Mountain of Fire


Mountain of Fire


This illustration was one of a series, commissioned to illustrate a Chinese folktale titled “The Magic Brocade” for an educational textbook.  In the story, a young man goes on a classic fairy tale quest in which he must face many dangers.  Guided by a wise man who lives in a humble hut at the entrance to a mountain pass, the young traveler learns he must cross the “mountain of fire” in order to reach his goal on the other side – a young princess who bears the magic brocade.

A brocade is a richly-woven silk fabric which is often a vehicle for stories.  I found myself wanting to stylize all the illustrations to make them look embroidered.  Fire is easy to stylize (indeed, it’s harder not to), but embroidery tends to look rather static.  I wanted images that move.  So, I tried to strike a balance.  And in the end, the young man reached his goal without coming to mortal harm, and all was well.

Mountain of Fire 72dpi

How often must we cross a mountain of fire – or a valley of vicissitudes – in order to claim a great treasure?  Children relate instinctively to these powerful metaphors.  I’m privileged to interact with them as an artist, and to give ideas visual form.  I liked this particular story, and I hope my readers did too. Maybe next week I’ll post an image of the brocade . . .

Order Mountain of Fire as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here.  Your can also order a six-pack of cards for $15.  Order greeting cards by filling in the title here.

A good week to all,

D Yael

Author / Illustrator of
THE HUNGRY HAGGADAH: A Passover Story in Rhyme
THE JEWISH EYE – 2016 /5776 calendar of art
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN – Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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