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Nüwa is the ancient Chinese goddess known for holding up and restoring the sky to its place when the pillars supporting heaven were broken. She worked tirelessly to repair the damage (wrought by demons or battling gods—there are many differing versions!), and to save humankind from the chaos of a falling sky, was said to have melted and reformed the four pillars. One thing it is said that she could not repair was the “tilt” of the sky—hence the sun, moon, and stars, were always moving toward the west.

The story of Nüwa is one of the oldest Chinese stories, going back more than 2,000 years. I used a little artistic license to dress her in robes a little more recent than that.

Technical stuff: 8 by 12 inches, watercolours and watercolour pencils on Daler-Rowney Heavyweight paper.

Tags

goddess, chinese, asian, east, sky, rain, water, bird, cloud, myth, legend, folk tale

Janet Chui is a fantasy artist and illustrator working primarily in watercolours and mixed media.

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Comments

  • Belinda Leopold
    Belinda Leopoldover 3 years ago

    Wow, what a piece! Beautiful :)

  • Thank you!

    – Janet Chui

  • Ann Warrenton
    Ann Warrentonabout 3 years ago

    May 24,2011 Wonderful work.

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorabout 3 years ago

    beautiful work and a great storywell done !LIz)

  • Marriet
    Marrietabout 3 years ago

    Interesting myth, Janet. I like the way you’ve drawn her.

  • Kanchan Mahon
    Kanchan Mahonover 2 years ago

    What a glorious image and such wonderful blues!

  • Quinn Blackburn
    Quinn Blackburnabout 2 years ago

    splendid vision you’ve created, lovely and powerful

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