Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – realistic and stylised animals in art from Manic Illustrations

Poems, Myths & Legends

Myths, legends, Poems & my Artwork

Here you will find myths, legends and poems associated with my artwork.

My own story excerpts relating to my paintings can be found here 

The Thunderbird

A legendary bird from native North American mythology.

The Thunderbird is said to be a large, powerful and intelligent bird capable of creating storms and thundering while it flies.

Clouds are pulled together by its wing beats, the sound of thunder is made by its wings clapping, and sheet lightening flashing from its bright blinking eyes.

Painting by Diane Young of the Mythological Thunderbird

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Morgan’s First Christmas

The Old Dog’s First Christmas by Anne Wheeler, November 2015 1
The Old Dog’s First Christmas
Based on a true story
Just before Christmas on a cold and frosty night
The stars were shining clearly and the moon was big and bright.
At a Castle in the country there was magic in the air
A visit from the man in red with long beard and white hair.
He’d heard the children’s wishes and told them to be good
For in a few days time he’d be back in the neighbourhood.
Feeling all excited the children left the site
Left the Castle all deserted on that cold and frosty night.
In the grounds an old dog lay, feeling all alone
He was dirty, tired and hungry and frozen to the bone.
He’d wandered through the countryside for many a day and night
He had no home to go to and no one to treat him right.
How he wished for better times and a lovely cosy home
People who would love him and treat him as their own.
A little tear ran down his face and landed on the ground
As he hid amongst the bushes too scared to make a sound.
He closed his eyes and made a wish for Christmas to be good
For food and fun and family and a roof above his head.
Just then a bright light caught his eye, it was Santa on his sleigh
He’d come to help the big old dog and make his Christmas Day.
He knew the poor dog’s story of cruelty and neglect
Of how he’d lived a sad sad life with nobody’s respect.
Now Santa knew the animal was a good and gentle type
He deserved a loving family and a better kind of life.
He told the dog to trust in him and he would make things right
To follow his instructions on that cold and frosty night.
“Find the back door of the Castle and do not be afraid
There are people waiting there for you, that’s a promise I have made”.
“They’ll take you in and care for you and love you as you need,
You’ll have friends and fun and family but first a great big feed”.
The dog went off and found the door and saw a lady standing near
He was terrified of humans but tried to hide his fear.
The Old Dog’s First Christmas by Anne Wheeler, November 2015 2
She welcomed him with open arms and quickly gained his trust
A strong bond formed immediately under Santa’s magic dust.
She took him home and cleaned him up and gave him lots to eat
But a nice warm fire and a cosy bed were the old dog’s biggest treat.
He also met two other dogs, good playmates they would be
There’d be lots of fun and love for all in this happy family.
Christmas is a special time when magic fills the air,
When good things come to those who trust and are kind enough to care.
Now the old dog lives a happy life and his family is right
To know that they were specially blessed that magical Christmas night.

Written By Anne Wheeler

 Painting of a pointer, commission by Diane Young Artist of Manic Illustrations Stroud

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The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

BY EDWARD LEAR

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,  His nose,  His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon, The moon, The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

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Sedna – Goddess of the Sea

Arctic Myths

The people of the Arctic emphasise the spiritual relationship between humans and animals. This is probably derived from their need for animals as a principal source of food. The Innuits myths and stories revolve around sea animals and their hopes for abundance and their fear of starvation, good luck and bad luck for hunting. Respect for the animals is essential and demonstration of this is shown with hunting rituals. The belief that animals have a guardian who retains or releases the animals is depicted in the myth of the sea goddess, Sedna.

Sedna is displeased if hunters have caused pain to an animal’s soul, and the animals may be tangled in their hair if humans violate taboos.

A Shaman may be called to assist in mediation with her.

The Myth of Sedna

The young girl Sedna was tricked into marrying Raven, and later when her father tried to rescue her by kayak a raging storm brew and her father threw Sedna in to the sea in order to save himself. Her hands clung to the side of the boat and he beat them until her cold and frozen fingers fell into the sea and became sea mammals. Sedna sank under the sea and was transformed into a sea goddess, able to conjure up storms with her rage whereupon shaman must swim down to calm her by combing her hair.

Painting of Mythology Sedna with arctic animals by artist Diane Young

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Elephant in Gold with Crane Feather

Elephants are universally a symbol of wisdom, strength and power and African cultures revere the Elephant for these reasons. Some African fables may feature the elephant as the wise chief who impartially settles disputes among the forest creatures. They also may be believed to be ancient human chieftains from the past.

The crane is also known for its longevity, its lifespan is similar to the African elephant some 40 – 60 years. The crane is also associated with wisdom and loyalty whereupon fables have depicted its life span to 1000 years.

This painting is of a travelling elephant and for my personal preference this is the African elephant with its large ears and more solid body mass. I have been influenced by both African and Indian textile and image depictions regarding colours and pattern I came across during my research. I have combined two animal symbols for an image that encompasses the wisdom, strength and power of the elephant with the wisdom and loyalty of the crane.

This combination has allowed me to show the gentle nature of the elephant delicately carrying the feather of a crane.

Elephant with a Crane Feather painted by animal artist Diane Young Stroud Manic Illustrations

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Ibis Golden Sun

In ancient tines the Nile was central to Ancient Egyptian life and religion.

The Egyptians of old believed that souls of the dead were transported across the Nile to reach the afterlife in the presence of Thoth the god of knowledge who was represented as the Ibis bird.

The Ibis as Thoth is featured in ancient Egyptian wall paintings and carvings in Egyptian monuments, and were even found to have been mummified.

Crane-in-Gold-web

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San-shin – Mountain Spirit

This painting is the artist’s version of a traditional Korean scene depicting a San-shin or Shaman with a tiger. The scene is one of tranquillity, serenity and trust.

The San-shin is a Shaman or a sage; a religious figure from Korea from ancient times. Also known as the Mountain Spirit he is featured in traditional Korean images with a fierce tiger under a pine tree. There are strong associations between such spirits and immortality, nature and trees.

Buddhism arrived in Korea in the 4th Century. Where Buddhist temples were built they incorporated the shrines of the Mountain Spirit within them.

Paintings of the Mountain Spirit are also found in shrines on mountain passes.

MOUNTAIN-SPIRIT

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Raven – Nevermore – details yet to come.

Raven Nevermore painting by Diane Young

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