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Controlling the Quicksands


My newest 2010 Insight Commentary video on this very artwork that I have done can now be viewed for you on YouTube right here, available in High-Definition in two (2) parts:

(NOTE: this digital-painting artwork was originally created in its complete entirely using *only* a mouse and keystrokes. Absolutely no tablet whatsoever. YEP, I KID YOU NOT, ladies and gentlemen!!! :love: :thumbsup: !!! )


Once upon a grand, grand legend in the vast, endless, ever-mysterious kingdom of the great dunes known as El Zaloris,
it has been disastrously faced with a long, dormant exile for so many, many years with no end in sight whatsoever...
not even with a proper ruler to take reign to settle this whole matter straight once and for all.

At least, not yet...

Thus, a great search for the aspiring, chosen crowned one is now set to begin.

A new and potential forthcoming successor in the true form of such a mighty and very loveliest sorceress named Qaalorii springs near,
fully and most courageously willing to accept the brutal initiation through the immense and extremely dangerous sabkha known as Guul Al Tai,
its deceptive, solid-looking crust hiding like a bare veil above a virtually black, bottomless, swift, and honey-thick quicksand salt marsh,
notoriously well-known by both ancient man and desert travellers for swallowing and literally engulfing people whole,
especially for those unfortunate or daft enough to take even a single, slightest little misstep,
instantly plunging them straight through its thin, cracking surface and right into its syrupy, sucking, cloying morass.

Many have tried to solve this baffling trial by fire, but absolutely NONE have ever came back alive.
They were either scorched fatally by the blazing, blazing hot sun that simply caused them to perish of an ever-starving and insatiable thirst,
or fallen blindly into the dark and hungry slimy bogs below the salt crust itself, letting their own fear and panic get the best of them in the end.

Dangerous this place is most indeed!

That is really and most genuinely no surprise for Qaalorii herself, since she indeed is a well-taught sorceress of the great sabkhas from over the many years since childhood,
which’ll seriously come in handy for the trial to come.

No matter what the risk, large or little, she *just* had to be ready.

―― :bulletorange: ――

Setting off on camel-back to the ever-treacherous quicksand area of Guul Al Tai with just several male royal guards of El Zaloris that are dressed in only white turbans and the most exotic sheikh clothing, Qaalorii was as determined ― and also as anxious as well ― as ever. There was something about this very place that had a looming, quite foreboding damn atmosphere to it... and yet, on the other hand, she was so curious to know a lot more about that sabkha indeed that she herself had never discovered before... only one way to find out, that is for sure!

After around an hour or so of riding, they have finally reached their destination point, its glimmering salt flats they now see before them a quite beautiful and most fascinating captivation to the eye as this vast plate-like surface is so well-reflected nicely by the hot, hot sunlight.

We are here”, said one of the guards to the sorceress Qaalorii. “As a woman who knows well the risks of this dreadful, deadly place called Guul Al Tai, there is a single test that you must, must pass in order for a new ruler of our realm to be crowned.

And what must I do?”, the sorceress replied, wanting to know deeply about this challenge.

According to the El Zalorisi legends foretold originally from thousands of years ago, one must willingly and even bravely speak to the great spirits of this vast desert sabkha”, said the second guard. “They are hidden beneath this rather viscous and most softest treacly brew of fine, fine salty earth and flowing water that lies just below this salt crust that stretches literally for miles and miles.

Interesting... tell me more”, spoke Qaalorii softly to both of the communicating guards with a deep grin on her face, intrigued.

One must also be most, MOST courageous enough to actually venture deep into this great and unforgiving mire of such immensely engulfing blackness as well while walking barefoot on the near-scorching sabkha salt, where body meets mud”, the third guard now said, looking at the sorceress face to face while on camels. “Once in the quicksands, one must boldly talk to the sabkha spirits about how one would plan on ruling the kingdom with power, integrity, and sheer and uncompromised honor... remember, this deepening and everlasting abyss of tarry earthen slime is looking a pure, pure heart, namely someone whose intentions and absolute willfulness are so noble and ever, ever true. Could it be you?

We shall see as I journey along this very, very path that I will take right now”, Qaalorii responded to all of the guards in such a most kind and honest fashion.

And one more thing you must know...”, said the first guard again, urging her with caution. “In performing this grand and all-important test, you must travel the rest of the way forward... alone. That means WITHOUT any assistance of any kind, not even outsiders or foreigners.

Yes. I understand completely now”, Qaalorii replied back. “I do not know if I am gonna come back alive in complete standing after this trial, but one thing: I am sure most crazy and daring enough to try. Do wish me a splendid, splendid journey as I emerge forward, please.

And with that, all of the riding El Zalorisi royal guards closed their eyes and bowed their heads deeply to her, to which they said in unison together like such a magnificent, well-knitted vocal: “A most splendid, splendid journey indeed, ohhh great and brave lady... and may the great desert spirits smile so deeply upon you, too!!!

Qaalorii then stepped off the back of her camel, just nearly touching the sabkha’s surface as she landed feet first.

All of the guards then rode off by camels into the deep, deep desert dunes and back home (including the camel that Qaalorii just got off of, let us not forget!), as they dilligently prayed for her safe, safe return.

As she now stands, all she hears in the distance is the still, haunting sound of the desert winds blowing at the edges between the dunes and the sabkha itself.

She was all set.

―― :bulletorange: ――

Qaalorii now began her ever-blistering sabkha trial alone by foot, trying her good, good fortune in what she has learned as a sorceress... a sabkha sorceress, in quite fact. After all, the only thing she had to sacrifice was her desert cape and hood, with which she then threw it straight into the desert winds above, blowing it across a great distance afar, never to even be seen again.

Now fully and bodily, with absolutely no help or support whatsoever, she must venture forward onto this most unusual salty landscape in the desert on her own, the ground just waiting to betray her at every turn. She must also choose her steps carefully... REAL carefully, and test it out by foot before she steps ahead to make sure it is fully, fully solid.

Only a half-hour later, as she walked and walked and walked across this endless sabkha flat very cautiously, she deliberately felt the salt just stinging and stinging at her bare feet again and again and again, causing her some serious redness as well as some rather noticable scars, with the ground warming beneath her on top of that. And to make matters all the more worse, the tormentingly blinding hot sun is just pounding and pounding at her miserably, causing her to literally exhaust herself more and more and also to lose her way as well. Her mind was beginning to play its own tricks on her, eventually, which is furthermore most disorienting to say the very least!

And then unknowingly, with just one blind step, Qaalorii had felt herself plunging through the salt crust like thin ice, and right into a black, highly viscous salt marsh of hot sabkha quicksand which bubbled very thickly and flowed like no less a humongous vat of purest honey, where she went in right up to about her chest instantly, weaving and bobbing her up and down for quite a bit as she probes her feet and bare legs around in an attempt to find a particular bottom here... but to absolutely no avail whatsoever. And as she just felt herself beginning to sink and sink slowly into all this mud alone, that all shocked her truly in what amounts to be quite a helluva bit of a scary experience... at first, anyway!

Strangely, wearily, after only a few minutes, she cannot help but to close her eyes and just savor the feel of the mud all around her body. She began to relax more and more, its ever-increasingly gooier and gooier mixture giving off a deeply yet most soothing gentle heat which totally and completely soothed and caressed her entire, entire skin like a newborn baby (and even *actually* healing the deep wounds of her own bare feet fully in the process, too!), rather instead of burning it. The sabkha mud deeper down was around no more than up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the absolute most.

All of a sudden, she was swallowed now up to just about her shoulders, the slime suddenly creating now a slowly-rising black bubble right in front of her which then exploded after several seconds, shooting out a significant speck of thickening smooth mud that sticks quite beautifully on her right cheek, which made her smile a rather lot more now in such mad, untamed happiness! Weaving up and down very slowly in tune with this syrupy cloying semiliquid akin to a tar pit in consistency, she began to float weightlessly in this huge salt-marsh bog, never to sink any further at all. Her deep relaxation and calmness in the softest, bottomless, and quite delectable earthen quicksand in this neverending sabkha has *finally* paid off rather handsomely!!!

Ha! And you thought such old-wives’ tales and superstitions about being sucked and engulfed in this stuff whole were true... I mean, good bloody night!! They are just seriously NOTHING more than just a tired, made-up, all-too-desperate figment of man’s own imagination that is not even all that real to begin with after all, as Qaalorii has just now discovered for herself first-hand.

As she finally reached perfect, perfect harmony between her well-being and the wide, endless sea of such soothingly hot quaking mud of this vast sabkha of Guul Al Tai, she tilted her head back deeply, her arms outstretched, reaching above and above the quicksand in such small, gradual degrees. Then, with her eyes continually closed, the great sorceress Qaalorii peacefully and quite joyfully chanted the following:


O great, sacred spirits from beneath the sabkha,
I clear all my mind and hear your concerns.

Your wonderful kingdom of El Zaloris
holds an immense and bountiful harvest almighty.
I plan on sharing that goodness with the just,
and spread grace upon even the unjust.

Your wonderful kingdom of El Zaloris
is a splendid, rich, and pulsating beat.
I will be your mighty successor to the throne,
to rule with rich honor, beauty, and power,
and I promise to remain as true and faithful,
your lands flowing with pureness neverending.

I will be your great, great queen.
Take completely ALL of me please.

O great sun, radiate my desire.
Magnificent desert, protect me whole.
Sabkha mud, embrace me tight.
Dune spirits, please keep me safe.

I chant by great and unwavering faith.
Thank you deeply for your splendid understanding.
Gomdedahˆ, Gomdedah.


Within only a mere couple of minutes after her chant was spoken forth, Qaalorii suddenly felt herself slowly and slowly rising from the slimy black salt marshes of the sabkha itself. By the time she finally emerged to her feet, standing tall and proud on top of this thickly belching mass, a very, VERY special regalia fit for a brand-new ruler of El Zaloris was actually being quite phenomenally created right out of the purest fabrics by no less than the quicksands themselves... as if by some great and unusually most mind-blowing new magic that has never, ever been done before at all!!

Her royal cape ― made from the finest, finest well-smoothened fibers and such natural, silken free-flowing earths and salts of the sabkha itself ― had quite a fantastic design all its own, laced with such amazing designs that totally represented true power, beauty, and everlasting sacred honor in the whole entire kingdom, while her shiny new royal suit so proudly displayed itself with a most incredible showing of an unforgettably elegant and exotic bird-like creature of sorts as it is so splendidly illuminated towards the great, great sun amongst the many countless stars.

She opened her eyes and looked down to see her newest clothing that is most definitely a perfect, perfect fit like such a wonderful, finely-knit glove... she was so UTTERLY blown away indeed and then some, because what an undeniably spectacular damn sight for her personally to be sure!!!

The quicksands have just officially decided the newest, newest successor to the throne. And she is none other now than the mighty, mighty Queen Qaalorii of the great and immense dune kingdom of El Zaloris!!

LONG LIVE QUEEN QAALORII, especially upon her victorious return home... which she successfully did just an hour or two later.

Let the grand rejoicing begin to spread forth throughout this very entire kingdom indeed as it is about to enjoy a hugely successful, successful reign for many nonstop years... and perhaps especially a rather long time to come, as well!!!

:bulletred::bulletred: :blackrose: :bulletred::bulletred:


ˆ The word Gomdedah simply means “Amen” or “so truly be it” in its own original El Zalorisi ancient desert language, by the way.

And that, my most AWESOME ladies and gentlemen, is the sheer, sheer outstanding wonderment of “Controlling the Quicksands”, presented to you as my official 2009-2010 dA Season Finale artwork by none other than Adigun Azikiwe Polack. And I am telling you, out of all of my own works I have ever, ever done on deviantART so far, this is one of my very, very damn personal best and most wildly original artworks to date, I gotta promise you right up front!!! :love: :heart: !!!

I am mainly dedicating this picture most especially from the rather, rather bottom of my ever-so-quite-dearest heart to these two current Gallery Directors (or GDs) of our main Digital Art galleries:

...on what an incredibly, incredibly most phenomenal job they are doing as especially as ever for our main deviantART community in general, and for their outstandingly well-picked Daily Deviation (DD) choices that have personally, personally inspired me to go REAL big and make this very newest digital-painting picture of mine as spectacular-quality as ever in the design, concept, and execution. My big-time congratulations to them both deeply in ways that I could not even begin to say myself... I am at a definite, definite loss for words right now!!! :hug: :rose: !!!

As well, this work is also dedicated to the following amazing people on dA:

...for continuing to be quite an OUTSTANDING Ring-Master of our deviantART Community Relations staff and also for being such a fantastic, fantastic co-founder with me on my own #digitalBRILLIANCE group;

...for very personally supporting me most PHENOMENALLY well in a quite splendidly excellent fashion on deviantART all those years since I have been on, and also for being quite a phenomenal GD of our main Designs and Interfaces galleries ( :blackrose: :+favlove: !!! ) in this artwork community that is just about to officially celebrate its ever-grandest 10th birthday in less than two weeks from the official date of this very artwork’s release right here;

...for being such an amazing, amazing friend of mine in this art community and continues day-by-day to be so outstandingly well-creative in her incredible-quality traditional artworks that you see in her own fantastic dA gallery ([link]) that you just cannot miss;

...for being such TRULY excellent, excellent people on dA ( :floating: :thumbsup: !! ) and supported me quite handsomely on #digitalBRILLIANCE as well;

...for always, always giving me a lot of awesome space for me to make even better improvements with each of my newer and newer artworks continually since my Forbidden Love contest entry of “Thousand-One Voluptuous Nights” back in 2008:

...which makes her QUITE a truly damn fantastic person in my personal book on dA;

...for being such an outstanding, OUTSTANDING supporter and person to the deviantART community in general, as well as a truly great friend of mine right here as well; and finally to:

...who, along with ^Lilyas, TOTALLY stood out to me the most as one of my all-time, unforgettable people that I have ever, ever had the sheer damn pleasure of having in this indescribably most phenomenal art community since she (`imaginedmoments) and I first met in my early dA days back near the end of 2006. I mean, period. :huggle: :peace: !!!

As for my newest, NEWEST 2010 digital-painting picture right here of “Controlling the Quicksands” being one of my most wildly original artworks to date out of my own works ever created from my own dA gallery (which you can see right here, by the way: [link]), one look, and you will find out why since the quicksand in this art design of mine indeed was used in just such a way so as to *actually* create her very special regalia and also to make the main character of Sabkha Sorceress Qaalorii to become the next reigning successor and queen to the throne of the great and mysterious dune kingdom of El Zaloris, enabling her as a grand victor rather instead of even playing the hapless and stereotypical quicksand victim at all (which I hope you can well-easily notice for yourself as you look at this picture indeed! :aww: ). And what is more, this artwork is also an excellent, ground-breaking example of material that LITERALLY blows away all the man-made clichés about that slimy, yielding sand and mud indeed, making for another special, special creation exclusively from yours truly!!! :D :thumbsup: !!

You know, in order to help make an artwork creation as spectacular as you can be, you had just better have plenty of originality of the cliché-defying kind, in addition to the excellent-quality design, concept, and execution as well, which will *really* damn come in seriously handy indeed. :cuddle: :star: !

Too many quicksand-related artworks on deviantART these days regularly show the same exact basic premise of women sinking in quicksand/mud/bogs/tarpits, focusing largely — if not even *mainly* as well — on the helplessness and possible threat of the woman’s situation, and also tending for her to struggle and struggle in the quaking mire causing her further descent and her panic to grow and grow even worse, eventually all the way to the all-too-common and traumatic fear of her about to be sucked underneath its pulsating slimy surface and die. Now that there is straight out of the Quicksand Scene Cliché Playbook, you know!? Look, we have seen this done and beaten to death over and over and over again for around 100+ straight years in the motion-picture industry, on television, in books, in print, and even on the internet and YouTube and other mediums as well, and it is just sad of me particularly to see way too many of these artworks indeed following the same tried and tired formulaic trend that I am talking about! No. :no: And even detestably worser to me (at least!) is that some or even more of these types of artworks have actually and deliberately shown women and even nude ones bound, chained, duct-taped, and/or gagged while sinking deeper and deeper in such deep bottomless quicksands and stuff like that as the main primary focus for its own sake, too — boy, I just personally loathe these kinds of pictures that do that indeed, to be honest ( :x ! )... because to me, they simply have no damn heart, soul, or originality whatsoever since they tend to repeat and imitate the same basic thing too often there for those pictures indeed, and right through its own disguise, apparently! And please don’t even get me started on the “sinking-headfirst-in-quicksand” artwork schtick, either (especially those that show nothing more than just a woman’s legs sticking out of the goop as once again the main focal point, as I saw in one case from within a series of short digital artwork pictures that was once uploaded to dA on May 31st, 2010 — FORGET IT!!). All of them is what I have personally found out and discovered time and again upon the word “quicksand” that I have typed on the dA search bar and went through many, many hundreds and even thousands of those pictures on multiple pages indeed... I mean, come on!! :thumbsdown: It is time for a fresh, positive, and most awe-inspiring change for the much, much better indeed!! :nod: :devart:

And it all starts with this original work indeed of “Controlling the Quicksands” that totally shatters the all-too-familiar mold of the typical “Quicksand Scene” syndrome and uses quicksand successfully in a most unusually fresh, inspiring, and perhaps quite cleverly fascinating new way unlike many, many, many others before it... and it will REALLY blow your mind clear out of the water in such ever-great fascination where at least digital paintings are concerned in general too, I gotta promise you now!!! :love: :heart: !!

Speaking of which, what I am only saying here is, we need to just get plain real and get some amazing, DAMN HONEST creativity and sheer genuine ingenuity going in our own artworks — whether it involves quicksand, tar pits, deep mud, such other like substances, or not... flat-out, no exceptions whatsoever. I have done that most brilliantly before in “Brea Woman Awakening” from September 26, 2008:

...and also in my works for mature audiences 18-and-over of “You Are a Sacred Work of Art”, “The Queen of Seagulls”, and “A Womanly Resurrection” from 2009, respectively:

Yep, that is right, I am talking about SHEER INNOVATION over imitation; PURE QUALITY over quantity. Period, end of the conversation, case fricking closed. :floating: :thumbsup: :+favlove: !!

I am NOT against the artist at all. Far from it. Rather, it is the raw, untapped originality (overcoming and even *demolishing* the same repeated humdrum clichés, of course! :aww: ! ) that not only truly stands out the most when it comes to artworks especially on dA in general, but will also blow your widespread audiences and viewers away completely and even inspire them all greatly to come up with something rather new, innovative, and so cleverly damn fascinating in their own artworks, too... especially when done right. And “Controlling the Quicksands” is just one of them, presented to you by Adigun Azikiwe Polack. :floating: :rose: !!

After all, art is all about creative freedom — the freedom and full-blown ability to actually produce something original and quite compellingly awe-inspiring in general, and also in doing something so truly and unusually special, wonderful, and amazing in the overall art quality, concept, and clever water-tight originality that is best suited for widespread audiences on the whole indeed, as opposed to plain imitating which serves as nothing more than really a mere excuse to just churn out such me-too, half-baked, been-there-done-that artwork clichés that we have seen hundreds to thousands of times before already in the past. Believe me, I have ran my own original and ever-growing dA digital-art group called:

...for more than a half-a-year now so far and continuing even now, and I know plain and well enough to know all of this myself indeed, even in the very creation of this entire digital artwork painting original that you are looking at right now, too.

And that is why I, Adigun Azikiwe Polack, SPECIALIZE in creating something rather unusually damn fascinating (and most compellingly so, too!!) in my own artworks on a regular basis in this very art community... you know that!? :D :thumbsup: !!

That is also a major part of the reason why I have created this artwork right here that you are seeing... all because I FELT in my rather heart the total, total need to create something all-original that has never, ever been done before. I strive for that!!! And yes, I *do* have that intense, inferno-blazing passion and hunger to create something rather innovative in artwork form like never before, which is just why I am greatly sharing this artwork with you today!!! :heart:

And I am so UTTERLY damn proud of it. :w00t: :+favlove: !!

Believe me, I know all of this from my own personal 3½+ years’ experience on dA in general, and also about what kind of elements work and which ones do not. I’ve been there a many, MANY countless amount of times and then some, and I am only human just like you, after all. :aww:

Once again, it is to be innovation winning out over imitation, as I just personally cannot stress this enough here as to how VITALLY important this all is to your own artwork designs as well! And that is exactly what this very artwork of “Controlling the Quicksands” does right here, I most richly promise you guaranteed!!! :floating: :blackrose: !!

So all in all, you will SURELY not be disappointed with the results of this one, from the design to the concept to the full-blown execution also!!! :D

Finally, with everything said from right out of my brutally-honest mouth, I totally, totally rather damn care about such originality as the one that I have created in this picture that I am proudly presenting to you today. Having said that, do enjoy the magnificent, magnificent beauty of “Controlling the Quicksands”, which gives a whole revolutionary new face to Quicksand Magic/Sorcery, realms of fantasy or otherwise... and, I will most especially see you back on deviantART in late August/early September 2010 to launch my BRAND-SPANKING-NEW 2010/2011 season of The Official Artworks of Adigun Azikiwe Polack... be there!!!! :huggle: :cuddle: :hug: !!!

:sun: :w00t!: :smooch: :salute: :relax:

©2010 Adigun Azikiwe Polack.  All Rights Reserved.

Please DO NOT copy, alter, or otherwise steal this piece or *any* of my artworks at all, for that matter. This original artwork is the exclusive property and copyright of Adigun Azikiwe Polack and him alone. All rights pertaining to this work are STRICTLY reserved worldwide. Got that!? :D
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Imperius-Rex's avatar
Such a nice work, though the description is way too long. :)