Escape from the Celestial Palace Picture

The god Shanallah had a great fondness for fantastic beasts, and kept in a special part of his celestial palace a menagerie consisting of such extraordinary creatures as thunder serpents, golden elephants, and his personal mount Garesha, the six-winged lion. There was also Vasti, the tiger-mare, and Kindra, the peacock-dragon.

But although Shanallah cared very much for his pets and saw they got only the best treatment, Vasti and Kindra hated it in the palace, and early one summer morning Vasti broke down the gate to her paddock and unlocked Kindra’s cage. Kindra summoned clouds as thick as butter, so that Vasti could run down through the sky, and together they fled the palace.

Shanallah was furious when he found out, but by that time Vasti had founded the line of tiger-horses that still populate Idria, and Kindra had come under the protection of Mali, the moon-phoenix, so there was not much he could do. But that is why, even today, it is considered unwise to try to ride a tiger-horse or to tame a peacock-dragon—for if not even the father of the gods could keep them, then what hope have we?

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My first original piece in a while, this was a lot of fun to do—and a great relief to find I can still do delicate, time-consuming watercolors, after having spent the better part of the last two years slaving away at Year of the God-Fox. This painting inspired the little snippet of story seen above, which takes place in a mythology of my own devising, inspired by the Hindu pantheon. Now I want to paint Geresha and Mali as well. Also maybe some thunder serpents. They sound cool.

Watercolor and white ink on smooth Bristol Board, 12"x9". Original sold.


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