Dragons

Much like faeries, I have always been fascinated by the idea of dragons and dragon lore.

When I was a child, I used to write a lot of stories and they were always filled with tales of dragons. Around that time, I used to watch the film, Flight of Dragons over and over again. The cartoon Dungeons & Dragons was also a big favourite of mine.

One of my favourite dragon artists is Ruth Thompson. The way that she depicts dragons is how I’ve always imagined they might look like. They’re so fiercely beautiful and majestic. The painting above is of a dragon called Thunderstruck and I’m happy to say that I own a copy of this print and also one of the wonderful Obsidian:

Ruth Thompson probably isn’t what you would call “renowned” for her backgrounds, but I think that emphasises the brilliance of the dragons themselves. The settings are merely functional and are usually a cliff ledge or ruin for the dragon to perch on.

I think it’s wonderful how Ruth Thompson imbues her dragons with such character. No dragon looks the same even though her style is very recognisable.

I love this painting of two duelling  dragons:

I love the ominous clouds and the striking difference between the two dragons. There’s something almost dance-like in this painting.

While Ruth Thompson depicts so well the fierceness and majesty of dragons, Anne Stokes has produced some wonderfully tender pieces in her Dragon Friendship series. Maybe I’m just terribly maudlin, especially where companionship is concerned, but I love the idea of dragons as companions. I’d hate for that to sound demeaning, as I’ve never thought of my cats as “pets” because they mean so much more to me than that, and I think Anne Stokes demonstrates what I truly mean in her images:

I think this is such an evocative picture. There’s something so imploring and sad in this image. It looks like the dragon is trying to console the maiden. I think the general setting is gorgeous too without taking any attention away from the main image.

I’ve really fallen in love with Anne Stokes’ work. She definitely portrays dragons as fierce and majestic, but my favourite images tend to be the ones that portray a more tender nature to the dragon.

What I like about Anne Stokes’ tender dragons, is that even though a lot of them you could describe as “cute”, they aren’t “cutesy”. They don’t make the dragons look any less majestic.

I recently e-mailed Anne Stokes to ask if she had any plans to produce a book of her art, and I’m happy to report that she was very enthusiastic about an art book which I would love to add to my collection. This Christmas, I have purchased a set of Yuletide cards for my nearest and dearest, as I always enjoy sending cards that are a bit different and reflect my own interests and personality.

Moving on to sculpture, it would be impossible to not mention Andrew Bill, particularly his delightful Bookwyrms. I just love the idea of these little dragons guarding my favouritebooks.

I haven’t seen for myself, but once you line all of the Bookwyrms up, they all join together. At the moment, I only have possession of this one:

It is obviously my aim in the future, to have all of the Bookwyrms collection. I’m already quite behind as there is a series 2 available to buy and I understand Andrew Bill is currently working on a third.

Again, I love the character Andrew Bill gives to his dragons. He manages to make them look fierce, but lovely at the same time!

Tales from Fairyland ~ Charlotte Bird

Charlotte Bird is the creator of some of the most charming “fairy photography”. I remember first seeing her work in an issue of Faerie Magazine and immediately falling in love with the atmospheric pictures. There’s something so evocative about the images. It’s like having a wonderful glimpse of bygone eras and the sense that the faeries do live among us, if we just looked hard enough.

I have always been a stay at home type person. I love the comfort and snugness of curling up when it’s dark and cold outside with a scented candle burning, a cat to snuggle and a book to disappear into.

Charlotte Bird’s images have such a homely and reassuring feel to them.

I have always loved the festivities around Christmas. I love writing cards, wrapping presents, decorating the house with Christmas trimmings and listening to Christmas songs and carols. It’s no surprise then that I should have fallen in love with Charlotte Bird’s Christmas scenes. They really capture the excitement, suspense and magic of Christmas.

Another aspect of Charlotte Bird’s photography that really inspires me, is her scenes in woodlands and streams. I adore anything that draws on the mystery and beauty of nature and Charlotte Bird has a wonderful talent for depicting scenes as if she just stumbled upon a scene. There’s nothing forced about her images.

I’m a strong advocate of escapism. Sometimes it can become so easy to slip into ruts or getting lost in the immediacy of money problems or work. It means a lot to me to be able to open a book, or look at a picture or listen to a piece of music that transcends all of that. I cherish the ability to still be awed by something or to still feel a sense of excitement and magic over things like Hallowe’en or Christmas.

Through Charlotte Bird’s works, there’s still hope of wonders to be found at the bottom of the garden and that it might not be too silly to want to believe in faeries.

Unfortunately, I don’t own any of Charlotte Bird’s prints, which is such a shame as they must add so much character to a house. I am very keen to get her book Tales from Fairyland as soon as I am able. It’s a little on the expensive side. I’m sure it is worth it though, I’m always swayed by collectors editions, especially when they are signed by the artist.