The Simian and the Dragon
“Come not between the dragon, and his wrath.” ~ William Shakespeare, King Lear
The first time I became interested in dragons was when I saw one. It was in the wee hours of the night on a summer evening in San Diego, during a road trip to Comic Con with one of my old friends.
Under the influence, we stopped and walked along the docks. I remember as the water slapped back and forth upon the docks glowing fish would jump up out of the water and with a plop, fall back in. It was novel, but that wasn’t what I remember most about that night.
We went to a nearby beach to listen to the ocean. We had no place to go and the beach seemed like a great place to waste away the hours. While sitting in the sand, I looked out into the ocean and the waves were glowing. Suddenly, I saw this giant serpent-like creature glowing bright white riding the crests of the waves. I turned to my friend and she turned back to me and I said, “Did you see that? It’s a dragon!” Smiling she nodded her head.
The luminescent dragon reminded me of one of those Chinese dragons. I wasn’t scared, just in wonder of what we believed we were witnessing. It was a night I will never forget.
Sometime later, I was reminiscing about that night when I saw a Chinese illustration of a dragon and a tiger.
I thought of the dragon as a god-like creature and a force of nature. I wanted him to be serpent that flew through the sketch with no end to its body and single gorilla creature reaching out to it in wonderment.
I worked on the sketch for hours. Unfortunately, I ruined it, but years later I began to recreate the scene in an oil painting. Every time I look at this painting, it brings me back to that night.