Looking back into childhood, I don’t remember ever being interested in St. George. A dragon, on the other hand, a flying serpent that breathed gusts of fire? How could a young boy resist? However, as Nature took its course and I grew into adolescence, fascination with dragons changed into fascination with maidens. But I never had the slightest interest in the saint that was supposed to have saved them from . . . what? A fate worse than Death?
We have been told that dragons no longer exist, but you can see the one climbing the wall in this watercolor on Sorní St. in Valencia, Spain. His twin brother climbs the wall on the other side of the building on Jorge Juan St. I have no idea how many hundreds of people pass by the dragon brothers every day without paying them any attention, but I made my first drawings of them three autumns ago. However, it wasn’t until last week that that I finally figured out how to incorporate one of them into a painting. (The truth is, I didn’t “figure out” anything: It was an accident.) I happened to be redrawing a sketch I had made of one of them and its interesting proximity to the photo of the model, when George unexpectedly showed up. Thankfully, he was not on horseback and armed with a lance. He merely stood still and consulted his phone, giving me time to sketch him and take a photo.
Long, long ago, the most interesting of women figured out how to save themselves without the help of knights or saints, even though the one in this case seems too bored to even open her eyes. And Nature still takes its course, in spite of guys who, well beyond the far side of adolescence, find themselves still fascinated by mysteries: dragons, existing or not, and women, maidens or not.