Friday, February 26, 2016

Tower and Fish

Midnight painting madness continues apace. I am happy to report that I have almost one half of the cover (whether the front or the back I don't yet know) of The King of Nightspore's Crown more or less completed:


I say midnight painting, though of a truth much of this was produced on weekends, mostly while "napping" the baby by bouncing her little chair with my foot. She wakes up the instant I stop this motion, and it takes quite a bit of coordination to keep the bounces out of the picture. And yet somehow I've never been able to dribble a basketball.

At any rate, here we have an abstracted version of the pseudospherical Tower of Bel reaching up into the stratosphere against an Enochite skyline, with the Leviathan that symbolizes both primeval Chaos and the all-powerful State swimming into a brackish hemlath swamp. Some aspects remain to be touched up, but I like how it's going so far.

In case you've forgotten, here's the original sketch of the cover in toto:


The pigment is somehow mixed with the identical purple dresses of Cora and Clarice, the resurrection of the mummy Xaltotun, the beheading of the vampire Lucy Westenra, the squashing of the witch Gagool beneath a heavy door, the revelation of Pip's benefactor on a storm-tossed night, and the horrible spontaneous combustion of the rag-and-bottle merchant Krook. As you can see, I paint very, very slowly.

I am tentatively to have another art show this summer. My friend who runs the gallery, a forward-thinking MFA and art instructor at the local college, is always just a tiny bit disheartened by my staid attention to naturalism, my addiction to illustration, and my meticulous planning. So I hope to complete a few more abstract and spontaneous pictures before now and then to gladden his spirit. To that end, I'm working on the Chicken Man:


He was originally drawn to please my four-year-old daughter; the ghostly image of Margo, her orange dinosaurian crony, may be seen through the Chicken Man's right leg, on the next page of my sketch book. Why he's called the Chicken Man I don't know. Perhaps because it's a hard world for little things. His pathos fills me with sad tenderness.

His body is formed from turning a random squiggle into a surface by converting the crossings into shaded twists, forming (in topological terms) a punctured surface. This particular surface happens not to be orientable, as an examination of his right hip suffices to indicate. It follows that he's not a Seifert surface, though I wouldn't tell him this to his face. His genus is nine. Well, ten, if you count his little toe-loop.

Man, the obscure geometry and topology references just keep coming tonight. Maybe the pressure is starting to get to me.

1 comment:

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