Thursday, September 17, 2009

Space Station over Darkover

I was doing a lot of Darkover pictures in 1985, as you may remember. This was my attempt at doing a space Darkover image. After all, the basic conflict of Marion Zimmer Bradley's series was the difference between technologically advanced, spacefaring Terrans, and the non-technological, magical human colonists of Darkover.
In this image, a space station is in orbit around the planet Darkover. The four colorful moons of the planet are all visible. I solved the problem of having only red light from the Red Sun, by inventing another light source, from another star probably a white dwarf companion.

The background was airbrushed but the planet and the space station were hand painted, in my attempt to imitate the style of master spaceship painter Vincent di Fate. As in other paintings of this era, I left the top half devoid of major compositional elements so that writing could be superimposed there. But as before, no cover was ever made from this piece. Acrylic on illustration board, 13" x 22", February 1985.

After I finished it, I realized to my dismay that the space station I designed, despite the lack of direction or weight in space, was "bottom-heavy." Not only that, it looked a lot like an old fashioned toilet plunger. Once you see that, it is the end of any serious look you will ever give this picture, which is why it will stay in the obscurity of my archives.


Tristan Alexander said...

I disagree, I don't think it looks like a plunger at all, it reminds me of a toy top! And that I think is perfect for a space station design! You really need to do some books of your color work (you have pleanty of choices for a cover). Endevour printings smaller page count paperback books are really reasonable (I know I am working on my third from them).

Mike said...

I don't know why, but I really like this piece.
And while I laughed at the toilet plunger comment, I still think it's a neat looking space station.