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Art of the Day: Thursday December 22, 2011

Bertcha- Winter Solstice Queen

- by Rob Robie

This week's theme: Happy Holidays

The next two weeks are big ones for holidays, festivals and celebrations. This week we celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, the December/Winter Solstice - it's the 22nd this year, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So as the second to last week of the year unfolds, laugh, eat and enjoy your friends and family. And one more thing, don't forget to check in on Santa's progress though out the day and evening at Norad Tracks Santa. They've been doing it for 56 years, so you can depend on the reliability of their reports.

Art: Bertcha- Winter Solstice Queen by Artist Rob Robie


I live within the deepest folds of your mind. When we spin farthest from the blazing mother of life, frost begins to cool your feet and I will arrive just in time to lengthen your smile. Children will delight in my gifts and charms but if you've misbehaved, beware my owl and serow. They may carry you off into the woods and plant you in the ground; perhaps to come back another time.

This artwork invokes a sense of fantasy and mystery. Originally inspired by glass artist Dawn Thompson with studies from Valerie Meijer and Andrea Misetta, they helped me discover my way through the beginning and supported me until its completion.

Many cultures have used Bertcha as a holiday figure from Germany to Spain, which is similar to modern day Santa Claus but sometimes with more severe consequences for being naughty, with some cultures giving her an owl; while others a goat. She is an ugly witch in Spain known as Berara and rides a broomstick.

I have chosen to portray her as a mysterious figure perched on her proud serow and her wise owl returning to her basket of gifts. Their path is illuminated with a shroud of the upcoming seasons illustrated with Columbines of spring to flowers of every season and above them a slumbering tree outstretching its branch as if to stroke her hair. The sun could be setting or rising but it does seem that their gaze is set ahead with a view of the viewer that resides in the future.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Bertcha- Winter Solstice Queen

Bertcha's proud serow

Detail Image for art Bertcha- Winter Solstice Queen

Backed with solid white oak

Detail Image for art Bertcha- Winter Solstice Queen

Bertcha's wise owl


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