I’m a pretty fair Game of Thrones fan, but let me get one thing clear:  our 4-year old daughter does NOT watch it.  Aside from obvious inappropriateness, the last thing we need is her running around with a sword, threatening to behead people, poking them with “the pointy end,” or having nightmares about three-eyed crows and white walkers and such.  So when I got this little Khaleesi figurine, I guessed that (as I eventually did with my Ren & Stimpy figurines which I got way before the Kid existed) I’d probably end up having to share her…or at the very least, explain who she was.

photo 3

And so began the tale of the Dragon Lady.  Our daughter was immediately fascinated (as I knew she’d be) by this little lady toy with a dragon on her arm.  She wanted to know all about her.  So I explained how this girl had a dream and took some dragon eggs someone gave her into the fire, but how she didn’t get burned, and THREE DRAGONS hatched, and they became like her pets.  Leaving out the bits about how the dragons became unruly and decimated entire cities, I explained how this girl “rescued” people, and they called her Khaleesi, and the “Mother of Dragons.”  She was enthralled.  “Show me the real lady!” she pleaded, hovering near my phone (I answer any difficult kid-questions via a mad dash online).

And so I did.

“Can we please draw her?!?”  she asked, and hovered over my sketchbook, patiently waiting for me to draw the face of this Khaleesi.  I had barely gotten a face drawn when she excitedly asked to finish it.

photo 2

She liked it so much, this idea of a dragon queen, that we drew her a couple of other times as well.  This one was my favorite.  It sat in my sketchbook for quite a long time.  I loved, it but couldn’t quite figure out how to make it make sense.  That shell-looking thing on the right is fire.  The scribbles on her dress are supposed to represent the wrinkles on her dress.  That beaver-tail thing on the left is her dress “waving behind her.”

It took awhile, but I finally pulled it back out again, and decided to take a shot at finally painting it.  The thing is, I know what a town engulfed in flames is supposed to look like (not personally, but thanks to modern special effects), and that’s what I had imagined.  But I can’t be the only artist whose work NEVER turns out the way they imagine.  First off:  smoky, cloudy things (like fire and, well, clouds) have always been difficult for me to paint.  I do my best to sort of swish them around so they kind of look passable, but they just don’t make sense to my eyes.  I just can’t translate what my eyes see.  In my head, there’s a smoldering village and wonderful flames and light glowing and reflections and all that.  That’s not always exactly what comes out.


But you know, I’m no Caravaggio, and this is what comes out instead, and I have learned over time to balance the high expectations in my head with what actually happens.  I find it has its own certain little charm anyway.  Whatever I imagine it COULD be would be nice, I’m sure, but THIS is where we are, and ACCEPTANCE is key.   Loving where and what you are right now is key, at whatever level you are, in whatever you might do.  And it’s so simple to do–it’s as easy as just appreciating what you have.  Just get your ideas out in whatever way you can, and be happy for it.  If you’d like to improve, work on improving, but don’t EVER curse the level you’re at!

So there you go–a lovely post about our mutual love of a fire-breathing-dragon queen, just before Thanksgiving.  And I’m thankful for all of it.  All of what?  Yes, exactly–absolutely ALL of it.  Even the smudgy bits.

And when our daughter saw the finished Khaleesi, she said, “OHHHH!  She’s AWESOME!”  …Then she stopped, looking at her for a moment, and said, “That was fun to draw.  We should do that again.”

15 responses

  1. Oh, it (the beaver-tail) IS just like a train! You guys make a good team (-:.

    And I loved what you said about accepting the gifts we are given from the Muses. I write, and yeah, what comes out on the page isn’t always what I had in mind.

  2. What a wonderful story and another beautiful collaboration. I love it! My print of “Dinosaur Fin” recently arrived. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to have it framed. All the best.

  3. Israel Marquez Llobet | Reply

    WOWWWWWW!!!!!!! You 2 are amazing!!!! Me and my 5 years old boy love your paintings. All the best for the future from Barcelona. Taiyo and Isra.

  4. How lovely…Daenerys is beautiful. The completed painting has turned out better than I had hoped….it happens like that sometimes doesn’t it, cant’t wait to buy this one.

  5. I really love this; I love seeing a child’s vision of Daenerys and her dragons. You would never really associate child-like innocence with Game of Thrones but when you do strip it back to explain the Daenerys’ story, she does have a magical and fascinating tale: A Dragon Queen. I think I prefer it to George R. R. Martin’s version.

  6. Mario Tiambeng Jr. | Reply

    thank you for the beautiful work and the wonderful bits of advice.

  7. I love it – I’m a huge fan of your collaborations! They’re just amazing. I see that coffee table book in the future 😉

  8. Your work is always beautiful and the message is perfect. Happy Thanksgiving. E

  9. I think the fire looks amazing!! the whole thing is amazing 🙂 Nicola Beeson | Artist

    Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, youll be able to enjoy it a second time. -Dali Lama

  10. Great post – these drawings are so unique and inspiring 🙂

  11. Love your gorgeous symbiotic art (:

  12. The very last one is my favorite so far. These are all beautiful collaborations. I wish I had thought of something so endearing when my daughter was little.

  13. love the drawing.. but i haven’t finished the show or read the books… so the part about her dragons has now been spoiled for me 😦

    1. Well, I’m sorry for that, but as someone who came SUPER late to the Game of Thrones party myself, I understand where you’re coming from. But I remember seeing those phone commercials where some lady (her) is walking around saying “have you seen my dragons?” And that didn’t spoil anything for me personally. The Game of Thrones books and shows are all extremely in-depth and rich with all kinds of interesting things. I’m pretty sure there’s PLENTY to still be excited about. 🙂

  14. I’ve had your blog bookmarked for a awhile after your drawings made the Facebook rounds. I’d all but forgotten about it, but I had added it to my bookmarks bar and was just flipping through them looking for something today.
    I hadn’t realized I was looking for this post until I finished reading it. I’m in a creative rut. I haven’t truly drawn or painted in YEARS, because, as you so clearly stated above, what my eyes see and what I can actually do are two things and I still haven’t accepted it. I actually turned to photography for that very reason, I mean, it’s easier to snap a picture of what you see than drawing it perfectly!
    But your words truly make me understand how silly I’ve been. The point was not recreating it perfectly, but creating it how *I* could and that that would be it’s charm.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your musings with us. It is very welcomed and appreciated!

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