Whenever I come back from a trip or a several-day throwing and trimming session, I sit down to paint a set of dragons. I twirl their tails, pin them under their toes, wedge them in their teeth. The claws are in my muscle memory, the scales train my wrist in a uniform motion, the wings are exercises in straight lines. When they are complete, I have a tray of dragons proudly egging me onward: praise to the childhood fascination with myth that keeps the human story just slightly undefined. It is impossible to draw an inaccurate dragon since none such ever existed, but there are some traditions of form that we cling to: the wings must protrude somewhere along a shoulder blade. The creases have to occur the way a lizard's leg would, and the angles of the limbs can't be more absurd than that of a frog's.
There is a fear of exposing myself as a D&D-playing, fantasy-consumed, nerd. But, then, if those are the experiences that gave me pleasure, what is there to be ashamed about? I embraced that feeling of promise with the various shaped dice in my palm, while my older cousin intoned, "Have a look, have a listen" and the result of the dice would decide whether or not I was aware of the Balrog waiting to attack behind the corner of his graph paper labyrinth.
Formative moments of imagination include dragons. Of course there were fairies too, but they were too timid to be seen. The mighty dragon, however, isn't shy. I've had a picture by Mercer Meyer of a girl and her dragon above my bed since I was 10. (From a book of Unicorns). I never liked the unicorn, especially as it seems to be taking pride in the dragon's demise. I always thought they were prissy, unicorns. But I loved the liquid drop of dream that oozes into the real world (and the nod to the Cheshire Cat, of course).
Everyone has a story about a dragon, or how they gain strength from the idea of them. So I make big, hearty, dragon mugs to usher in a more powerful day, full to overflowing with unknowns and imagination
|"Amanda Dreams of Dragons", Mercer Meyer|