[Lustredust, an illustration I created for my last novel, is this post’s featured image.]
While working out the shocking and unexpected turning point of my story, “Only Regrets,” my worktable beckoned me again, this time with an invitation to draw some new monsters and revive an old one. I used my smartphone to capture two of the drawings, but the colors, even with filters are never as vibrant as the original work. Nevertheless, here they are:
I call this a dragon bird. Her wings are inadequate, her tail unassertive, and her eyes a bit wary, but otherwise she is aloft and going about her business. By the way, despite people’s tendency these fraught days of 2020 to politicize every image that travels through the ether, my drawings arise from my own complex emotional life and from curiosity. Making no statements here. Almost daily, I open my book of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations, which I study, copy, and adapt to my own taste. Rackham was a celebrated English book illustrator who died in 1939 and worked during what some call the Golden Age of British book illustration. A minor figure in one of his drawings inspired Ms. Dragon Bird.
The next drawing was a caffeinated inspiration. While eating breakfast, I imagined—on a whim, of course—a dragon in sheep’s clothing. Don’t you think the sheep is savvy? She looks pretty unflappable to me.
Again, the drawing tempts the viewer to make political allusions, but it is simply an image that popped into my head this morning.
Last is this headshot I drew years ago in a more naturalistic way (but without a model) of the golden dragon featured in both of my fantasy novels, Malevir: Dragons Return and Where Dragons Follow.* I am not a D&D player, but I love stories about powerful and well-intentioned dragons, like those by Anne McCaffrey.
While studying several sources on dragon lore, I came across some websites asserting the existence of dragon ‘elementals,’ creatures tied to fundamental forces of our world, like earth, water, air, and fire. The sites offer techniques designed to summon one’s appropriate, perfectly matched elemental for guidance and support. I feel as though I have summoned my own dragon spirits by building the world of Dragonwolder in my novels and in text fleshing out their existence. I am especially close to the golden dragon, Aurykk and have spent many hours in his heart and soaring with his wings.
Which reminds me: it is time to work on that story again.
*novels available in print and ebook formats at amazon.com