April 15, 2019

Q is for Qilin

        My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination.  Please check out its Kickstarter Campaign, which is already 200% funded!  (Much gratitude to all who have pledged!)

        “The qilin is a most auspicious creature in the land of China, where it dwells.  It is covered in brilliant scales and has a mane and tail that flow always upwards like flame.  With its slender legs and delicate hooves it is careful to step lightly so that it never harms a living thing, neither crawling insect nor blade of grass.  The ancient writer says: There lives a creature of so gentle kind a nature, on no living thing will tread, no, not e’en the grass in spring; and the horn which crowns its head never injures mortal thing.
        There are those who may say kind words when people are listening, but speak cruelly behind others' backs, or who do what is right only when others are watching, in hope of reward or in pursuit of reputation.  The qilin, however, is gentle wherever it walks, and is no less careful of a lowly beetle in the grass than of an emperor.  The qilin’s perfect integrity gives it the power to stand up to wickedness, for it knows what is right and how to live in peace and honesty with all.”

        I had a lot of fun with this piece and am really pleased with it.  My qilin is floating above the tops of the grass blades and taking a courteous interest in the butterflies, as befits such a gentle soul.  The ombre coloring is done by putting the two colors of ink (in this case green and black) next to each other on the plate and rolling them out until they’re blended just the right amount.  Then you have to ink your block in one direction only (horizontally and never vertically), so as not to mix up the colors.  It does make it harder to get the block inked perfectly, but can be a really nice effect.

        The qilin is a particularly good mythical beast to encounter because it is entirely auspicious and (especially if you’re reasonably virtuous) won’t hideously slaughter you.  What mythical creature would you most like to see live and in person?
        Q may seem like a tough letter, but the alphabet of mythical creatures doesn’t stop there.  You can click the link to read

[Picture: Keeping Off the Grass, rubber block print by AEGN, 2018.]


Deborah Weber said...

What a beautiful creature both in temperament and in your depiction. Having her float above the grass is so perfect, and I love her flame-like tail and mane. Lovely! I may have found my favorite.

Cherdo said...

Wow, this is a great blog! You've worked so hard on it and I'm impressed. Plus, I'm actually learnin' a thing or two. Well done.

Thanks, and best wishes!
Cherdo on the Flipside
Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge

Rob Z Tobor said...

Another great post . . . Well Done.

Liz Brownlee said...

Gosh, that is an absolutely fabulous print! How beautiful! Love your theme! ~Liz http://www.poetryroundabout.com

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I think this one is my favorite of the prints so far :) So delicate!

The Multicolored Diary

Pax said...

What the world needs now, is love, sweet love, and also more gentle creatures with total integrity. Thanks for bringing us the Qilin. I hadn't known anything about it heretofore.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! We sure could use some more qilins in the world now, it seems.