This is my character sheet, or design specification, for Naomi/Mara. The purpose of this sheet is to keep a record of the attributes or characteristics of my drawing, so that I can draw a similar-looking cartoon in all future scenes showing Naomi/Mara.
I first drew my version of Naomi/Mara in May 2012, with the “Ruth 01 – In Moab – Scene 05 – Ruth determined” picture. Although my style has changed a bit since those early cartoons, I try to maintain the same facial features, colouring and clothing style, so that the figure is recognizably that of Naomi/Mara, even when months or years have elapsed between drawings.
In Hebrew the name Naomi translates into “pleasantness” or “the pleasant one”.
Naomi was married to a man from Bethlehem names Elimelech. She was the mother of two sons, named Mahlon and Chilion. As a famine came upon the land of Isdrael, Elimelech took his wife and two sons to wait it out in Moab, a land to the south east of Israel. Whilst there, Naomi’s sons married Moabite women, named Ruth and Orpah. Some time later all three men died.
The famine ended in Israel, and so Naomi decided to return to her own people in Bethlehem. Initially her two daughters-in-law accompanied her, but she urged them to return to their own fam,ilies in Moab. Orpah agreed, and returned, but Ruth stated that she was determined to go with Naomi, so both women made their way back into Israel.
When the women of Bethlehem greeted Naomi she told them not to call ner Naomi (“pleasantness”), but Mara/Mmarah (“bitterness”), “for,” she said, “the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.”
Ruth went to work gleening (gathering grain that has been dropped by harvesting workers) in Boaz’s field. He tuirned out to be a kinsman-redeemer of Naomi’s family. Naomi advised Ruth in her dealings with Boaz, resulting in their marriage. After Boaz and Ruth’s baby was born, Naomi was happy again, and nursed their child.