Aurora: Sunrises, Spectra, and a Goddess.

This post begins with a tale from my childhood in the country between Lincoln and Pottawatomie County, living right off the county line -picture red clay dirt roads with a little gravel every now and then, ponds, turtles, rust-red colored cows and if there was a tornado warning, you went out to look for it rather than hide.
Wide open spaces- whattaya gonna do?

Maybe around the time I was 7 years old, my dad wakes me up one dark early middle-of-the-nigh-ish-morning around 4am. Lazy-bratty-kid "me" is trying to figure out what's going on as he's taking me down the hall and it's NOT Christmas or my birthday and I can't even remember if it's school time or what. Then he points out through the back patio door. 
And there it is. The Northern Lights.
Aurora Borealis. 
Seen from Okla- freaking -homa.  Not Alaska. Not Saskatchewan. The near-middle of Middle America, the last thing we are known for is astrological phenomena.  Anyway... it's something that stands out for me, being here.

I have shared this story with a few people in person and get the same look every time- disbelief. I called my dad this morning to confirm this wasn't a seizure-driven delusion to make my life seem more special, and got to relive the memory. It is strange with social media that everything is expected to be documented with visual evidence, even if it can be faked ("Do you have photos of yourself skeet shooting, Mr. President?") although with dishonesty being the root of so many problems in general, I can believe it...
credit and copyright ©Dave Ewoldt,
*I did manage to find (for disbelievers) another image of the Aurora Borealis in Oklahoma. It's even relatively more recent than circa late 80s, from Okarche in 2003.

But aside from living happily ever after knowing that Okies can experience this sight too... now that I am in the city with light pollution, the sunrise is one of the best sights.. since my windows face east. The etymology and it's sources became the inspiration for a work I have wanted to make for some time.

early morning sunrise out my window, over locally owned restaurant and neighbor Cheevers Cafe...

Aurora is the Roman Goddess of the Dawn -Eos to the Greeks, and there are other versions of "Dawn" deities across various pantheons. She is most notable for taking mortal lovers and featured in the works of Homer, erotic/love poetry, art, and song. She has been depicted in more modern fantasy/surreal artworks with Tithonius- her lover she turned into a grasshopper/cicada/cricket (depending on the source).  One of the notable things about her I found interesting and wanted to include was from Virgil's Aenied where she weeps at the slaying of her son, Memnon, and her tears fall down and became the morning dew.  As an insecta/lepidoptera nut, I included aurora morpho butterflies carrying the dew-tears, and her heterochromia - toned eyes are matched to her lover and father of her son, and to the butterflies.

15x30" acrylic, copper leaf, on 1.5" deep canvas
©2013 Amanda Christine Shelton

This piece will be on display at Sauced in OKC's Paseo Arts District until February 28th, in the annex, or you can also inquire with me and nab her up.   And... you can get my local contact info there if you pay them a visit for lunch or to take in some great music or poetry :)

To see other new 2013 images -