Athena/Athena by Molly Crabapple

I’m a big fan of the artwork of Molly Crabapple, and so when I recently decided that I would like to commission a portrait of my daughter, she was the artist who immediately came to mind. Fortunately for me she had time on her schedule for the work, and was came up with something that I think is simply wonderful. Take a look at it (please note it’s still in its travel wrapping, so you’ll see bits where tape blurs things and/or there’s reflection from the mylar). I’m calling it “Athena/Athena” for reasons I think will be immediately obvious.

(click on the picture to go to a larger version)

And now, a quick detail:

(click on the picture to go to a larger version)

Honestly, I don’t think it would be possible for me to be much happier about this portrait than I am. It really is gorgeous. And even better, my daughter loves it (it was a surprise to her).  Many thanks to Molly Crabapple for the work. I love that I know such talented people as she.

37 Comments on “Athena/Athena by Molly Crabapple”

  1. That is absolutely gorgeous! I am glad Athena likes it because it looks just like her.

    I will most certainly be taking a look at the rest of Molly Crabapple’s work.

  2. Looks like artist did watercolor/colored in wash over paper first and then ink and high lights? Is very cool looking!

  3. The top picture has a ‘this image or video is currently unavailable.’ Perhaps because I’m in Canada?

    I can see the bottom picture just fine. It is very good.

  4. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Jesus. That’s amazing! Wow!

  5. Gorgeous piece of art! And glad your daughter liked it, it would have been a shame if it hadn’t been fully appreciated

  6. I love how, even with the fanciful elements, it is so clearly a picture of her. What a lovely surprise!

  7. katyasozaeva – Athens, GA 30605 – Love animals, interested in a lot of things, obsessive bibliophile; check out my blog Now is Gone at

    Beautiful! Love the mythic elements with the owl.

  8. Like JReynolds, I couldn’t see the first picture when I opened Whatever in my inbox. Had to click on it to get it to open up in Flickr. When I came directly here, it opened up just fine.

    Beautiful picture–as others have noted, you have very talented friends!


  9. Great portrait. Such detail. Love the owl, the mythological feel, and while I don’t know Athena I think it captures her personality from things you’ve posted. Glad she likes it. Wonderful artist.

  10. Oh, that’s a beauty! Such talent! I would suffer from giddy palpitations if my dad gives me something like that. Another + points to you.

  11. That. Is. Gorgeous.

    I’d say it not only looks like Athena, it gives a kind of shivery foreshadowing of what she’ll look like as an adult.

  12. Donna Leonard – Southern California – I like to write, read, knit, crochet, watch movies, watch way too much television, listen to music and play Drawsomething 2 somewhat obsessively, not necessarily in that order. You can find my irregular blog at: 3 kids: Twenty-three-year-old boy/girl twins, and a thirteen-year-old girl. 3 cats: fourteen-year-old female, three-year-old female, and a two-year-old male
    Donna Leonard

    Very cool.

  13. Marilyn Armstrong – United States – Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all plus a big helping of skepticism about humanity.

    That is a wonderful portrait … it’s like a fairy tale come alive.

Exit mobile version