Saturday, July 31, 2010

Satellite Dragon

This will be my first modern, digital contest entry when I am done with it. There is still a bit to be done on this piece, mainly in shadows and light definition. The contest is on deviantART and the theme is "Fantasy/Science Fiction Fusion." I came up with the idea of a dracoform satellite. Satellites aren't too science-fictiony these days, but a mechanical orbiting dragon might be. Its wings are solar panels and it has a nuclear reactor inside the body cylinder. Dracoform, depending on its level of aggression or belligerence, would either destroy space junk with its atomic fiery breath, or go after enemy satellites or even astronauts.

"Satellite Dragon" is all digital, Photoshop CS4, 11" x 8 1/2", July 2010. Click on the picture for a larger image.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Prophetic Filaments

I called this image "Prophet's Hair," for some forgotten reason. Perhaps I had seen a picture of a religious devotee with flowing, flying hair. But it's another nebula picture and so I had the opportunity to make an obscure but poetic title for it. It's glowing hydrogen with two fresh bright stars in the mix.

In 1991 I had already heard of friends of mine using their computers to connect on a "bulletin board" system where they sent "electronic mail" to each other, using clever symbols made out of punctuation such as ^^^^^^^^ or :-). 1991 was also the year I first did any digital art.

The usual, November 1991.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Diamond Throne

I collect visionary narratives, as some of you know. These are written, or channeled, or compiled by and from people who have seen Heaven, Hell, or other regions of the endless Inner Worlds. One of the most famous and amusing of these visionaries was Ruth Norman, who founded the "Unarius" UFO contact group in California along with her husband Earnest. They have both "Transitioned into the Spiritual Worlds of Light," but they left behind a fantastic legacy of visionary texts. I also have older texts from the 19th and early 20th century. People have been visiting the Inner World since the dawn of human time, so there's a vast amount of vision for me to appreciate and illustrate.

This picture, "The Diamond Throne," is inspired not only by Ruth Norman's visions but by the more psychedelic passages of the Bible and other revealed literature. God sits on a diamond throne, so bright he cannot be seen by ordinary eyes, under a crystal canopy with a prismatic halo. Unfortunately my art skills were not up to depicting this but I gave it a try nevertheless. At that time, in 1989, I was very much into occult mythology and ritual.

These magical apocalyptic visions are out of fashion nowadays, except for the usual eccentrics and modern shaman types. But in their day these visions energized whole cultures, from the Jews of Jesus' time to the Sufi mystics of Islam to the Theosophists of the late 19th century. Nowadays fantasy illustration is full of buxom winged angel and devil women with no religious content whatsoever. As for me, I follow some of the more radical ideas about the other worlds and speculate that Heaven and Hell are the same place, that you can be tortured in Heaven and happy in Hell.

"The Diamond Throne" is watercolor on illustration board, 9" x 13", June 1989.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flame Traceries

I like lava. Flaming streams of fire flowing down a volcanic slope is one of the greatest glories of Nature. But in space there is no up or down and no flowing lava. But there is glowing gas, which shapes itself into all sorts of shapes and forms, including these twisted threads and filaments. The name of this piece is "Flame Traceries." This would probably be a supernova remnant, under pressure not only from the original explosion but from nearby new stars. If you are into explosive events and eruptions of cosmic fire, a supernova beats a volcano any day.

"Flame Traceries" is acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", November 1991.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Co-worker color study

My co-workers are my models. Not models of behavior or achievement necessarily, but models for my artistic studies. I need to learn to render clothing, including ordinary current street clothing, in digital media. Since I cannot (at least for now) drag my laptop into a public place and sketch people, I commandeer my co-workers and have them pose for photographs which I will then render on Bizmac at home. You've seen this guy before, in my entry for June 11, 2010. This time I bypassed a pencil and ink sketch and did the entire thing in Photoshop with my tablet and stylus. It took more than 2 hours as I still don't have the skill, especially with the face. But I will get better at it. My intention is to be able to do character portraits and concept studies for games, books, comics, or whatever wants them.

My male co-workers pose. I don't ask my female co-workers to pose, even though there are quite a lot of really good-looking ones this summer. I don't want to be accused of harassment, even though I am only drawing clothed models. I will probably get some face shots anyway as I usually photograph each co-worker for "endorsements," where they have their photo and a personal note in front of a product they like. However, that bit of marketing seems to be out of fashion right now in our store. By the way the face on this figure is not a good likeness, so his identity is safely concealed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stars of Hollywood

Why are movie players called "stars?" Because they shine brightly, of course. There are astronomical celebrities too, and they radiate in nebulas and active areas of radio-intense galaxies. These stars emit lots of glow. They even explode sometimes, like real movie stars. I don't watch many movies, but I love to see the star fashions that they parade around in. I say, the glitzier the better.

If you had a spaceship and it had to pass through this area of intense radiation, you'd want to go as fast as possible so you wouldn't get fried. Hence the title of this small picture, "Escape from Hollywood." Would you like to trade your life for that of a Hollywood celebrity, even for one day? I wouldn't be able to walk in those super high heeled shoes. But the sequins and shine would be kinda cool. Sorry, the only dazzle I have is in the paint containers.

"Escape from Hollywood" is acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 10", November 1991. Will I ever leave 1991??

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The ambition of a techno-mage

There he was, Mereth Kahn the architect and techno-mage, posing for publicity in the ruins of earthquake-stricken Eridu. He came there on his own, attaching himself to the Surakosan relief team, and performed heroically, using his powers to free people who were trapped in debris. But he also has great ambitions for Eridu. The ruined city, which was built with hardly any earthquake resistance, will need to be rebuilt. He intends to be chosen to do as much rebuilding as he can, making his mark as the premier architect of a new Eridu risen from the old ruins.

Mereth face, close up. It's one of my better digital portrait faces so far, though people often tell me that all my faces look alike, especially of good-looking men.

See my Noantri Weblog for more about the Eridanian earthquake, in the April postings.

Mereth's portrait is in Photoshop, original about 6" x 9 1/2", July 2010.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Four Winds Tower

No dark weird stuff here, just something which brings back a whole era in my life. In the late 80s, I was friends with a group of highly sophisticated, esoteric/occult Grateful Dead fans. These are the types who memorized the lyrics and sang along with the band, compared song lists from different concerts, and who could interpret the Dead's lyrics with the complexity of PhD theses. Which some of these fan friends also had: graduate students and postdoc Deadheads. Since the Dead's lyrics were mostly written by a bona fide surrealist poet, Robert Hunter, who had a vast amount of knowledge of various kinds to draw on, you could spend all night talking about them. Especially if the usual sacrament of the Grateful Dead was smoked in sufficient amount.

Not only were my friends esotericists, they were also science fiction and fantasy fans. They participated in Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" fandom, which flourished during the 80s. Local Darkover fan groups were organized into "Towers," a reference to the towers in Darkover where the psi-magic users gathered to do group workings. The Tower I and my friends belonged to was called the "Tower of the Four Winds." This was not just a Bradley fan group but an esoteric/occult study group as well. Marion Z. Bradley was a longtime esotericist, so she served as an example and sometimes guru for these groups.

The Grateful Dead have a song called "Franklin's Tower." It's a cheerful song with words by Robert Hunter. The lyrics have allusions to Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell, and other American historical themes. The Four Winds are mentioned in it, too. For an example of the PhD-level exegesis of Hunter's lyrics, see here and especially here. (Although there is definitely a bit of high-intellectual pranking going on as well.) Since the song was sort of about a tower, which was also a lighthouse, our Darkover fan group was sometimes known as "Franklin's Tower."

My friends commissioned me to do a logo for our Four Winds Tower, and I came up with this. The Four Winds swirl around an archetypal lighthouse tower. Each wind was represented in a different color, the three primary colors red, blue, and yellow, and the secondary color green. These were the standardized four directions and colors of late 19th century and 20th century Western esotericism. I did this in a medium that I was experimenting with at the time, silkscreen-colored paper cut and glued to a background. This looked good when it was first finished, but the paper was very fragile and any slight pressure or scratch would fade the color or fray the paper edges. I also used shiny copper tape around the edges. In this rendition of the image, I have enhanced that copper edge using Photoshop, because it came out black in the original photo.

I continued to experiment with colored paper until I found digital media, especially CorelDraw (in 1991). Once I saw that I could make vector designs with the same clear colors, smooth blends, and geometric edges as the colored papers, I was converted. I wouldn't have to use that breakable paper any more.

This was more than 20 years ago. Darkover fandom has faded away, and our Tower has vanished, and the Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia are a dim, aging echo of the original. I have not seen my old friends in many, many years. The past evaporates like aromatic smoke.

"Four Winds Tower" is cut and glued paper on illustration board, 11" x 14", winter 1987.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Soft Torus

OK, back to teh pretty, you wouldn't want to think that I had gone over to the Dark Side, oh no. The truth is, I have been creating horrific illustrations and sketches of various kinds for many years, but I just don't show them because, like, I don't want to offend people or make them think I'm creepier than I already am. I mean, I like the science fiction of drug-addled William Burroughs. If you've ever read his "The Wild Boys," you know what I'm talking about. I like Lovecraft a lot. A whole lot. It pisses me off that fans have robbed Cthulhu of his dignity by making cartoons and plushies of him.

Most of the art that you have seen from me, including on this Blog, has been censored, since I never know who is watching it and could get offended or scared. That would be even more true of anything I post on Facebook. There are levels of darkness and creepiness. I can turn the dial up or down. Same with pretty and nice, these are all variables that an artist of any competence can change. A digital medium makes it easier to do. I never create art in an empty space. All the art I do is meant to be seen by other people. So it means a lot to me that I got four (4!) positive comments for my "Cells of Hell." I got more positive comments from the viewers on deviantART, where things like that are encouraged, not just tolerated.

There's plenty more scary creepy art of mine that could be shown here. After all, I am building a digital portfolio for modern fantasy illustration, and I try it out here first. Your support of my work means a great deal to me but it also means that I will do more. Sooner or later I'll run out of vintage space pictures to post.

Meanwhile, here's your nebula picture, entitled "Soft Torus." The title refers to the torus (doughnut shaped) halo of glowing gas around the bright new star in the lower left.

"Soft Torus" is (audience supplies words) acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 10", November 1991.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Cells of Hell

Not all of you readers will like this picture. I won't apologize for it. While I've been making sweet sketches of Virginia countryside or cute animals or space abstractions or whatever, I've been working on this picture. Even though most of my friends and fans love my pretty angels and geometric abstractions, I find them boring. I would only do things like that if I were paid well for it. Since I am not getting paid to do creative art, I decided I can do whatever the hell (literally) I want, since not getting paid happens no matter what.

I have also been influenced by seeing fabulous monsters and demons and hellish scenes on deviantART, the artists' clearinghouse online. My good Christian readers may now assume that I have been corrupted by deviantART. God wants only pretty, orderly, colorful, uplifting pictures of holy beings and inspiring scenes, right? Therefore if I want to do something horrific, I must justify it the way Christian artists in the past have done, by making sure your hellish art is taken as a moral lesson and a warning to Be Good and Do Good lest you end up in the flames.

Back a couple of winters ago, I encountered a visionary book by an Evangelical Christian author. He had had a near-death experience and instead of seeing Heaven like so many near-dead-experiencers, he saw Hell. He described it in vivid detail, a kind of Dante for the 21st century. This got me thinking about Hell and why it exists in the Christian universe, and why God would send people to Hell for eternity. I have also been reading the Koran which deals constantly with the Last Judgement and Hell.

I wanted to explore what Hell would be like for the modern world. Not sexy demons or nasty monsters with huge slavering mouths, and no pits of boiling oil or glaciers of perpetual ice. This is my own idea of Hell, inspired by the texts I've read - and my own imaginative experiences. This is "The Cells of Hell." Hell is a place of endless isolation, though untold billions of sentient souls are imprisoned in it, one per cell, each one never knowing that others are there. Each soul is subjected to a relentless sensory overload of harsh light, scorching heat, radiation, screaming noise, and disgusting sights and smells. Each cell is fitted with glaring screens on which an endless procession of nauseating images - pop culture especially - flickers. The soul is connected to a monstrous network of brain-frying data through the cables which you can see plugged into various orifices. They are souls, not bodies, so they can suffer but they do not eat or drink or enjoy any relief.

For all I know, these souls are there for trivial offenses. They weren't sorry, so by the inexorable laws of sin and retribution they went to Hell. In this system, you or I could go there. Shall I go all moralistic in order that I justify this picture? I am not the nice artist you thought I was, and this is not just a passing mood I've gotten into by drinking too much coffee.

Below is a detail excerpt from "The Cells of Hell." Some poor soul did too much thinking during his lifetime.

"The Cells of Hell" is all digital, done in Photoshop CS4. In inches, size is 14" x 11". July 2010.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mold Garden

My favorite kind of weather is hot and humid, just as it is now in my area of the USA. This weather makes all kinds of plants grow, including mold which flourishes on old bread and neglected leftovers. Lovely Mold has made me a tiny garden, full of spore flowers and blue-green foliage. Who knew that such beauty exists in the microcosm.
Done in Moldoshop, about an hour's work, July 21, 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Shores of Light

I found the title "The Shores of Light" in an ancient Roman poem, "On the Nature of Things," by Lucretius. Long, long ago, I was an academic classicist. An eon later, here's a nebula that looks like waves, hence my title. I also included a yellow star reflecting into the bluish nebula glow. Scientists have discovered water in nebulae, but it wouldn't have ripples and waves and it wouldn't be a liquid. This is more like a "space fantasy" than a "realistic" representation of something out in space.

"The Shores of Light" is acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", November 1991.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fauquier County Cottage

It may be only fifty miles from the center of Washington, DC, but this area of Fauquier County looks like the middle of rural nowhere. In between the big estates with the fancy horses and mansions are little crossroads with only a few buildings in them. Many of them count as towns, even if only a few dozen people live there. There's a general store, maybe a post office or an antique store, and some cars and trucks parked about. And there are a few residences too, like this cottage. I wouldn't mind living here, as long as I could completely re-do the interior and also have high speed internet. This is not going to happen, so I just draw a picture of the cottage and offer it on this nostalgic country fantasy blog post. Colored pencil on sketchbook page, 7" x 6".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hazy Summer colors

I spent another happy few hours driving through the backroads of central Virginia in Fauquier County. It isn't really that far from my residence, but it is quite rural, filled with my favorite kind of landscape: cultivated meadows interspersed with trees, and rolling hills. Fauquier has many estates owned by very rich people, which is part of why the meadow and tree landscape has not been obliterated by endless acres of quickly-built housing developments. I was able to park my car by the side of the road and do this colored pencil sketch while sitting on the tailgate. Drawing is about 7 1/2" x 4 1/2".

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Snack Shop Birds

A collection of birds in our local habitat adorns the board at Mena's snack shop. From upper left clockwise around the sign: Cardinal, Blue Jay, Goldfinch, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Wren, American Crow, House Finch, Robin, and Red-bellied Woodpecker. Bagels and birds, a good combination.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Foliage at Mariawald

I do some of these tree studies every summer. I want to capture the true colors of trees in sunlight or in other types of environmental light. Photoshop really gives me a leafy advantage because it can simulate an infinite amount of different leafy textures, using the "scatter" option. So I can encode the summer forest into my computer for consolation six months from now in the dead of winter. Which I dread like the plague.

This was done on site at Mariawald, which is the retreat center and convent where I spent my weekend with my Order of St. Michael religious group. "On site" here must be qualified. I was sitting in my pleasant room with the computer on the table and looking out the window at the same view that I depicted in colored pencils (see entry of July 13). So this can not be called "plein air" art, since I wasn't outside sitting in the blazing sunlight getting bitten by bugs. Not only that, I added a lot to this study back in the studio. No plein air. Bad artist.

Photoshop, 10" x 7", July 2010.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gas Garden

Sometimes I think the most fun part of making these nebula pictures was thinking up the title. This one is called "Gas Garden." There isn't a garden in space, at least that we know about, but I think of a cloudy leafy place full of flowers made of glowing gas or protostars. OK, gardens should be green, not blue, but when I fooled with this picture in Photoshop trying to make it green, it came out looking queasy and just not good. Since I am around vegetables and fruit so much in my work life, I would put tomatoes and pears into my surrealistic space garden, should I paint one now, which I won't, since I am busy turning out a fruitless experimental piece which may lose me the few readers I have for this skwushy little blog. Stay tuned.

"Gas Garden" is acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", November 1991.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alien Wetland

Just playin' around with Photoswamp on a very wet and thundery night. This might not be a "conventional" ecosystem at all, it could be made of methane and frozen globs of carbon and water ice on some distant freezing moon. However, it is dependent on light just like most of our own plant life. Maybe something else lives there and finds these plants just the tastiest things ever.

Photoshop, 7" x 10", July 14, 2010.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back from Retreat

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm back from my religious retreat in Pennsylvania. I knew it would be a lot of work and my expectations were fulfilled. I am an administrator for this event and for the whole religious group. About 15 people attended and even that number needs administrative work. I also presented one of the program items, a talk on ambient music and how it can be used as background for rituals. I just didn't get much rest, which is what I really needed.

But the place that hosted us was a beautiful convent and estate in eastern Pennsylvania near Reading, hosted by Sisters. The place was filled with birds to watch, including domestic swans and Canada geese. I did get to do the drawing above, which depicts the view from my window and terrace. And I did as much birdwatching as I could, by myself and with a bird-loving friend. I would have liked to just sit out on this terrace and gaze into the forest and the ripples of the pond. On the left of the drawing you can see my sketchy rendering of a fountain which is in the middle of the pond and keeps the water moving so it won't get algae and mosquitoes.

I had discussions with friends about art and God and what God would approve of. As you know if you've read this journal recently, I would like to explore different and "darker" subject matter. Most people who like my art expect cheerful, colorful, pretty, uplifting angel figures and magic cities and orderly geometric abstractions. But I am sick of all that. I have seen too much stuff on deviantART done by fabulous artists that is not "uplifting." If I painted a picture of a monster, would that be Godly? I don't mean a cutesy monster, I mean a real horrific one. Maybe God wants only positive, uplifting, morally instructive art. The only reason to do a horrific picture, then, would be to teach people to do good works and behave well so they don't go to Hell.

I probably have said all this before so I'll just go back to posting pictures of nebulae or vineyards. I know God likes vineyards.

Drawing of terrace view is colored pencil, about 9" x 8".

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Soft Nature

Nature in summer, here in this part of the USA, is sweet and generous and full of green growing things, even when it's over 100 degrees fahrenheit (about 38 degrees Celsius). A mist blurs the landscape and makes rich colors into soft pastel shades. You hear crickets chirping in the meadows and summer quiet blankets the world. That's what this Photoshop sketch is all about, precious summer, the only season in which I feel half-decent. And even better, I don't put any elf girls with long pointed ears and skimpy costumes into my picture. At least, not yet.

The By-Product will not appear for a few days because I am going on my annual retreat with my religious group, the Order of St. Michael. I'll be back, inshallah, on Monday 12 July.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beyond the Blue Nebula

Here's a cool blue spacescape to counter the searing heat wave we've been having on the East Coast. It was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Washington, DC area. I love hot weather but this is a bit much even for me. Fortunately I work in an air-conditioned place. I'd hate to have to work outside in this weather. I often remind people that six months ago, they were up to their knees in snow. There might be reasons why our weather is so extreme this year, but there might not be, too. That's science. In space, beyond the blue nebula, it's real cool.

"Beyond the Blue Nebula" is acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", October 1991.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Critter

This little guy looks like he mixes a number of basic life types: insect, rodent, caterpillar, slug. He lives a quiet life in moist woodland leaf litter and soil, usually near water where he can grab his insect food with his prehensile tongue. Six legs means he isn't a mammal. He likes warm weather and hibernates in the winter.

Photocritter, about 1/2 hour's work.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Party sketchies

I was at a July 4th party I usually go to, and I took my sketchbook along to keep my hands busy (when I was not eating excellent homemade barbecue and bratwurst). Here are two guys at the party. Note the iPhone in one of the guys' hands. Nowadays you cannot converse with anyone without them also having their iPhone on and looking at it and texting people while you talk to them. It pisses me off. Unless sketching while socializing is equally offensive.

My live drawings impressed a couple of children and some adults as well. I often forget that many other people don't draw or paint. They look at a drawing being done and think it's some sort of magic. Well I think so too, it's just that my own drawing isn't very magical. I need to do more of these pencil drawings. I need to do lots of studies on how clothing and fabric drapes and bunches on people's bodies. My single-line Pitt drawing pen isn't that great for studies like that. So I think I'll keep a pencil notebook. Also it's easier to do concept drawings in pencil, where you can erase if you want.

I really feel that I am on a purposeful quest now, something I haven't felt for a long time. My goal is to become a professional fantasy and science fiction illustrator again. To do this I have to re-learn just about everything I know about making art, because it is all digital now. I also have to solve some problems in my art that I have never even begun to solve in the thirty or so years I have been (or was on hiatus from being) professional. That is: 1. My art is devoid of drama and movement, and modern fantasy/sf art is ALL drama and movement. I need to pack action into my work. 2. I need to depict beautiful women. They don't need to be scantily clad but it's better if they are. I have never done an image of a really beautiful woman. I need LOTS of them. 3. I need to do graceful, action-filled, well-drawn human figures in unbelievable costumes. There are a lot more things I need to do. And it is in front of me all the time on the deviantART screen that there are THOUSANDS of artists, many of them Asian or Russian, who are only in their early 20s and already getting lots of professional work and drawing fantastic stuff that annihilates mine.

So there you go. More pencils and more digital action and girls. If you don't like this, then just ask for more vintage airbrush nebula pieces from the 1990s. (You'll get them anyway.)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vineyard Porch

My region of Virginia is full of wineries. It's not Napa Valley, but it might be getting there. On free Saturdays, I go out into the countryside and find a winery. Vineyards are situated in beautiful places and often have patios and decks and porches where you can sit and drink wine. I take my sketchbook and colored pencils and do landscape drawings. Today's winery was the "Molon Lave" vineyard, a new establishment near Warrenton. "Molon Lave" is Greek for "Come and take them," a saying attributed to the leader of the Spartans during the battle of Thermopylae, when the Persian king ordered him to lay down his weapons. It's sort of a "bring it on" type of saying. The weather was brilliant, the wine was good, and I got to meet a lot of new people and families who were also there to sip and enjoy. "Molon Lave" is one of the few wineries in my part of Virginia which produces Mediterranean style wines, and they have a "sister" winery nearby called "Mediterranean Cellars," which will be one of my next destinations.

This drawing is in colored pencil, about 11" x 8", and was done on site, with a minimum of corrections back in the studio.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vintage Vehicles and Songs

On the first Friday of each month there is a little festival in a downtown parking lot and art gallery here in Falls Church. This Friday's "First Friday Festival" featured an oldies band, the "Sparkplugs," craft and art vendors, a gallery show, and beautifully restored or customized old cars. An eclectic mix of artists, neighborhood people, and bikers milled around in the bright evening sun. I was there and had a tiny sketchbook with me, drawing anything within my line of sight.

Automotive oldies: a 1952 Pontiac and an aqua-and-white 1955 Chevy. Lovingly restored and presented at the First Friday gathering, July 2, 2010.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Voyage to the Grey Planet

A specifically science-fictional piece by me, combining airbrush and hand brushed nebula with hand-brushed spaceship. The asymmetrical profile may just be how it looks from the side. From above, it might have the proper bilateral symmetry that most spaceship plans are built on. Some viewers thought that it looked like an electric guitar from this angle, and I wasn't about to say no, though I was not thinking of that when I painted it. "Electric Guitar Spaceship?" It's been done, but not by me. The "Grey Planet" is visible in the upper center of the image.

"Voyage to the Grey Planet" is acrylic on illustration board, 14" x 11", October 1991.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


There are some comets that pass so close to the sun that they enter the outer corona of our fiery star. They are called "sun-grazers" which describes their trajectory. A lump of ice in a wind of fire, the comet shoots by the sun and is flung out into space again, trailing its luminous tail of vapor and particles. The comet survives its plunge and travels away into the outer darkness, never to be seen by Earthlings again.

This abstraction is inspired by the Sun-grazer comets. Other Sun-grazers include the cattle of the sun, energy beings in the shape of bovines who munch placidly on the filaments of gas (called "spicules") that flicker on the "surface" of the star. When called into their magnetic barn, the Sun-cows yield delicious glowing milk of fire. They are probably the same sort of creature as yesterday's floating cats.

"Sun-grazer" is acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 10", October 1991.