myth in art

chasing the dragon

Writhing in agony on the rocky shore, Sherlock attempted to warn her of the animal’s approach but no sound would pass his lips.  It took the clicking of a thousand scales and the buffeting gusts of salty air to finally tear Joan’s focus away from her partner’s contorted form.

The sack she carried dropped to the ground beside Sherlock. Joan reached for the hilt of her silver sword. Fiercely, she pivoted to face the winged creature.

Golden and glistening, as beautiful as it was terrifying, it screeched in anger at the intrusion. “He belongs to me! The oracle has so declared!” The beast swayed its long tale as it reared itself high into the sky, taking aim at the armored warrior. “Run, mortal woman, run while you can!”

Enraged, Joan stood taller. Her voice exploded from deep within her plated chest, full in its power, “We do not fear thee, dragon. Be gone. You have no power here.” She raised her sword high and prepared to plunge it deep into the dark heart of the shimmering lizard. Sherlock, now on his knees behind Joan, watched in terror.

The animal’s laugh, like the ringing of a hundred bells, filled the air. It opened its mouth sending forth a sphere of orange flames that enveloped Joan’s weapon. The molten metal fell from her hand, puddling like mercury in the sand before her.

Joan screamed, doubled over, and turned away from her enemy. Sherlock expecting to see the defeated face of his partner, was shocked at the smile on face.

She whispered, “Give me the sack, and close your eyes. No matter what you hear, do not open them until I say it is safe.”

Dumbfounded, he did as he was told. Joan took the sack and reached in, clamping tight on the mass within. She pulled out the blond-tressed head of the Medusa, cast her own eyes to the ground and raised it high before the dragon…

The keen of the dying beast entwined with the cold wails of Moriarty’s head as it swung from her hand filled the air, piercing and shrill, reverberated through her chest until her whole body shook. Her eyes clamped shut, she heard Sherlock call out her name over and over …..

“Watson! Watson!” He shook her again, trying to break the hold of whatever terror had chased her through her dreams tonight.

With a rattling intake of breath, Joan awoke to the sight of Sherlock’s eyes, full of pain and fear for her. Bringing her breathing under control, she laid her hand on his, “It’s okay. ….. It’s okay…”

——

The story is from last year’s Watson’s Woes that I edited slightly here. The image is an attempt to capture what I tried to describe in words. Not quite… dragons are not my forte but I do like the figure of Sherlock cowering behind Joan. 

ETA - adding a second version of the image - not sure if it’s better or worse…

5

Originally, I wanted to draw an AU where Link and Zelda were normal human kids in a world like ours, but then I started thinking about Zoras and I got excited and a new AU within an AU happened?? I’ll probably make more of this.

Persephone and Hades!

Just wanted to do some chara design with these characters

I always really liked the myth of Hades and Persephone when I was younger, it was like a mythological Beauty and The Beast for me. I was a big greek mythology nerd before. Also trivia fact: my name take is root from Persephone first name -the one she had before she came in the underworld- Cora!

If you don’t know this myth it’s the story of Hades god of the underworld falling in love with Persephone -the reason may change, my favorite is that Aphrodite and Eros didn’t like the fact that Hades was such a cold heart refusing to fall in love so they strike him with one of Eros arrow-  and kidnapping her. into the underworld so she become the Queen of the Underworld -it’s not the entire story but it’s a bit long to explain-

‘Deep as Hell Kettles’
15.5x19.5 inches
Mixed media on watercolor paper

The Hell Kettles, three small circular ponds about seventeen feet deep near Darlington, have long been regarded with superstitious awe. Holinshead’s Chronicle reports:

There are certaine pittes or rather three little pools a myle from Darlington, and a quarter of a myle distant from the These [Tees] bankes, which ye people call the Kettles of hell, or the devil’s Ketteles, as if he should seethe souls of sinful men and women in them: they adde also that the spirites have oft been hearde to cry and yell about them…

It’s added that “the water is nowe and then warme,” and seventeenth century chronicler William Camden had heard the same - ‘“The common people tearme them Hel-Kettles, because the water in them by the Antiperistasis or reverberation of the cold aire striking thereupon, waxeth hot.”

But had Holinstead or Camden tested the water? Or had they simply heard the pits described in much the same terms as were used in 1634 by the Military Company, who dispatched “a captain, a lieutenant, and an ancient” on a survey and ultimately reported: ”The three admired deep pitts, called Hell Kettles, we left boiling by Darlington”? This might refer to heat or motion, as the kettles contain vigorous springs, and the water was certainly not hot in the nineteenth century, nor indeed at the turn of the seventeenth.

Camden had said that the pits were “of wonderful depth” and this was put to the test by “a very ingenious Gentleman” on behalf of Camden’s translator:

Sir,
According to the promise which I made you, I went to sound the depth of Hell-Kettles near Darlington. The name of the bottomless pits made me provide myself with a line above a hundred fathoms long … but much smaller preparations would have served: for the deepest of them took but fifteen fathoms, or thirty yards of our line. I cannot imagine upon what grounds the people of the Country have supposed them to be bottomless…

That more than one person must have known that the Kettles were not very deep did nothing to dampen the belief that they were bottomless, and in the nineteenth century they were proverbial - “As Deep as Hell Kettles.” Regarding their origin, Camden was probably nearer the mark when he reported the belief of the wiser sort that they had come by the sinking down of the ground swallowed up in some earth-quake. This might have been the one described in a Chronicle from 1328:

1179. About Christmas, a wonderful and unheard of event fell out at Oxenhale [part of Darlington township], that …the ground rose up on high with such vehemence, that it was equal to the highest tops of mountains, and towered above the lofty pinnacles of the churches; and at that height remained from the ninth hour of the day to sunset. But at sunset it fell with so horrible a crash that it terrified all who saw that heap, and heard the noise of its fall, whence many died from that fear; for the earth swallowed it up, and caused in the same place a very deep pit.

Whether or not they were created thus in 1179, a tradition of an earthquake seems to lie behind a tale told here in the nineteenth century. According to some versions, the farmer who centuries ago owned the land was about to cart his hay on St Barnabas’s Day, and when reproved for this act of impiety replied:

“Barnaby yea, Barnaby nay,
A cart-load of hay, whether God will or nay!”

Instantly he, his carts and horses were swallowed up in the pools, where they can still be seen on a fine day with clear water, floating midway, many fathoms deep.

The story begins with a person who is an orphan; or someone who feels like an orphan, alone, separate, different, and misunderstood. This character has questions about their circumstance (for example:”Why did my parents die?”, “Why doesn’t anyone like me?”, Why am I always in trouble?”, “What will I do with my life?”, etc.). These questions set off the journey.

Menton J Matthews