Turtle Dreaming….a storm, a woman and a harp

Woman with harp, stars and storm

Waves, angry as hounds, crashed on the shore…

I’m progressing slowly with my “Turtle Dreaming” story. I’m trying to write and illustrate the story at the same time, but it’s still in the first draft stage, changes can happen any time. So far there’s a young woman, a harp, a storm, a turtle, a whispering moon and I’d love to include shipwrecks, smugglers and underwater “other worlds”, but I’ll have to see how it develops!

Click on images to see previous posts about the story.

Turtle in waves

Embracing the waves

Woman Walking steps

Turtle with girl thumbnail

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Turtle Dreaming drawings2

Turtle with Girl

I’ve been pondering some more on my ‘Turtle Dreaming’ story and have come up with another illustration. I’m still not sure how the story is going to develop, but I hope it will come to me.

To see other illustrations for the story, click on these pictures:
Embracing the wavesTurtle in waves

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Turtle dreaming drawings

Turtle in the wavesUp the rock cut stepsHere are a couple of illustrations I’ve done for my story idea:

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Turtle Dreamings – Churning the Ocean of Milk

Turtle rock artI’ve been trying to continue with my children’s story. I know that I want it to about turtles and a girl named Christine, who lives on a cliff overlooking the sea. I’ve been thinking a lot about turtles in the last few days and remembered a dream I had last year that involved my sister nurturing a wounded turtle. I looked up turtle symbolism in dreams and here are some examples of meanings I found:

Longevity, patience and persistence, self-protection, hiding, withdrawing and fear of social interaction or showing one’s true self.

Turtles convey steadfastness and caution, moving and changing slowly and they have strong protective shells, which may also be symbolic of a defense mechanism or real life protection with which one has surrounded oneself.

Oh well, perhaps my dream meant that I just needed to nurture wounded parts of myself.

Turtles are often depicted in popular culture as easygoing, patient, and wise creatures and are an emblem of longevity and stability in many cultures. In some creation myths the turtle or tortoise carries the world on its back or supports the heavens. In Aboriginal rock art in the ancient turtle totem, the dome-like curved shell symbolizes the sky in relation to the square flat underside, symbolic of the earth. More turtle symbolism can be found here.

Churning the Ocean of MilkWhilst looking up turtle myth, the story that I found most interesting and evocative was ‘The Churning of the Ocean of Milk’, a famous episode in a Hindu text, the Puranas. It involved a mountain entwined by a serpent whose head was held by demons and whose tail was pulled by the gods to rotate the mountain and so churn the ocean. All this was done to retrieve the “Nectar of Immortality” from the ocean. However, once the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink, so Vishnu in the form of a turtle Kurma, came to the rescue and supported the mountain on his back. This bas relief is at Angkor Watt in Cambodia. I failed to see it when I was there (to my annoyance now), but I think its beautiful and I especially like the ghostly white turtle form at the bottom.

A few years ago I volunteered with the Sea Turtle Protection Society, Archelon on Crete, patrolling beaches to protect breeding turtles and their eggs. I longed to get just a glimpse of a turtle or turtle track, but unfortunately they arrived the day after I left.

Anyway, with my interest in turtles returned, I wanted to see one somehow.Green TurtleAt the turtle tank
Figurehead

So yesterday I visited the Sealife centre here in Brighton to do some “research” and commune with these creatures even if it was from just behind glass! Here are some photos that will help me with my story:

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