Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Leaves Study 2017

I do one of these every year, attempting to capture the bright green of June tree foliage before it fades to brown in the heat of summer. 2014 was done in markers. This is done in a mixture of media. The lush foliage is the view out my window. Over the years I see more and more foliage. I didn't know that mature trees keep growing. It is hard for me to get to my workstation since it is blocked by bulky components removed during the current renovation of my kitchen.

Markers, ink, and colored pencil, 3 1/2" x 4", June 27, 2017.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Gathering in the Crystal Chamber


In neo-medieval fantasy fiction there is almost always a big scene taking place in an aristocratic or royal council chamber. This is where the leaders of the many Houses, Clans, and factions gather to get some business done. It invites the illustrator to depict lavish architecture, heraldic banners, and a costumed crowd. This version of the Council Chamber scene is from a collection of Darkover fan art that I did in my early days as the unofficial artist of Zimmer Bradleyworld. Usually after too many disagreements a deadly fight breaks out in the chamber but I don't remember whether that happened here. I didn't intend on showing a specific event anyway. I miss Darkover, you hardly see it at all these days or perhaps I am just not looking.

Original artwork was brown ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", fall 1981. Klik for a larger view.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cubist Space Station


This piece was excerpted from a Darkover fan zine where I was a regular contributor. It is the cover art but it doesn't illustrate anything in any particular story. Darkover mixed scenarios from science fiction as well as the more common swashbuckling neo-Renaissance material. I did this cubistic space station, orbiting over Darkover, before the "Borg" showed up on the TV screen. 

Ink on illustration board, about 8 1/2" x 8 3/4", May 1984. Click on image for a larger view.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Geometrikon Patriotic Remix


Here we are back with the re-mix of the "Election Geometrikon" of June 19. This is done on paper with the original drawing, using markers and colored pencils. It looks a bit like stained glass, which is OK by me. I wonder whether any modern American politician has won an election while using graphics, stickers, and billboards in a non-red-white-and-blue color scheme. What about another country whose flag is different colors. Let's observe some German political graphics from their upcoming election to see whether they use black, red, and yellow. As a graphic designer I tend to see things through that filter.

Marker ink, colored pencil, and election sticker on sketchbook page, 4" x 5 1/2", June 2017.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Remote Login is like Mind Reading


It is possible to have nostalgia for the high tech of the future. In 1993 I did a series of illustrations for a book called "Internet Guide for New Users." (Visit here for more of this material.) In this graphic, information is exchanged between two separate computer hard discs (looking rather like hockey pucks here) and it is compared in the text to mind reading or telepathic sharing. That is what you get when everyone inventing this new-fangled "trance medium" is a science fiction fan: psychic computers.

Original illustration is ink on illustration board, about 9" x 4 1/2", May 1993.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mountain near Salzburg


In 1975-76 I returned to Rome and the rest of Europe on a fellowship for student projects and travel sponsored by the Watson Foundation funded by IBM. In the spring of 1976 all the fellowship holders in Europe were invited to a convention in Salzburg, Austria where we would show off our progress in our projects. My project was a young adult/magic realism novel about a rebellious Roman aristocratic girl (I have written about this on the By-Product recently). We fellowship holders were treated like aristocrats ourselves, dining and wandering through a lordly palace.

 At one point I had some extra time and used my portable watercolor set to depict a mountain in the Schloss environment, reflecting on a picturesque lake. This scene may also have been in the film of "The Sound of Music." I was lucky to see the mountain because most of the time it was clouded over. My presentation wasn't this, it was a reading from some of my text in progress.

Unfortunately, I caught the flu at that convention (as one often does) and was helped to a student refuge in Vienna where I lay helpless for days. By the time I had recovered enough to travel, it was time to leave Vienna for a scheduled meeting with friends in Denmark. I don't remember much about that week.

Picturesque mountain is watercolor on Canson paper, 11" x 9", spring 1976. Heavily re-worked in Photoshop to make a level horizon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Electrical Eggs design


Many science fiction fans are disabled in one way or another. They like to go to conventions just like non-disabled fans, but often the hotel or convention center venue is not accessible to people with wheelchairs or other assistive devices. Blind or Deaf fans also had some difficulty in the public environment of a convention. In the early 90s a wheelchair-using fan created an association that would be present at science fiction conventions to help disabled fans get around. The whimsical name of the association, "Electrical Eggs," came about because one person who used an electric wheelchair said that she rode on "electrical legs." This was mis-heard as "Electrical Eggs" and thus became the name of the group. I was connected to them by friendship. Every year they published a T-shirt and tote bags with an original egg themed design, which they could sell to get funds. I did the 1994 version, which featured an architectural giant egg which had a helpful ramp for wheelchair users. In the original printing, the writing and art were in dark brown printed on a beige shirt. I still have the shirt though the organization disappeared in the early 2000's.

Original art is black ink on illustration board, 11" x 14", July 1993. The white streaks are reflections from a plastic cover in one of my archive books. My early wax-transfer art copies got stuck to the plastic page covers in the portfolio books so I couldn't take them out. Digitization solves that.