"Dragon Within" by Cate Townsend

3 panel mixed media on canvas
On exhibition from Wednesday 12th May at the Tap Gallery in Darlinghurst Sydney

This print is also now available in three seperate panels which is better for canvas prints. There is also a version with a black border.

One of my strongest influences at the moment would have to be Hiroshi Nonami a Japanese photographer born in 1954 in Matsue City in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan.

Japanese Culture

In Japanese culture the dragon is said to be a symbol of supernatural powers. With incredible strength and a hidden wisdom. It was said the only way to journey past a dragon was to answer its riddles. Dragons in the Orient are associated with wisdom and longevity. They usually possess some form of magic or supernatural power. Asian dragons are usually associated with water in some way. Japanese dragons, in particular, are often depicted as huge water serpents

Celtic mythology

Perhaps the most powerful animal of all in Celtic mythology, the dragon symbolised the whole of creation, in the might of the earth and in the bending of the rivers. It also represented a guardian or an obstacle against physical or spiritual gain. The Dragon is the national emblem of Wales

Chinese Dragon

Chinese Dragon, this mythological symbol dates back to 3000 BC and stands for happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility and activity. Chinese Dragons were believed to ward off evil spirits.
In ancient days the dragon was regarded as a most sacred animal, and used to be the imperial emblem of Chinese emperors. Unlike the evil dragon the West, the Chinese Dragon is a beneficent and gracious creature and is worshipped as the divine ruler of Lakes, Rivers and Seas. It is powerful yet gentle and brings rain to the earth, speeds the crops and cools the farmer. It is a popular of Chinese art motif, being sculptured on stone pillars of Chinese temples and embroidered on beautiful gold and silk tapestries.

The Chinese Dragon is also the symbol of the Chinese race. Chinese proclaim themselves “Long De Chuan Ren” (Descendents of the Dragon).
The influence of a dragon painting is the successful overcoming of difficulties and the painting itself a reminder that we can win through difficult situations if we accept them as challenges instead of obstacles. The most auspicious placing for a dragon painting is facing water, ideally an ocean, sea, river or stream – moving water

Martial Arts

The dragon is also known as the “voice of inner judgement”, sabotaging positive change and putting you down. The dragon wears many costumes, in particular internal self-judgment and judgment from others. When you slay the inner dragon, you start to question the dragon and get the power to be in charge of your thoughts and actions and confront, question and redirect the dragon’s voice of inner-judgment. The voice of inner judgment often diminishes creativity, curiosity, joy and discovery while fostering self-doubt, fear and staying stuck in familiar patterns. Once you let go (i.e. slay the dragon), you have the power to be in charge of your thoughts and actions and you begin listening to your inner knowing.

New Age Philosophies

The Dragon Power Symbol is a symbol of ‘empowerment’ in Transference Healing. It revitalises the power centre to enable the body to energetically re-nourish and heal. It also protects us against direct psychic attack and counteracts negative feelings or projections against us. It supports us to overcome the limitations of the ego and connect to ‘Divine Will’. It is the lost symbol or key to the Elemental Kingdoms of the Dragon.


I’m sure that we all have our own ideas and theories on “The Dragon Within”, and whether we are curiously consumed by it, or if it indeed, curiously consumes us. I hope you enjoy my art and have fun with your own interpretations.

I am an artist from the North Coast of NSW, utilizing my Graphic Design skills to generate thought processes in Adobe Photoshop. I then translate my designs onto canvas using mixed media, ie acrylic, ink, pastel, gold leaf etc. I also work intuitively with colour straight onto the canvas letting the flow of paint dictate the composition. I can relate to the Bowerbird, as I am drawn to blues and turquoises, collecting my treasures from the artists universe to produce my work.

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  • Druidstorm
    Druidstormalmost 5 years ago

    You cast true beauty with your artwork friend! Bravo!!!…)o(

  • What a beautiful thing to say thank you so much Malcolm and for the favourite. I only had a week to put this together so it’s been pretty crazy going.

    – Cate Townsend

  • laureen warrington
    laureen warrin...almost 5 years ago

    Exquisite and beautiful work :)

  • Thank you Laureen I loved your gallery and the beauty I found there.

    – Cate Townsend

  • dorina costras
    dorina costrasalmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful composition, Cate!

  • Cate Townsend
    Cate Townsendalmost 5 years ago

    Thank you so much Dorina I didn’t have much time to work on this one.

  • TerryHinkle
    TerryHinklealmost 5 years ago

    I love everything about this piece.
    Wonderful work.

  • Thank you Terry your support is much appreciated.

    – Cate Townsend

  • tcat757
    tcat757almost 5 years ago

  • eoconnor
    eoconnoralmost 5 years ago

    well done work creative !1LIZ

  • Thank you Liz, wish I had some more time with it, if it doesn’t sell I will.

    – Cate Townsend

  • williamsart
    williamsartalmost 5 years ago

    I could see this very large. Very exotic.

  • William I would love to have done this much larger, but I was limited as I had to take it by train to an exhibition. It is 1.2 m x 76cm not that large. The next painting I’m working on is much larger.

    – Cate Townsend

  • MoonSpiral
    MoonSpiralalmost 5 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous Cate. The colors and her gaze, her headpiece…all just amazing!

  • Hi Tammy, thank you so much. It could have been better if I had some more time…. never mind though. I’m glad you like it.

    – Cate Townsend

  • sable
    sablealmost 5 years ago

    beautiful work, very happen to have “stumbled” upon it

  • Thank you Sable

    – Cate Townsend

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