Please enjoy my newest fantasy themed artwork Unicorn Sighting.
As you hike through the forest along a lazy river that winds it’s way between the trees, a mist rises. It becomes difficult to see too far and the rays of the sun play tricks as they break through the canopy of leaves. From the other side of the river you hear a sound. Scanning the far shore of the river, you see an animal emerge from the fog. At first, you think it’s a white horse, but this is a strange place to see a horse without a rider. The you notice the horn on its head! What you see is the legendary creature, the unicorn. What should be myth and fantasy now appears before you. It looks at you, its mane and tail drifting in the breeze. A moment later, it turns and gallops away into the mist. It’s a scene you won’t soon forget.
This is my second work to feature a unicorn and fits in both my fantasy and equestrian themed art collections. It was inspired by my hikes along similar rivers throughout the Southeastern U.S. where rivers often wind their ways through dense forests.
An American Indian woman touches the muzzle of a giant grizzly bear. They stand in a snowy wilderness surrounded by fir trees and high snow covered mountains. Ominous clouds fill the sky.
“The Bear Woman” is a Blackfoot legend about woman who takes a bear for a husband, then later becomes a bear herself and causes great trouble. Here is the (very) short version:
A young Native American woman refuses to marry. Every day while her father and brothers are out hunting, she disappears leaving her little sister alone for long periods. One day, her sister followers her and finds that she has taken a bear as a husband. The little sister tells their father who, with his sons, kills the bear. Later, the bear woman gains the ability to transform herself into a bear. She kills most of people in the village. Her brothers develop a plan to lure her into a trap. They have the younger sister anger the bear woman who takes on her bear form again and chases her, but the bear woman figures out the brothers’ trap and chases them all. A pursuit ensues involving much magic. The bear woman is eventually killed by one of her brothers, but having no people to return to, they all decide to go up into the sky where they become the stars of the Ursa Major constellation.
When I read this story, I knew I wanted to create an illustration (or two) for it. For this one, I decided to depict the early scene where the little sister finds the Bear Woman meeting the bear in the wilderness. To emphasize the supernatural tone of the story, I made the bear gigantic, more of a bear spirit rather than an actual bear, a physical manifestation of the Ursa Major constellation that ends the story.
A scaly beast climbs up onto a mossy log from a dark forest pool. Surrounded by dense forest, this menacing monster has an elongated jaw full of jagged teeth, and it looks ready to snap them down on some unsuspecting passerby.
This beast is obviously a crocodile, but it’s in the wrong place. Rather than living in tropical wetlands, this particular animal finds itself in a temperate forest.
There are a lot of dragons in European folklore, but one particular story caught my interest: The Dragon of Brno. Brno is a city in the Czech Republic. The story tells of a dragon terrorizing the town and devouring livestock. Eventually it is killed by a traveling butcher who poisons it by feeding it an ox hide filled with lime. Various other towns in the area have very similar legends all with the dragon being poisoned by a butcher in the end.
What makes this story particularly unusual though is that it has evidence. Hanging in the town hall of Brno is the carcass of the dragon, and…guess what…it’s clearly the body a crocodile.
Now imagine going back a few centuries to a time when travel was never faster than the speed of a horse. Though they may have heard of such an animal, it’s highly unlikely that most of the people of a central European town had ever actually seen a crocodile. So, if a crocodile somehow wound up in a nearby body of water, one could easily understand that such a creature would be identified as a dragon. Though, of course, it is entirely possible that the croc body was placed in the town hall at a later date and just named after the legendary dragon.
On a side note, such an event recently happened near me. I live in north Georgia where begin the Piedmont Plateau there should be no wild alligators. Yet a large one was recently trapped on the Chattahoochee river. Perhaps that inspired me a bit to depict a crocodile in my art.