Stellae Errantes: Astronomy Meets Myth Elephant paintings by Sarah Soward

Mars Gradivus painting of a red elephant copyright Sarah Soward 2015

Purchase the Original from Sarah Soward: 415-312-6868

Purchase a print.

Mars Gradivus

Status: Available
Location: Available Artist Direct
Contact: Sarah Soward, 415-312-6868
Dimensions: 36x36 inches
Medium: Oil on canvas
Inspiration: Mars, Roman deity and planet

This painting required something completely different from the layered softness Soward wanted to portray in a painting like Terra Mater. This bad boy, a young depiction of Mars as the god who precedes or leads the army into battle, needed a lot of energy and presence. At first, Soward kept getting overwhelmed by feeling like she should portray violence or aggression. She didn’t want to paint those things. So, she looked to the planet for different inspiration.

Our “Red Planet” is so much more than that. It has an odd rainbow of colors in its dusty crags and barren landscapes. If the planet can be more than red, Soward decided that the god could be more than violent. He could be brave. He could be impassioned and intelligent. He could wage only the wars that need to be waged and lead only the ones that choose to be lead. Soward deepened her understanding, put her anti-war prejudices aside, and was able to paint a god of something she does not respect.

Soward looked to the colors of the planet and gave him war paint—a mask to don as necessary. She looked to the textures of the surface of the planet and painted his dusty and not-quite-fiery background. Soward put strength in her brushstrokes, and she left his eyes black.

Sol Invictus thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015
Mercury thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015
Venus Rhising thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015
Terra Mater thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015
Mars Gradivus thumbnail Copuright Sarah Soward
Jupiter thumbnail coyright Sarah Soward
Saturn thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015
Urnaus thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015
Neptune thumbnail copyright Sarah Soward 2015