I got this commission a couple of weeks ago for a group of missionaries working with some Bhutanese refugees living in Dallas. I've hung out with them a few times when I've been in the Dallas area, and our church sends a free clinic about three times a year that I'm attached to. And it must be said, they are some pretty cool people with stories that seem more like books than real life (spending decades in refugee camps; getting kicked out of their home country at gunpoint; it's crazy how much different life can be).
Anyway the free clinic is going down there again in a week and I was asked to make a piece of art for the Bhutanese church there.
The dragon is based on Druk, the Thunder Dragon and symbol of Bhutan posed with a cross in the same general pose as the traditional lamb symbol. Behind it, a mountain meant to vaguely resemble the higher peak of Mount Everest, a reference to the time that most of the refugee community spent in Nepali camps. (Or just to their general Himalayan homes. Although you'd be surprised, when some of them have visited us in the panhandle steppes of Texas and Rocky foothills in New Mexico we've been told that the highland prairies are more like home than the mountains.)
I'm...eh...I'm satisfied with this piece. Now it's not fancy intarsia done with different species of wood because I didn't know how it would turn out, having never done it before, and I didn't want to waste my remaining padauk and yellowheart before finding out that I suck at it. Instead this is done entirely in different stains of maple, including the frame, which was much more trouble than it was worth.
It also fit together better before I started gluing, which annoys me to no end. But some of the angles got put off by, you know, half a degree while I was gluing the tail and by the time it mattered when gaps began appearing in the whiskers and lower cross they were too dry to shift safely. Oh well, c'est la vie am I right?
You can see a WIP gallery here
or an expanded gallery of the finished product with some close-up here
Anyway this style was new and interesting; I might try it again some day. Carving in perspective is fun! I don't have to draw all my designs like a cubist with legs the same length from different perspectives.