Blog / 2021 / Human Light

December 1, 2021

[video transcript]

The American Humanist Association is doing an online celebration of HumanLight on December 18th at 4 o’clock EST.

Download the humanist candle GIF here! The original painting is for sale for $150 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks—and there are prints and pretty things here in my print shop.

blue, orange, and yellow candles with humanist symbols for flames, celebrating Decemeber 23rd HumanLight, painted by atheist artist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Human Light
acrylic and marker on paper
11 x 7 inches

The first time I drew a candle, I was sixteen and fascinated by candles in that way that teenagers are—the danger, the pretty, the ritual feel of them. I was particularly interested in the the abstract patterns that the wax left on the glass jar as the candle burned down.

Twenty-four years later, I’m back in that headspace, only now I’m not as interested in the danger factor. The pretty and the ritual, though? Those are returning in a new way, because of HumanLight, which is a non-religious festival that coincides with the festivities of the winter season—winter in the northern hemisphere that is. I’m talking Christmas, Hanukkah. It’s a secular celebration of reason, compassion, and hope, and one of the ways to honor HumanLight is with three candles representing these three humanist values.

I’m not sure yet whether I’ll light actual candles this year. It’s my first time celebrating HumanLight and I don’t know exactly what my way of marking the occasion will look like. But, whether or not I light candles, painting some felt right. I like the idea of lighting my painted candles with flames in the shape of the humanist symbol, which looks like both a letter H and a person. I like the idea that we can be bright, that humans can light the way with reason, compassion, and hope.

I even made a GIF of the image to be shared. Little dancing humanist lights!

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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