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Sacred Coil by donnaquinn Sacred Coil by donnaquinn
Acrylic, 32" x 20" (81.5 x 50.5 cm).

Nova the bearded dragon approached the altar gingerly, her sacrifice offered before her in hands that trembled with excitement. Pocomoco, Great Deity of the Snail tribes, was a powerful and malevolent presence indeed. Worshipped and feared by snails, and adored by lizards, the corpulent blue-tongue skink lounged upon his throne, casting a disdainful eye about him as he brought judgment upon any hapless mollusc that dared enter his temple.

Note: Know a bit about gastropod biology? Test your skills and try to find what's so special about Nova's offering!

Background info: Unlike many Australian species, the blue-tongue skink has probably benefited from European colonisation, which heralded the introduction of the exotic garden snail, undisputedly the lizard's favourite food. Their incredibly strong jaws make crunching snail shells a breeze, and no doubt many a snail cowers in fear upon sensing the ominous slither of approaching doom.

The bearded dragon is the world's most popular pet reptile, and like the blue-tongue, also native to Australia. Both taxa are found, in multiple varieties, colours and patterns, across the country. However, captive breeding of the bearded dragon, particularly in the United States, has produced numerous colourations not present in wild populations.

This was inspired by an addition to my sister’s menagerie (Nova) mixed with some influences from 1970’s-80’s fantasy art. Every time I visit my sister, baby Nova seems to have doubled in size. This painting is therefore a snapshot showing the relative size of the lizards in November 2009 (when I sketched them). Nova is now the larger of the two.

Pocomoco has an interesting background- he was originally rescued from bushland that was bulldozed for housing. He sustained an injury to his left eye whilst living in the wild, and is subsequently half-blind. That's why his eyes don't match in the painting. Where the description above says Pocomoco cast "a disdainful eye about him", this is the literal truth! It's a good thing he can't read- he might be insulted.
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:iconeverch:
Everch Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is the special thing about Nova's snail the fact that it's a left-handed spiral, while most gastropods (except Lightning Whelks) spiral right-handed?
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:iconsland74:
sland74 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Too cool.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm so sorry for this really late reply - thanks very much!
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:iconmorkhetkloft:
MorkhetKloft Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011
I can't believe your acrylic paintings, they're amazing C:
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:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you- such a nice thing to say!
Reply
:iconlyingingrass:
lyingingrass Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011
EPIC! :+fav:
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:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconmega-society:
Mega-Society Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011
This picture is an accurate depiction of the hierarchy of the reptile world. Glorious blue tongue skinks on the top, every other reptile peasant on the bottom.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You said it. Thanks for the chuckle!
Reply
:iconda-lizzard:
Da-Lizzard Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
There are no words to describe how much I LOVE THIS. My favorite lizards! <3
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They are a couple of very nice species. Thanks very much for the comment!
Reply
:icon1stfrostfirewolf:
1stFrostfirewolf Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
This is amazing and beautiful. Wonderful story to go along with the picture.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much for the comment. :) Glad you enjoyed both the story and picture.
Reply
:icon1stfrostfirewolf:
1stFrostfirewolf Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
You are very welcome
Reply
:iconhannahmcgill:
hannahmcgill Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I was like, this is incredible, and then I saw the lizard with the little veil over its face and I died laughing.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Where's a lizard demigod without his veiled maidens? Many thanks for the comment!
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:iconalmightyhighelf:
AlmightyHighElf Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I love your work. I aspire to one day be able to paint like you- Your themes are so creative and fun, and unique.
I love how much detail you put into this. Every time I look back at it I see something I didn't notice before. The reflection under Nova and the candle are both so amazing, and I love the pose of Pocomono. Such lovely work!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, I am VERY flattered. Thank you; your comment made my day, it really did. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this piece and can look back at it more than once and see new details. Thanks so much for the encouragement, it is greatly appreciated. Also, best of luck with your work, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!
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:iconaquamega:
Aquamega Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
:wow: Awesome! Great job :)!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much; this is my favourite work to date. Glad you liked it. :)
Reply
:iconnightmarestrashcan:
nightmarestrashcan Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2010  Professional General Artist
amazing work
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much; I appreciate the nice comment.
Reply
:iconnightmarestrashcan:
nightmarestrashcan Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2010  Professional General Artist
no problem
Reply
:iconcoby01:
coby01 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
amazing work:clap:
You do this in photoshop??
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the comment; it's traditional media (acrylic paint).
Reply
:iconcoby01:
coby01 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
okeee,its very nice:clap:
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:iconautumnsdaffodil:
AutumnsDaffodil Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Amazing.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconbrainfuhkler:
brainfuhkler Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2010
Your detail work has gone from impressive to downright ridiculous...and I wouldn't have it any other way
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:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hooray! A dose of ridiculousness is always healthy. Thanks a bunch.
Reply
:iconnekoyoukaii:
NekoYoukaii Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010
You do absolutely amazing work. I really like what you draw fabric - sometime I have a lots of problems with it -, shatings, lights and colours what you use here. Good work.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much. :) Fabric can be tricky but when you pull it off- @_@ happy dance time!
Thanks again.
Reply
:icondeadfishgraphics:
DeadFishGraphics Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2010
Love the backstory behind it. Original and based off your pets. I like the fantasy feel to this. I like how you did the candles at all.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you- the candles were one of the harder things to paint and I'm glad they turned out well.
Reply
:iconvioletice:
violetice Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2010
awww I love the backstory and how this was based on real pets. Lizards rule.

The candles/multiple light sources look wonderful, and the lizards are so expressive
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, lizards do rule. Thanks very much. I'm sorry I can't write much of a reply atm; it's winter here and my hands are so cold at present I'm typing soooooo slowly.
Reply
:iconvioletice:
violetice Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2010
You want to trade weather? It's hot and muggy out over here
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Um... not really. :giggle: It's coffee time for me! :D Hope you can cool off... remember, if one ice cream scoop= 1 degree cooler, imagine what ten would do!
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:iconvioletice:
violetice Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2010
ten would be like, stomach ache of doom
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Unfortunately, I have to agree there, which is a real shame because it is a travesty that icecream consumption must have its limits.
Reply
:iconalizara:
alizara Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
This is amazing. Not only the art, but the accompanying story. I love it!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much. It was a long time in the making, but I’m really pleased with it (I consider it my best work to date).
Reply
:iconbeautifulbizarremag:
BeautifulBizarreMag Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010
:iconaus-art:


Congratulations!!!
You have been featured in the Aus-Art Featured Gallery this week

:party: :party: :party:
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm very pleased. :nod:
Reply
:iconbeautifulbizarremag:
BeautifulBizarreMag Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010
My pleasure sweetie :love:
Reply
:iconsilvergryphon8:
SilverGryphon8 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
It's the direction of the shell's spiral, isn't it? It's a clockwise one, while the others are counter-clockwise.
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep, that's right. Thanks for commenting!
Reply
:iconsilvergryphon8:
SilverGryphon8 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010
It's an awesome piece. Fantastic work!
Reply
:icondonnaquinn:
donnaquinn Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconmeggyb:
Meggyb Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
I love blue tongues! We had one as a rescue, her name was baby. We managed to get another one off the road, nicknamed him stumpy, kept for observation for a day then re released in the parks.. they are just so lovely. This is absolutely amazing! :love:

Haha.. I just read the answer to the offering below! I thought the curl seemed off.. didn't pick it up though. Beautiful touch :)
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June 5, 2010
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