In 1803, Japanese villagers discovered a strange vessel at Harayadori, described as looking like a pot for cooking rice, the top had a glass panel, and the bottom was banded with the finest iron. Inside was a beautiful woman. She could not communicate with them. She was guarding a box. There was cake in her ship. Some people thought she was fleeing her home country with the head of her beloved in the box. No one can say for sure. No one was allowed to look in the box. In the end, she got back into her vessel and the villagers pushed her back out to sea.
I have been trying out some sketches for this idea.
From the Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, I read the story of St. Sylvester. And in particular, I like the part of the lore where he subdued a dragon by tying it’s mouth shut.
I have sketched up a version of the Sylvester legend involving a young man in a Victorian natural history museum-like setting, showing off a Komodo Dragon with its mouth tied shut. A skeletal display of the same animal is in the case behind him.
St. Sylvester’s Day is December 31, that is why the clock is nearing midnight. As a bonus bit of trivia, it was believed that on Sylvester night all water is turned into wine, but only between 12 and 1 o’clock.
Sketch for a new work. I started with this furry character, rabbit-like person. Then I wondered what he could be doing. I gave him an anthropomorphic tortoise companion a la Tortoise and the Hare. Then I started thinking about oracle bones. The practice of divination by turtle shell (without the turtle in it) wherein heat is applied to the shell and the cracks that appear are “read”, and sometimes the results are written on the shell. I decided that is what my Rabbit Man is doing, he is practicing plastromancy, and Tortoise Man is helping him. He’s holding the ink.
Illustration no. 6. The boy has grown into a young man. He confronts his parents, the emperor and empress.
There is a medieval German folk tale about the devil disguising himself as a monk and infiltrating a monastery, where he causes much mischief. He kills and cooks the cook. I’ve been sketching a little on the theme, but have landed on nothing firm as yet.
My winter queen is going to be riding a yak. I know that much.
Here is the back of a long cardigan I’m knitting.
I’ve done a bunch of sketches inspired by the folk belief that candles set adrift on water won’t cross a drowned body. The focus of the sketches has shifted from the drowned body to the search party.