Oz Notes covers

Here are some pictures I created to use as covers for the Oz Notes, a very small and now defunct newsletter. The Oz Notes was the newsletter for the Web of Oz, a Pagan/Wiccan group in the Lawrence, Kansas area. The group still exists, but no longer publishes a newsletter. For more images, try one of the history links at the bottom of this page.

Click on any thumbnail image to see the full-size version.

65K bytes

Samhain 1995ce
I used Illustrator and Photoshop. I got the Pleiades background from somewhere on the internet several years ago. I’m pretty sure it was free. The apple came from one of the tutorial images on the Photoshop CDs. I drew the caduceus, the rune, candle, and the lemniscate in illustrator and then imported them into Photoshop and diddled with them. I found it easier to get the shading right in Photoshop using gradients, rather than using Illustrator. Of course, I was using version 4.0 then….

We were invoking Hekate and Hermes. I invoked Hermes, which gives you an idea of how eclectic the Web is . . . We divided the ritual area into a light half and a dark half, invoked in the light half and had a procession to the dark half. We had our traditional sharing of loss, the Circle of Sorrows. We had an apple bobbing, and a figure eight dance (which works, by the way). And we raised two cones.

125K bytes

Mabon 1996ce
The Oz Notes is xeroxed, so I grayscaled this before printing it. I used trueSpace and Poser. This was my first attempt at clothing in trueSpace. It was a horrible experience, and though I could probably do better now, I don’t feel like touching it up. I couldn’t get a decent looking fire in trueSpace, so I drew it in Photoshop. The Herne figure in the background has been improved, but not re-imported into the cover.

I’ve redone this in Bryce, calling it Harvest Moon, should you wish to see it. It is 67K bytes. The clothing is still awful.

We were invoking Hestia and Herne, and the theme was canning Summer’s bounty. The ritual included a magickal canning rite to can our bounty from the summer, plus a wild hunt led by Herne. It was awesome.

81K bytes

Beltane 1997ce
This was a conceptual cover, and I’m not sure I like it. We were invoking Iris and Hermes, and the ritual itself was wonderful. As to the cover, though, I included irises and a caduceus for the deities, a maypole for the holiday, and a rainbow for Iris (just because). The rainbow was a pain.

42K bytes

Litha 1997ce
I had to fiddle with the levels in the sky to bring out the sun before grayscaling this. (I wish I could afford to print the Oz Notes covers in color, but it’s not going to happen.) I used Poser for the Aphrodite figure, Bryce for the rest of the image, plus some Photoshop fiddling before printing. That fiddling is not included in this image because the color version doesn’t need it and isn’t improved by it.

The Web invoked Aphrodite and Prometheus, but I wasn’t there. I was out of town. :-( I heard it was a good ritual.

71K bytes

Mabon 1997ce
This one converted to grayscale pretty well. I used Poser for the figures, TrueSpace for the boots, and Bryce for the rest. I cleaned up a few spots that weren’t covered by the clothes in Photoshop. The three round “craters” on the moon seem to be artifacts of Bryce’s rendering process. I don’t know how they got there . . .

We invoked Rhiannon and Pwyll. I didn’t have any 3D horses when I made this, so I cast the pursuit of Rhiannon by Pwyll a bit differently from the original. The ritual was very powerful, though I’m perhaps biased towards old Welsh deities.

I’ve redone this image with horses, should you wish to see a more traditional rendition of the pursuit of Rhiannon by Pwyll. Be warned that it’s 90K bytes.

60K bytes

Samhain 1997ce
Another conceptual cover. We invoked Hekate and Minos, so I made a labyrinth for Minos. I did some interior art of a dog approaching a three-way branch, for Hekate, and I also made a cauldron full of stars with a lemniscate floating above it.

I drew the labyrinth in Illustrator, then imported it into Bryce as a landscape and put a brick texture onto it. Not bad, if I say so myself.

25K bytes

Yule 1997ce
To my mind, this was a quickie cover. The figures are non-descript and there’s virtually no scenery or detail anywhere else.

We invoked Gwion/Taliesin and Ceridwen. The ritual itself was pretty good, I thought. There was a mini-play, where pairs of Websters played Gwion and Ceridwen in their different forms during the chase scene. None of us coordinated with the others ahead, so it was neat to see it all dovetail together.

55K bytes

Beltane 1998ce
Aradia and Herne, of course, performing a symbolic Great Rite. I thought background would be superfluous, so I left it out. The Web doesn’t actually go skyclad as a general rule, but it seemed right for this cover.

This was my first time playing with 3D Studio Max. The chalice and athame were modeled in Max using splines, as was the crescent moon crown. The antlers came from a deer in the TrueClips pack. The figures were intended to represent the actual High Priestess and Priest involved, though I perhaps exaggerated their features somewhat. The goatee was smudged down in Photoshop from the textured goatee I applied to the Herne figure.

34K bytes

Litha 1998ce
This was supposed to represent an old Cornish rite that is still performed at Midsummer. A bonfire is lit at lands end at the setting sun. As far away as it can be seen, on the ridge of the land, another bonfire is lit, and so on, all along Cornwall. The actual ritual was rained out. It was terrible, and we eventually went indoors and attempted to do the ritual as we dried out, but it fizzled. In retrospect, I think we all agree we should have recast the ritual. We’ll try this one again. As above, the Web doesn’t generally go skyclad, but I didn’t feel up to clothing that many figures.

I think the only interesting part of this image is the rocks around the fire pit, which are a terrain.

55K bytes

Samhain 1998ce
I think this one turned out pretty well. It’s of Myrddin and the Lady of the Lake. I was the High Priestess for this ritual, and I think it was one of my most effective times. I could tell that the Goddess was present within me. For a control freak like me, this is fairly rare. Fortunately, it seemed to be a good ritual for everyone else as well.

I used Poser 2 for the figures, 3D Studio Max for the clothing, and Bryce 3D for the rest. I got an academic license for Max last spring, and I’ve played with it a bit. I think the default rendering engine in Max is awful and I don’t feel like buying a third party one, as expensive as Max is. But it’s nice for modeling. I used NURBS to model the clothing.

68K bytes

Litha 1999ce
This one took surprisingly little time to do. It’s a side view of the Rider/Waite “Sun” tarot card. Some kids are playing marbles. Basically, they’re enjoying themselves in the high summer.

I used Poser 3 for the figures, including the horse, 3D Studio Max for the banner the boy is carrying, for the clothing, and Bryce 3D for the rest. The face on the Sun is a variation on Pamela Colman Smith’s drawing for the Rider/Waite Sun. The sunflowers are also based on her drawing.

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