Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dragon Breath

Armed only with a small bamboo stick,

I confront the dragon before me.

This little metaphor for confronting one's fears reminds me of the tale of Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  Do you remember Dumbo?  Due to his very large ears, he could actually fly, but knowing that elephants can't fly, he didn't believe in his own ability.  When given a feather to hold in his trunk and told that this "magic" feather would enable him to take flight, he was able to soar...but when he dropped it...the ground seemed to be coming up at him awfully fast.  Until he was finally convinced by his "life coach" (an anything but mousy mouse) that he had the power to save himself and fly free.
Background:  Original photo, manipulated in Photoshop CS2
Asian script: From a free newspaper picked up in Vancouver
Texture Layers:  Shadowhouse Creations plus my own
Dragon and Girl: Copyright-free images from Dover press
(you can receive free samples from Dover every Friday by email)
composite image copyright ©Lynne Ciacco 2011


  1. Fabulous image. I think her eyes will actually do more than her chopstick!

    Sometimes it feels as if a chopstick is our only tool to ward off the dragon-like line-up of ego fears. Perhaps the dragon she is preparing to 'tame' is her own ego mind. I know that is a dragon I must occasionally wrestle to the ground. Not ego in the sense of grandiosity, but ego with all its out-dated defences and fears.

    Thanks for the lovely reminder of how ala Dumbo, believing we can wrestle our fear demons to the ground is half the battle won!

  2. of course i remember dumbo;)
    your asian piece is wonderful!!

  3. no i didnt remember the Dumbo story but i love it. and love this picture. i am getting out my little bamboo stick now.

  4. Oooh! I like this.

  5. Beautiful image, I really like. Hope you Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. This is truly a work of art.
    Beautifully done!
    Sending you wishes for a wonderful weekend!

  7. What a magnificent post both in concept and execution. And I love the background upon which the scene is played out. I think I will start to carry a pebble in my pocket. We do well to be reminded to knock it off when negative thoughts creep in and start to take hold.

  8. Magnificent! The composition truly captures the courage beyond ordinary belief. That is some dragon and the background is so beautiful!

  9. What a great compilation Lynne.. and the colours are superb!!! I think I need that 'not a mousey mouse' to come and remind me to fly!!

    Hope you have a fantastic weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

  10. Bonnie,
    I wonder what percentage of our fears are solely in our minds. Other than being faced with imminent and apparent danger, how many fears do we generate by telling ourselves scary stories about situations. Don't we just love to hate dragging around those old dragon skins of "outdated defences and
    fears" that we should have shed long ago. Better the dragon you know?

  11. johanna,
    Dumbo really got around with those big ears of his. Sweet that you remember him, too.

  12. sukipoet,
    just make sure that bamboo stick is sharp at one end.

  13. shayla,
    I'm glad you do!

  14. Leovi,
    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've been flying through a fabulous weekend as well.

  15. lisa,
    I'm so pleased you consider my digital composition a work of art. Thank you.

  16. Stickup Artist,
    I don't even remember what the background photo was originally, I altered it that much. I had no plans, no messgage in mind when I made this. It just evolved. I'm glad it resonates with you. So true, what you say about having to learn to quieten our negative message loops to ourselves: Identify them and then let them go. Yes, learning to tame the dragon of negativity is something I am familiar with...and still practising.

  17. Blue Sky,
    Yes, how true. "Ordinary belief" is something to confront and question to find out if it's true for one's self, much like confronting the dragon of one's fears. I had fun making the background, confronting the dragon of doubt and just keeping on with instinct, experience, and experimentation...just like painting, really. But no mess to clean up.

  18. Julie,
    I have to admit that one of my biggest fears is mice, so that mousey mouse would have the opposite of the desired effect on me as I'd be running away screaming from him!

  19. though the hard part is that most of the time we are unable even to say which fears come from the outside and which from the inside (like: right now i have a pain in my left foot, i have no idea what this must be but i've been limping for 2 weeks now and it is clearly something real, an exterior danger which makes me afraid, but at the same time my mind amplifies this imagining the worst, all kinds of horrible diseases - and this danger is clearly interior)... i need to confront my hypochondriac dragon too! :-)

    the image is wonderful, and indeed very japanese, i love her pose, the colours, the subtle tension...

  20. Roxana,
    The hypochondriac dragon is a particularly fearsome one! However, when we face these dragons head on, eyeball to eyeball and stare them down, instead of running away from them or feeding them with our thoughts, they turn out to be quite small and manageable. The pain is in your foot but the fear is in your mind. Even if there were a disease (I pray there is not) in your foot, the fear would still be in your head. The fear always comes from the inside...we sense something on the outside and the fear is instilled on the inside. We tell our self a scary story and them repeat and magnify that story until it becomes so big that is all we are able to focus on. Thus we become controlled by the very dragons we ourselves have created.
    (easy to say; much harder to actually practice, I do admit. I have a whole herd of dragons that often breathe their fire around my head in the middle of the night).

  21. This piece is beautiful, Lynne; how you made this out of all those disparate elements I'll never understand, but I love it! Also, I think I could use a life coach like Dumbo's!

  22. This is one scary dragon,I think I'd have to summons a lot of courage/love to deal it.
    The artwork is beautiful as always!

  23. Sharmon,
    I have to admit that making a digital collage is as much fun as creating one with glue, paint and papers. And there's no mess to clean up! I'm so pleased that you like the result of my experimenting. Just as in the process you're familiar with, one thing leads to another.

    Dumbo's coach could be useful as long as you don't mind mice.

  24. Forest Dream Weaver,
    The scary dragon can be tamed by your courage in facing up to it and not feeding it with the energy of your fears and/or belief in its power over you. But maybe it would help if you carried a big stick instead of a chopstick.

    So pleased that you like the artwork.