My little painted pointy rocket ships originally began as tiny quick color sketches on small canvases, intending to use up leftover paint on my palette when I was painting larger works. They have evolved quite considerably since then. Observers may have noticed that my rockets are always in flight...traveling over great distances and to a variety of planets and nebula. They represent an ongoing journey of 'self'. One may have also noticed that I like painting the planet Saturn quite a lot, too. Blame the English legendary science fiction artist John Harris. He makes any planet look sexy, and his individual painting style adds a visual glamour that expresses exactly how I feel about 'space'. At least how the child I once was dreamed of it being. Lost edges, depth, application of colours that somehow depict space without ever using black. My husband, Bob Eggleton paints space with the same imaginative and colourful vibe, but with different technique. Both are a huge influence on the type of fluffy space opera that I paint. They paint science fiction as epic, realistic, imaginative magnificence: I paint emotionally with colour and angles and the 'what ifs' of whatever whimsy comes to mind at the time of painting. The eternally flying rockets represent the child that I was who wanted to go off into outer space, have adventures there, see what was behind the next planet, star gaze at nebulae, and generally do a grand tour of the glowing spectacle that is out there in the massive darknesses between worlds... these paintings represent the last six months of work and a part of that journey...
(14x18", Oils on canvas)
Price: $600.00 SOLD
"Inferno" was painted as a commission to become a poster for a science fiction film festival in San Francisco. The commissioner wanted to use one of my other rocket doodles for the poster, but they were too small to be enlarged for that kind of use. So he said 'just paint me a large rocket doodle and allow some space for type, etcetera...' Design was left up to me. I decided to lash out and have some fun with a more complicated composition. The idea of a devastated world and lonely passing rocket rather appealed to me. I always wanted to investigate ruins of old civilizations and such....even better if they were on other worlds. Blame those visions on old 1950s and 60s science fiction movies and 'Golden Age SF' books where the imagination and visions of the future, any future, were boundless and epic. Unfortunately, the photo does not do this painting justice. Photographing reds in all of their glory has become something of a hit and miss these days.
"Blue Saturn Flyby"
(3x3", Oils on Stretched Canvas)
Price: $65.00 SOLD
"Red Saturn Flyby"
(3x3", Oils on Stretched Canvas)
Price: $65.00 SOLD
These two tiny epics are the smallest rocket doodles I have ever painted. They were created as entries for an art challenge called "Tiny Treasures" for The Art Order blog/website run by art director Jon Schindehette this year. Notice that they both borrow heavily from "Inferno" above. I had a little bit of fun with the repetition...and wondered how one of the efforts would look in lush blues and cyans. I was rather proud of them both, and they both quickly soared off to new homes.
Necessity dictated my next rocket doodle paintings. I had a very busy few months over this summer and quickly realised that I had a real dearth of finished artwork to display at the swiftly approaching art expo, Illuxcon 8...and little time to paint anything complicated. I had some frames in storage and a selection of canvases to play with, so I got out my sketchbook and started drawing up ideas to paint. Since I had been using Saturn a lot in recent paintings, I decided that I wanted to lash out and paint a destroyed moon and rocket scape in entirely different colours than I was used to. A type of personal art challenge to get out of my comfort zone. So I flicked through the art books of John Berkey, John Harris, among others, and my copy of the early groundbreaking science fiction art book, "Tomorrow and Beyond" by Ian Summers, trying to recapture the dreamy speculations of my childhood. I think I made the leap to the next painting rather well, as I'm quite proud of this unusual step...
(14x18", Oils on Stretched Canvas)
Price: $680.00 SOLD
This is also a variation on the "Inferno" composition. And I fell in love with the purple/magenta/orange combination so much that I used it again in a smaller pulpish painting to use up the rest of the paint on the palette. Hence a real, original 'rocket doodle' that became the next offering below.
"Purple Pulp Rocket"
(5x7", Oils on Stretched Canvas)
Price: $150.00 SOLD
This was kind of fun because we visited the home and totally magnificent art collection of friends in Chicago this summer, and their masses of brilliant pulp and science fiction artwork were inspiring beyond belief. I suppose that it is only right that this little painting has gone to sit humbly amongst that bright galaxy of eminent works.
(11x14", Oils on Stretched Canvas)
Price: $580.00 SOLD
Yeah, I know: Saturn and that angle again...another repetition from "Inferno". However, the reds are very textured with other colours, but those subtleties are lost in the photographic process. Which explains WHY art collectors buy original art: no facsimile, print or digital, will ever capture the true luminosity of an original painting. In this painting, the rocket is inbound to an asteroid space station....something I've ALWAYS wanted to paint. It seemed a likely time to try it out. I added the tiny receding 'space buoys' leading into the station as well. I was rather happy with the outcome of this painting and very proud of my first little asteroid space station. What you can't see here it the minutiae of brushed detail there is in it. Simple dash here and smudge there, and the whole thing looks detailed and complete when you step back from the painting.
(14x18", Oils on Stretched Canvas)
Price: $480.00 SOLD
This is currently the last of the current crop of 'rocket doodles' and is something of a departure from my normal colours and composition...which must be nice to look at after the previous repetitions. I was floundering a bit, trying to find one last inspiration for one more painting when I happened across a magazine with this view of Saturn on the cover. I looked at it for awhile and then something in the back of my mind stirred with interest. Green space...another asteroid space station.... egress of a pointy rocket ship...coloured bands and moons...a different aspect. Yes, that's what I was looking for in this latest painting... a different aspect. Or at least, a different perspective. The green has lost some of its luminosity in this photo, and again, the subtlety has been lost all over, but the overall effect is close to the original painting. This asteroid space station has a docking stalk below it. One rocket remains docked and in partial shadow, whilst its companion has used maneuvering rockets to push loose from the dock before igniting its main engines and soaring out of orbit across the face of Saturn. The storytelling of these 'rocket doodles' has become more intricate over time, to become a catalyst for the viewer to ask the age old questions.... why?...how?...what if? My husband walked behind me when I was painting this and paused to say, "That's a bit out of your regular colour range for these, isn't it? It looks wonderful, by the way..." before passing on to his own easel.
All of these paintings were painted in two stages...a rocket doodle is usually completed in a single sitting, painted wet in wet. MOST of each painting was put together in the space of two to four hours and allowed to dry overnight before finishing painting rockets, space stations, contrails, and being signed. The second sessions usually comprised one to two hours. I have enjoyed my usual techniques of wet in wet build up of paint and blending brushes, and smoothing and 'sculpting' of the paint beneath my brushes. My regular limited palette included the usual suspects and a couple of ringers that only come out when I'm painting something specific. These were: Titanium White, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Sap Green, Viridian, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Yellow Ochre, and Magenta. Not ALL of the colours were used in every painting. My brushes were the sames ones I always use.
Anyway, I hope you like where the 'rocket doodles' are heading, and don't mind that they are evolving from what they originally started out as several years ago. They are finding their own adventures...I just paint them.
Thanks for stopping by,
PS: Here are some of the thumbnail ideas and design
drawings that became these paintings.... except for DAMAGE PATROL and INFERNO, both of which I
drew freehand straight onto the canvas:
The thumbnail design for the 3x3" Red Saturn Flyby....
Design drawing for Inbound ...
Sketchbook thumbnails for Damage Patrol and
Blue Saturn Flyby
Design drawing for Outbound...