate Points widget was not actually invisible prior to a donation goal being set. Fixed by randomduck
  • Ads were temporarily broken in IE8. Fixed by ZombieCoder
  • The iOS6 browser was released with a bug that caches certain requests. Worked around by shahyarg
  • The quality assurance control system on Prints orders was not properly releasing some Prints after they were approved. Fixed by randomduck
  • Sold out or discontinued deviantARTGear had a possibility of getting stuck in the shopping cart. Fixed by KnightAR
  • In the payment details section of a purchase, there was no way to cancel entering a new card. Fixed by shahyarg
  • The search bar in a deviant's Gallery looked and behaved differently than the one on their Journal. Fixed by shahyarg
  • deviantART was not properly capitalized in some places. Fixed by shahyarg
  • Clicking the "Next" button for comments would occasionally break the page. Fixed by kouiskas
  • Opening the File and Edit menus would cause a Javascript error in Internet Explorer. Fixed by kouiskas
  • For Android, the Camera option would be available when pressing upload. Fixed by kouiskas
  • .TIFF files now automatically have a preview image and thumbnail. Fixed by kouiskas Writer

  • The literature toolbar would occasionally double-initialize, making it look like the default settings weren't loaded. Fixed by kemayo

Your Feedback

Thank you all for the feedback left on last week's update! Here's some of what you had to say.
  • In response to our asking about the Prints submission process, several users mentioned that being prompted to submit every image deviation as a Print was cumbersome, particularly when submitting works in progress.
  • Bloodsong13T and overseer mentioned that selecting options when setting up or editing Prints submissions can become tedious.
  • Feedback regarding the suggestion about comments auto-updating was mixed. Some were pleased with the idea, while others felt it was more distracting than helpful.
  • Deviants would like a way to preview how their art will look when printed before submitting it as a Print. Suggested by overseer
  • Some deviants would like an easier way to create sub-bullets in lists, in Writer. Suggested by Katara-Alchemist
  • Deviants would like to send notes from a Group account. Suggested by aboveClouds 
  • It would be helpful for a deviation sold as a Print to show the number of sales it has had. Suggested by Blue-Koi
  • Some deviants would like to be able to embed video into their portfolios. Suggested by Su5anLee 
  • Deviants would like to be able to download drawings they've done in deviantART muro from their Suggested by Mattehboy


The Friends System
The Watch feature allows you to follow your favourite artist's artwork and activity, while also giving you the ability to mark other deviants as being your friend. How would you like to see the friends system be improved? What features would you like it to have?

Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
Lightbulb Want to keep track of known issues? Check out our Status Forum!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)


ast week we published the video of Josh Wattles, makepictures Fan Art Law panel from Comic-Con. An educative, passionate and very enlightening conversation soon followed in the comments section. You can participate in that conversation here.

This week the superstars of deviantART panel will provide unique insight and advice for artists on the rise in the deviantART community.

Being a member of the deviantART community might be the most important support system a young artists could ever hope to have. That being said, there is also the problem of finding a way to stand out when surrounded by so many fellow talented artists. What are the ways, the secrets, of shining a light on one’s own work? Profile presentation is key. And perhaps no better way of helping deviants achieve the maximum possible impact by creating the very best presentation of their profile and presence on their individual profiles, is to hear from an inspiring group of artists who joined us for a panel discussion on exactly that subject.

The artists who were kind enough to share their thoughts with spyed on this panel may represent divergent currents within the deviantART community, but they share the one imperative of always lending advice and assistance to fellow artists. Whether an artist is a veteran of a lifetime of barely scraping by in the arts, or the hottest thing hanging in galleries, all true artists are of one current forever flowing through the world, all travelers on the same course working toward truth and beauty through creativity.

Something that came to mind when re-watching this discussion during the editing process was the feeling that all of the panelists felt very connected to the deviantART community. They are part of a network of endless support and inspiration that means as much to them now at this point in their career as it did when they were just starting out. I was reminded of this when I came across this deviation from Artgerm last week...

His quote in the comments below the image brought me right back to that thought I was having while watching this panel unfold live at Comic-Con. He said:

"I strongly believe that this is the most inspirational deviation that I ever submitted. So print it out and hang it on your wall and scream "I can do it too!"

Featured PanelistsInclude:


Adam Warren


The Dirty Pair (Dark Horse), Empowered (Dark Hourse)

Chris Sanders

:iconalohalilo: alohalilo

Lilo & Stich creator (Disney), How to Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks)

Dave Elliot

:icondeevelliott: DeevElliott

Comic industry veteran, writer and editor of over 10,000 comics projects

Jim Zubkavich

:iconzubby: Zubby

Artist, Writer and Project Manager of Creative Services, Udon Entertainment (UdonCrew),

Kevin Eastman

:iconkevineastman: Kevineastman

Co-creator of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise and Publisher of Heavy Metal Magazine

Mark Brooks

:icondiablo2003: diablo2003

Marvel Comics

Yuumei (Wenqing Yan)

:iconyuumei: yuumei

Digital Artist and Cyber-Activist

Previously, the process for submitting Premium Content required you to submit the "preview" file as a deviation, go through the submission process, and then attach the Premium Content by uploading files from your computer.

We just upgraded the Premium Content submission process to allow you to attach Premium Content files from your

This new feature makes it easier to submit Premium Content by allowing you to upload multiple files at once. On top of that, because files uploaded to can be attached as Premium Content, you can now include Writer and deviantART muro files as part of your downloadable content!

On the submission process, click "Attach Content from your":

Then, attach content from your or upload files from your computer:

This feature will be rolling out to deviants who have the ability to sell Premium Content over the next several hours. During this period, you may experience some hiccups with the Premium Content feature as we transition to the new system.

The Premium Content Platform is currently in BETA, but will be open for all users in the future. Read more.

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