Monday, February 13, 2012


When I started thinking about an image for my annual Chinese New Year print exchange with BarenForum, my mind kept returning to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I read those books last year, saw the Swedish versions of the movies, and on Christmas my husband and I went to the theatre to see the new version on the 'big screen'.  I love the books and all of the movies (this latest version is fantastic!).  It's a very intriguing story with interesting characters,  and if you haven't already read the books I urge you to go get them now.
So, back to my Year of the Dragon print, I couldn't get the title "Dragon with the Girl Tattoo" out of my head.  So, I had to go with it.  
I struggled with the image, I was trying to make it like the theatre ads, where it shows the Girl in profile, with the dragon tattoo on her shoulder. 

When I did that way, the tattoo girl was too realistic or something, and didn't look quite right.  Plus, I couldn't figure out how to turn it into a print, it was beyond my skill level.

My original sketch
I was about to abandon the whole idea, when I had an epiphany while out walking in the deep woods of our local park.  The image of the girl (woman) from the mudflaps of trucks came into my mind.  It's a simple image, one I could duplicate in a print.  But I started thinking about why the dragon had that image tattooed onto his shoulder/wing and came up with his story.


As a youngster, Thorvald dreamed of one day being a long-haul trucker.  To travel the highways and byways, to be a King of the Road, to be in control of a 'big rig', that would be the ultimate in fun and adventure.

When he saw the TV reality show, Ice Road Truckers, Thorvald knew that was what he wanted.  He gave up everything to go to the great wilderness of Alaska. He begged for a chance to prove he could be an Ice Road Trucker. They doubted he could do it.  What would he do with his wings?  Could he drive all alone out on the ice? He talked and finagled and finally, he was given the chance.  He got behind the wheel, took control of the big rig and headed out onto the frozen lake.  The farther out he went the more nervous he became.  He found himself alone in the middle of a vast frozen wasteland and he was getting very cold and very lonely.  He panicked.
The sad fact is when dragons panic they usually react by burning up everything in sight.
Alas, that was poor Thorvald's mistake.  When he breathed flames in his cab and set it on fire, he immediately felt better and more at home.  He exited the truck to bask in the flames.  Pretty soon the entire rig was afire.
The ice beneath it began to melt.
The whole rig, truck and trailer, was burning up and melted through the ice and fell into the lake below.
Thorvald was embarrassed and ashamed.  He flew home in disgrace and was asked not to come back to the frozen north.

His time as a trucker is now but a memory, the Girl Tattoo his only memento.

The resilient Thorvald is now dreaming of his next great adventure.


  1. That is such a kick Terry. ;-> Now I'm intrigued to see the movie.

  2. There are two versions of the movie. All three of the books in three movies are out and on DVD from Sweden (dubbed in English if you don't speak Swedish). Or the newest American version of the the first book is just out, probably still in theatres. They will be making the other two books soon I hear. I can't hardly wait! Gotta see 'em all!