Spike McPhee, proprietor of the "Science Fantasy Bookstore" in Cambridge, Mass., was my first good friend and arts patron in the science fiction community. He was the one who gave me information about how to go to conventions, what authors were popular, and what fans wanted in art. He was also one of the first people to buy my fantasy art and amass a collection of my art.
This was one of a number of miniatures I did for him and his circle of friends. It's a standard medieval battle scene without any magical or fantastic reference. As with many others of these miniatures, I'm rescuing the images from badly faded color slides. Some of these slides were bad photographs to begin with, while others have faded so much that the image is unrecoverable.
Spike is still around and has a major presence and virtual art gallery in "Second Life," where he is known as "Paradox Olbers." He maintains a blog about virtual reality activity and astronomy, "Paradoxically by Paradox Olbers." I always remember him fondly as an early inspiration in my artistic life.
As I retrieve these thirty-three-year-old images and place them in digital files, I wonder how I could be so bold and adventurous in making fantastic scenes. Not necessarily this one, but scenes with dragons and unicorns and other characteristic figures which I hesitate to do today. I would love to re-capture my feeling of having fun depicting fantastic scenes, creatures, and people, without wondering whether it was a cliche or a rip-off or childish or tacky.
As usual, this miniature is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 3 1/2" x 2 1/4", spring 1977.
The By-Product is going on a short vacation and will not be posted for the next few days. I hope to be back posting by this weekend.