St. George and the Dragon – Bear-a-thought Illustration

I am very patriotic and I’m proud to be an Englishman, so St. George’s Day for me is a day of annual celebration. So much so, that I think it should be an annual English bank holiday.St. George and the dragon by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon (blog)
So, with that in mind, when I was producing my Bear-a-thought calendar for 2007 I thought I would include St. George (in teddy bear format) as the illustration for the month of April. I chose one of my favourite bears, Augustus, to represent the patron saint of England and my friend, Jennifer A. Stephenson, dressed him appropriately with a helmet (with scarlet plume), a chainmail vest (emblazoned with St. George’s Cross) and a rather fiercesome looking wooden sword and shiny protective shield.

Once Augustus was ‘suited and booted’ I had to find a ferocious dragon for him to vanquish. I wanted to make the fierce dragon look as fierce as a baby with a marshmallow (not quite sure where that expression came from, but it was the first thing that came to mind), so found a rather cute and endearing green-and-yellow dragon on the Internet.

I set the picture up in my garden, using rocks from when I had the house renovated and created a dragon’s cave, set against the backdrop of a beech hedge. It was mid-April when I set this scene up, so I incorporated some of the flowers in the garden to create some ambience: daisies (the traditional flower of the month of April) and forget-me-nots which always flower in my garden at this time of year. The Forget-me-not is rather appropriate in this illustration in more ways than one, as there is a mediaeveal legend as to how the flower got its name. It goes that a strong and handsome knight, after returning from some war or crusade, was reunited with his fair maiden. On meeting her again, beside a riverbank, he stooped to pick some of the delicate blue flowers that grew on the riverbank. Unfortunately, the weight of his armour and his semi-recumbent position made him topple into the river and to his death. But before he succumbed to the swirling water, he threw the blue flowers to his distressed maiden, with his last words “forget me not!”.

The St. George and the Dragon illustration was popular in the calendar and also as a greeting card, with the original illustration being purchased by an English customer, living in Spain, who has a small and select collection of my teddy bear illustrations.

I hope this illustration stirs the heart of any Englishman and woman reading this post and I also hope that it sends a message out there to any unwanted and ferocious dragons that England is a country that is both proud and fearless. ;0)

6 thoughts on “St. George and the Dragon – Bear-a-thought Illustration

    • Thank you so much, Deborah. I was recently thinking about the school days that we shared all those ‘many moons ago’. I was thinking about some of the teachers, such as Mr Armstrong the History teacher. I wonder what some of them are doing now. Take care friend and thanks again for your interest in my work. Michael x

  1. Yes you are right Michael, St Georges day should be a bank holiday. In NZ we have a day off for the Queens birthday in June yet not in the UK. Who decides these things? Beautiful drawing Michael. Hope you are well. x

    • Thanks for your comment, Joyce. You are right, we should have a bank holiday for St. George’s Day. One for the Queen’s birthday would be welcome too. I am doing well and enjoying the great spring weather we have been having over here. Hope you, Michael and Georgia are all doing well too. Michael x

  2. I love the “ferocious” dragon and the valiant teddy knight. Frankly, they look like the best of my friends to me and the message it sends me is that the English love their teddy bears and fluffy animals (dragons or whatever). And that’s a bonus reason to celebrate the holiday. ;o)
    Hugs, ♥
    Peter & the bears

  3. Hello Peter, you could be right about the dragon and Augustus being the best of friends, but I wouldn’t like it widely known, as it would adversely affect Augustus’s heroic reputation ;). Thanks for the comment, Peter, hugs and best wishes to you and the bears (and any dragons that you may a have too). Michael 🙂

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