Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Recycled Galleon

Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara contains a total of about 150 paintings and drawings. Out of that number, about 144 are newly created for the book. But half a dozen or so are images that pre-existed the story, and were originally created for an entirely different purpose.

One example is the painting of the flying galleon. The image illustrates the vision of Captain Goldsworthy Marlinspike, who presides over Bilgewater, a village made up of sailing ships turned up on end.

I did this painting twenty-five years ago for the cover of a science fiction paperback book called Annals of Klepsis by R.A. Lafferty about some space pirates.

The painting was already sold to a collector, so retouching it was out of the question. But I had to get rid of the pirate motif on the flag and the plume of smoke (which didn’t make sense in space anyway--but then neither does the wind or gravity on the flag and sails, come to think of it).

So I did some Photoshop retouching work (the only use of Photoshop in the entire book) to make the necessary changes and to flop the image.

Speaking of recycling, thank you Dr. Fabre for the post about Dinotopian retro-tech on your fun blog Voyages of a Steampunk Physician.


stephen erik schirle said...

i just wanted to say, this is such a great and inspiring blog! thanks for sharing so much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Stephen,

And for anyone who doesn't already know his work, Stephen Schirle is one of the top entertainment designers, as well as a master painter in the academic tradition and teacher at the LA Academy. Check out his website at www.seriks.com and his blog "Just Peachy" at stephenschirle.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Happy 2008 ....Yes how nice from James and Dan too... Alllow me quote one of my favourite Art Historian, pr. Federico ZERI ( conversations at the Unversite of MILANO, ITALIA ) ; " if the RENAISSANCE ARTIST would live today they would be in the film " : and really You are those genius.

About gallions, i love them so much ( the weils, the heraldic signs...), i did a project starting on the " visuality" of gallions for a Museum. Among other ideas, I thought we had to produce
- ) new marine Heraldics as paintings for collectors
-) new " wooden " figure de proue " at the front of the ships ....Just remind also this wonderful story of Olias of Sunhillow and the song : " meeting by Jon Anderson...

thanks again


Roca said...

Just curious...since you mentioned the post by Dr. Fabre, do the images posted in blogs count as "fair use" or do they require approval of the creator? I see such usage all over the internet for commentary and review, I just wonder how copyright applies in these situations.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you asked, Meredith. People have my permission to quote text or use images from Gurney Journey or Dinotopia.com on their blogs, websites, or MySpace pages as long as they give some kind of credit or link back. In fact I welcome it and thank you for it.

Students talking about Dinotopia in their school reports also have my OK.

I can't speak for other artists, but the thing I don't want to see is an image in print in a book or magazine or used on something for sale, because that's how I make my living.

Anonymous said...

I think Dinotopia is what got me into Steampunk, actually. :)

The galleon painting really reminded me of a painting in Patrick Woodroffe's The Second Earth: the Pentateuch Re-Told (1987). The premise of this story (an illustrated book like Dinotopia, actually) is that an alien spacecraft is discovered orbiting Saturn, and the subsequent translation of the documents it contains transforms the people of Earth's ideas about themselves. Just as with Dinotopia, it's presented as fact, too.