While doing some spring-cleaning and organizing, I found this piece of artwork of mine, stored in an unusual place away from the rest of my artwork. I suppose I intended to hang it when I was moving into this place, but one thing led to another and it was stuck in a hidden spot.
Here is the story behind the art. Years ago, one of my major hobbies was the building and maintenance of aquariums. I seem to have a knack for this sort of thing. The aqua-scapes I would create often generated a lot of interest, oos and ahs. This lead to a short-lived business maintaining aquariums for businesses, you know, doctor’s offices and the like.
Readers of my blog or Facebook page know I am a geek and nerd, and a big fan of science fiction, as well as a big fan of movies and film having worked in the industry for a while. This image is a representation of those varied interests coming together.
One of the tanks I own is a 55-gallon tank, a prop from the movie set of “Swamp Thing”. A rather dive of a movie, but it is neat to own a prop from it. I still have the tank, though it is now a terrarium. I had stopped keeping aquariums several years ago, though I have now re-entered the practice. My daughter moved back to California earlier this year, and needed a home for the few fish she and her friend kept in a little 10 gallon tank. Seems I can’t have fish around without diving back into old habits. I upgraded the tank to a 20 gallon, and have given those fish some new companions in a healthy home.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Years ago, the early 1980’s, I had the 55-gallon prop tank set up. I had gone to great lengths to build a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser model modified with wreck damage and treated to survive submersion in water and safe for the occupants of the tank. I still have the model in my terrarium.
So there the D7 Battlecruiser sat, wrecked in the aquarium. One of the tank’s occupants was a fire newt. One evening, as the fire newt crawled across the sunken hulk of the starship, the thought occurred to me. What if the starship had been the achievement of a race of beings evolved from an amphibian like the newt? What was going on inside that wrecked vessel? Certainly, monitors were showing exterior scenes. Admittedly, I had painted the tank ornament to be a parallel to the traditional sunken pirate ship. Wrecked and falling apart, with algae and sea mosses covering its deteriorated hull. However, at some point the collision with this water world was fresh, and there were these mighty four legged, long-tailed beasts swimming past, a full tenth the size of the ship itself. What were those stranded spacefarers thinking?
This image came to my mind. The artwork is a mixed medium, pencil and ink, each traditional and colored. It is also a mixed style, using line as well as pointillist techniques. I did not want to duplicate the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser. It is a trademarked image. Besides, Klingons are not descendants of amphibians.
One of the tasks I set for myself while producing this image was to create a ‘Pop’ image. An image within the image not initially observed, but once recognized it ‘Pops’ forward. I had never tried this before. See if you can see it.
So there it is, “Downship”. The thumbnail can be clicked to view a larger image, allowing you to see some detail.