Daub du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. More of which can be seen at my website, 'MariannePlumridgeart.com', and also my Writing Blog, 'Muse du Jour'. These sites are in the links section of this page. This site began life as a painting a day blog in 2007. However that project has now passed, but I still find myself painting in that way. So this site will now be the showcase my new paintings as inspired by those previous efforts.

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Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Two New Rockets for the New Year...

 "Scarlet Base"
(Size: 8x10", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price: $420.00

Happy New Year! Well, I took the proverbial bull by the horns early in January and started laying paint on a small portrait (more about that in the next post) that has been a long time coming. It involved several luscious blues which I had plenty of left over on my palette, along with a hefty amount of my usual black mix of Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine. I added Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Orange Hue, and Cadmium Yellow Light to make up the warms of 'Scarlet Base'. I had sooooo much fun smooshing the clouds and blending the warms and blues. The addition of the almost 3D rocks in the foreground absolutely make the composition pop. They were a latish contribution because this concept just needed 'something' to make the visual interesting. The red sun is almost cradled by the gentle curve of the asteroid ring. Ahead of the rocketship, you'll notice a couple of red and blue streaks. My husband, whose art was initially grounded in space art picked up on them instantly and declared that my painting was a lovely close up of the red end of a bolo star system. In layman's terms, that is a solar system with two suns that feed off of each other. In this case, the smaller, denser blue sun off camera to the right is pulling substance away from the giant, but more flimsy red sun and it leaves a visible streak in space while doing so. The space station is a mining platform pulling cooling rare minerals from the surrounding space as they feed along unseen courses from the red to the blue. 

"Firefly Mist"
(Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $240.00 SOLD
This little painting was created using the same leftover paint as 'Scarlet Base'. I kind of like the cools against the warms contrariness of both colour schemes. 'Firefly Mist' is more or less just a smooshing/blending cloud thing going on. Both paintings are a product of 'on the fly' non-design creation. Neither of them were sketched up on paper first, instead were just quickly, loosely laid down elements directly onto the canvas. Colours were mixed up on the fly and were added to or taken away from the canvas as the idea developed. Blending brushes might have been wielded...

Anyway, this is it so far. More on the small portrait next post. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, December 3, 2023


  Welcome to my second annual Christmas Small Works Sale. Yep, it's rockets again this year. Twelve brand new paintings. Hope that's good with you. Unfortunately, while I did my absolute best with the photography, each image is lacking in the nuance, luminosity, and detail that real live viewing brings. Please keep that in mind. Also, please see shipping options at the end of this post. To contact me for purchasing a painting, please use FACEBOOK MESSENGER or INSTAGRAM MESSENGER. I'll keep an eye on my email for direct contact as well. First to request purchase will get the painting. If that falls through, then it will be offered to next requestor according to the time stamp of the message. Meanwhile, please enjoy...

"Breaching the Cloud Layer"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00 SOLD
This is one of my off the cuff rocket doodles to use up paint...a lot of 'made' black in this instance...on my palette. I mix the colour black from French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna and then I can control if it's a warm or cool black for use. I grabbed a panel, drew a quick slant-y line for the cloud layer, used my big circle gauge for the rising moon, and drew a small angled straight line to base the rocket on. Drew in the rocket shape, fixed with Workable Fixative spray and then started laying paint. I also channeled pure nostalgia with this mid-century era colour scheme. Reminds me of one of my fave films, 1954 'War of the Worlds'.
(Size: 7x10", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $400.00
The concept for this little painting came directly from the pages of my teeny thumbnail sketchbook, so it is one of my 'designed' rocket doodles. And, inherently not the colour scheme my inner brain was aiming for. I will make notes on my thumbnails about colour, title, etc, but they don't always turn out as expected. I thought I had completed the design with a plain, unbroken rising moon above the planet, but my mind kept asking 'why are there so many orbiting rocks?' 'The moon exploded?' was the hesitant answer back. So, in the drawing, I broke up the moon and added lots of debris around it. THEN, the design felt complete, so I painted it. Although, the finished painting is bright, it's not quite this candy coloured.
"Debris Window"
(Size: 6x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $310.00 SOLD

 This painting is another 'draw a few elements and a rocket on a canvas and just paint' off the cuff effort. I really love framing some scenes from dramatic elements that are mostly 'off camera' so to speak. I had a lot of blue and made black to use up, and the ever present golds and oranges on my palette, so I doodled some wrecked ship/station debris in the foreground and painted it dark and woolly against the bright starscape and inspection rocket. Who knows how often in the far flung future ship debris are found after being lost for so long or new alien things found. All need to be reported and families, no matter how distant they now are in the past, need notification about their lost ones. Also, buoys placed near wreck debris to warn other passing ships to avoid them in case of collision.
"Firecloud Launch"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00

 Okay, this design came from the pages of my teeny thumbnail sketchbook, complete with colour scheme notes. AND, it turned out as was expected, heavy in red space and blue highlights. It's a little less contrasty in reality, but still vibrant. 
"Oasis Biodome"
(Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: 300.00 SOLD

 "Oasis Biodome" also comes from the pages of my teeny sketchbook, but it was a design based on inspiration from a vintage SF magazine cover. It doesn't look anything like that cover, but the 'weight' of the design element, ie. the half-cut-off station on the right is placed in almost the same spot as the cartoony space station on the original inspiration. I was experimenting with odd design choices, and this was one of them. I rather like how it turned out.
(Size: 6x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $280.00

This is one of my off the cuff paintings that started out as a 'it was a good idea at the time' design. I wanted something colourful and Christmasy and I drew up the space station and used the circle gauge for the moons. The supernova in the background got very woolly, very quickly and I thought I'd all but ruined it for a few days, until my husband was walking past my studio table and loved it. That encouraged me to keep going in trying to save it. The space station was originally shaped like one of those elongated Christmas tree ornaments and had a 'ribbon' wrapped around it from top to bottom. I didn't end up liking it. It was too 'straight up and down' and not at all interesting. Too static. So, I started doodling on the canvas and adding things. Well, it looks just as woolly as the supernova nebula behind it, but I ended up liking it after all. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but someone out there will love it, I'm sure. Also, in looking at names for this painting, I finally chose 'Polukhromos' which is the Greek translation of 'polychrome' in the dictionary. I think it is very apt. 

"Red Run Shortcut"
(Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed) Price: $280.00  SOLD

This is another off the cuff, draw up directly on the canvas little painting. I was aiming for a 'big planet' look and also loved the colour of Mars, so Mars it became. A simple 'flypast' design that I could have fun smooshing my oil paints around. And yes, to use up some of the usual 'more than I need' made black.  
"Runnin' for It"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00 SOLD

"Runnin' for It" is another off the cuff, draw up directly onto the canvas painting. I drew in a line for the planet edge, circle gauge for the moon, line for the rocket, drew the rocket. Then I completely went to town with the exploding surface and flying rocks. And I absolutely love the blue/red contrariness.

"Sirius Crucible"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00

 "Sirius Crucible" is an 'in-between' design. As in, I needed to use up a bunch of paint fast and wasn't quite sure what to paint. I have a bunch of used sketches and ideas piled up around my painting table, so I sifted through those, looking for inspiration. I found the space station I had used on another past painting and squinted at it and thought that it might make a nice centrepiece to cloud frame in space/nebula 'thang'. So, I drew it down and went at it with the paint, but somehow, I just ran out of inspirational puff and ended up putting it aside for several months. When I was grasping for ideas to draw just recently, I pulled out the half finished canvas again and looked at it. Squinting at the left over paint on my palette, I thought I could experiment with it a bit more. Well, I loved the amber back light and the soft multi-coloured clouds up front and so finished it with a sense of accomplishment. I hate wasting things, even canvases that haven't worked out. However, in adding the rocket and it's tail-fire trail, it also became something unexpected. Some of us see it as a simple space painting, others took one look at it and said they saw a shabby puppy or lion in the gold, with the off sized moons as eyes, and the space station and fire trail as the nose. Admittedly, it took me a while to see it as I was fully focused on the space theme, but when I did, I now can't unsee it. So, the title became 'Sirius Crucible' after the dog-star.

"Starbreak Station"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00

 I found a pretty, blue supernova in colours that I love and painted this off the cuff rocket doodle using some of it. All of my space scenes are painted loosely in an impressionist style, so I had a lot of fun daubing and blending blues and purples amidst the black of space on this one. Very serene and luminous in real life.

"Teeny Sputnik 1"
(size: 4x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 120.00  SOLD

I painted a Sputnik 1 for a friend last year as a commission. I still had some references lying around for it and a bunch of 4x6" frames and canvasses. I also had a lot of blue left on my palette as well. SO, I noodled an Earth horizon and and rising Moon in the distance, along with a bit of 'Milky Way' in the distance and created a teeny Sputnik 1.  Just for the heck of it. 
"Tumbling Stone Outpost"
(Size: 4x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $120.00 SOLD

Yep, lots of made black, and cadmium yellow light, and cadmium orange left on the palette. So, I drew up directly onto the canvas a bunch of positive and negative shapes, and a space station in the lower right corner. Even with the tumbling rocks, the design didn't feel complete, so I added the tiny rocket and its fire trail to tie the two 'halves' of the painting together into a whole. As strange as a design as it is, it now actually works. Pulp space paintings from last century were full of this kind of dramatic and dynamic design work, as the art adorning books and magazines had to draw the eye to sell the product. It's why we have so much gorgeous vintage art that 'thinks outside the box' and inspires, even if the laws of physics have been broken or even twisted and bent into something truly awe-inspiring and challenging. Suspension of disbelief is key, and I hope my little space fantasies can reach even a tiny bit of that inspiring achievement of pulp space artists past.

Currently, I have medium Priority Mail flat rate shipping boxes for single sales that will run about $25.00 with insurance. If you buy more than one and want to ship Fedex, we can get that done, too. 
Thanks for stopping by,
#pointyrocketships, #retrorockets, #pulpspace, #pulpspaceart, #spaceart, #smallpaintings, #oilpainting, #rockets, #rocketships, #1950sspaceart

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Designed Rocket Doodles...

 "Gossmere 'Gossamer' Base"
 (10x10", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $600.00  SOLD

This is one of the designs from my teeny sketchbook that I doodled awhile back. It's the first time I've painted, let alone drawn such a spindly space station. It was kind of inspired by the spider-like air traffic control 'tower' at LAX airport, in shape. And since the design is light and airy compared to many of my other clunky space stations, this one fit the almost pristine delicacy of the concept of the whitish rings and planet cloudscape below it. Lots of nuance and golden highlights have been  lost in photography, but I'm rather proud of fulfilling my vision for this idea. Below, is the page from my sketchbook...fully designed in a 3.5 x 3.5" space. The entries that I draw between the covers of this little book are more complete and 'deliberate' ideas that come to mind and need a little more effort than the 'off the cuff' ones that are more like 'insta-rockets'. Besides, with drawing up designs before hand, I can just scan to canvas size, print out and draw them down, ready to begin adding paint. They also often require more than just one sitting to complete.

"Jagged Edges"
(6x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 350.00  SOLD
I kind of like viewing space through 'broken windows' kind of debris. You may have noticed this. It provides the viewer with a narrative and possible story than just 'rocket flying through space' does. Yeah, I like painting those simple ideas, too. But, sometimes the urge to tell a bigger story takes over and I get to doodling in my teeny sketchbook again for a more finite design. The actual paint is another story. I'm never really fully invested in a colour scheme when I'm designing a rocket doodle...with the exception of, perhaps, "Gossmere 'Gossamer' Base" above which come to mind fully formed in paint as well as pencil. A couple of others where I am using a space photo from one of the NASA telescopes as a starting point may have a base colour-idea as well, but this doesn't happen often. The old pulp cover artists of the Golden Age and Silver Age of science fiction quite regularly used lurid colours when representing 'space' that defy the laws of physics and the universe when getting their ideas across. I'm more in line with their way of creating as it feeds fully into the 'what if' principle that is currently driving my science fiction/science fantasy space art and rocket doodles. "Jagged Edges" colour ideas were inspired by the top right hand corner of one of my previous paintings, "Moon Hopper". Nostalgic rust-coloured space with cool-tinted shadows was the basis for the premise going forward. I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. It brings 1950s space opera and pulp magazine covers to mind. Below is the design drawing from my little sketchbook.

(6x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $280.00  SOLD

"Lightship" is something of a 'ringer'...somewhere between an 'off the cuff' rocket doodle and a 'designed' one. I had a square frame that I wanted to paint something for and an idea started to form. I ended up using a 'saturn-like-planet' sketch from a previous painting and a previous style of space station I've painted to inspire the drawing of a new one. Below is the drawing/doodle of said space station/lightship on a page of its own in my teeny thumbnail sketchbook. Yeah, I know a lot of my space station designs reflect similar elements, but that's just my creative quirks at play. I like them to look organically grown technology of 'let's just add on a piece here' development over a long time frame...so bits stick out everywhere, appearing 'tacked on'. The final colour scheme of the painting wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be, but it was an adventure to paint.

Anyway, here ends the current crop of rocket doodles until I post up my annual CHRISTMAS SMALL WORKS SALE 2023 on Sunday 3rd December at 4pm. Come back and take a look. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Spur of the Moment Rocket Doodles...

"Moon Hopper"
(4x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)    Price: $ 150.00  SOLD

True Rocket Doodles in my creative world are the ones that come from a 'what shall I paint now?' mindset, usually after I've just completed whatever else I've been working on, large or small. And sometimes, inspiration strikes just right and I'll grab a canvas and start drawing elements on it until I get a working concept or story. These latest few paintings are just that: impromptu, off the cuff, spur of the moment tiny works inspired typically by 'colour combinations', shapes, a singular element from something I've just been working on, or even something amorphous from music I've been listening to or such. Sometimes, the magic is just there when you need it. 'Moon Hopper' was inspired by wanting to play with colour and shape, so I just kept adding elements, starting with the 'Saturn'-like planet as the anchor and finishing up with tiny rocket racing away from the space station. All of the random elements work in this tiny painting and I added and added them until it just felt 'balanced' to me. Then I started in with the paint. I had a lot of fun with this one, and the nostalgia style 'space' that I created in the top right hand corner was the basis for another painting, 'Jagged Edges' which I'll talk about in the next post. Meanwhile, here are some of the other paintings that I created for Illuxcon that were literally not designed, but were more of happy accidents...

"The Narrows"
(4x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 100.00 SOLD

'The Narrows' was inspired by a colour scheme I had in mind and a pretty pale rose gold frame I had lying around my studio. A wavy line, draw a rocket on a favourable angle, put in a few moons using a small circle gauge template and off I went. There is something just so soothing noodling wet paint into pleasing shapes and depths.

 "The In-Between"
(4x4", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $90.00  SOLD
I had a small but bulky mottled brown frame hanging around my studio table for quite some time. I don't remember when I purchased it or where, but it spoke to me on  some level, and I am a sucker for giving odd sized frames a good home and use. Right then, I thought the colour of it would lend itself well to a small painting of Mars or similarly toned painting idea. So, I used a roll of artists tape to make the big planet anchor and and drew in a rough asteroid/moon shape in the lower right. I had fun with doodling this domed station for a few minutes, then it was ready for painting. Everything was roughly noodled with the paint with only loose attention to details of real world, or real space objects. I've painted Mars a few times now and didn't want to lose flow in the creativity process by delineating every little crater and canyon on the red planet. The space station was formed by a lot of tiny dashes and implied detail. After the painting was finished, I held up the frame to it and decided that the frame didn't fully compliment the image itself. It kind of needed to be darker. I shrugged, scrunched up some paper towel and proceeded to dab black paint from my palette onto the frame to darken the inner edges of it, not fully covering the original pretty mottled brown. It worked!!! The darker inner edges made the tiny painting pop. So, after the frame dried, I sprayed it with Kamar Varnish a couple of times and let it sit and dry some more. The frame and painting looked fully cohesive when finally mated. Sometimes, it just pays to play around. Ahem...

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I'll be posting a few more of my 'Designed' Rocket Doodles next time, so stay tuned.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Vintage Inspiration

"The Mote in God's Eye"
(9x12", Oils on Linen Panel, Framed)   Price: $575.00  SOLD

I was feeling a bit burned out when we went to a friend's home and orchard up north for the annual apple picking back in September. Rather than doing my usual enthusiastic picking of said apples and making cider with my friends, I got myself a cup of the hard cider on tap from the cooler spigot and wandered around the extended house and looked at all of the vintage artworks and books. Vintage pulp art heaven. Little niggles of ideas nibbled at my mind whilst I drooled over inspiring works of wonder. Science fiction, fantasy, western, mystery, thriller, fun and whimsical art that has mostly graced the covers or interiors of novels and books and magazines for at least the last hundred years. I'm not an expert and able to tell the names and techniques of the many artists, but it certainly was inspiring. The huge red sun in a Paul Lehr painting stayed with me and I sat down in the living room with my teeny sketchbook and noodled out a few drawings, one of which became the basis for my new painting "The Mote in God's Eye". I have toyed with this premise in the past and never got any further than ideas in mind and a single aborted attempt at an over sized rocket doodle that I never finished some years back. I think the colour scheme I had on it and a very nebulous idea was all wrong. This time it all fell into place. I just needed the right inspiration and a warmer, if overly dramatic colour scheme. LOL That big red sun got to me. The nostalgia which is prevalent in my rocket doodles comes from my youth in the 1960s and my Dad's love of all the pulps, science fiction and thrillers, particularly. I get that from him. But nowadays, I bring my nostalgia of the old 'what if' days that knew virtually no limits in imagination to life in my tiny rocket microcosms. Small visions of stories or parts of stories that make the viewer wonder what is happening. Yeah, the simple visions of my ideas have gotten more complicated over the years, but there is always a story to tell...even if I'm not always quite sure what it is until I've finished painting it. What do you think?

This is the design I doodled that day...

Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon for more rocket doodles and such.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

A Different Influence...

 "Infernal Web"
(11x14", Oils on Linen, Framed)    Price:  $750.00 SOLD

I was prowling through a bunch of art books in our library and came across one of the collected works of the legendary science fiction and fantasy artist, Richard Powers. His vintage abstract take on golden age science fiction book covers are quite compelling and often visually stunning. His later, more personal works took on a range of earth colours and tones that reminded me of Australian Aboriginal artwork that I had studied a couple of decades ago. Both had very mystic overtones, both epic storytelling with minimal detail. I wondered what it would be like to play with the same colours and tales, so out came my new tiny sketchbook for thumbnail ideas and off I went, doodling. The first rough idea was the third entry in the pristine tiny pages and felt like it was going to go somewhere. So, on the next page, I refined the idea to its finished version. Enlarged the final drawing to super size, transferred it to a linen board and started laying paint. Above is what it became. I'm rather proud of the outcome as I stepped out of my regular comfort zone for painting rocket doodles and told a bigger story with a more personally unique style of design. That seems to be happening a lot lately, so stick around for further paintings that are in the works. Did you notice the dying rocket ship in the lower left hand corner being crushed against a glowing maw on an asteroid by the web weaver's silken-steel tendrils? The incoming ship is either going to attack the alien 'spider' or is going to get caught itself, or sheer off and not see it at all. What do you think will happen?

Meanwhile, below are the two teeny drawings that I did to complete this rocket doodle... Notice the changes between the original idea and the final design, and the addition of the incoming rocketship. I loved how Powers worked spidery white lines around his subjects in what would seem a purely whimsical way, but are often intrinsic to his designs and building of his subject matter. I tried to do something like that, but my more prosaic brain made them the tentacles of the alien, instead.

Anyway, I have a couple of paintings from pre-Covid lockdown to finally add to my blog, which I will do soon. One is an epic portrait, and the second is a whimsical robot holiday painting. In the meanwhile, I'm back to painting more rocket doodles, and drawing in my little sketchbook. So, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you will again...

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

I had some leftover paint...

 I've just completed a cover commission painting for a publisher in Australia. I can't reveal what that is just yet, but it was both nerve-wracking and fun at the same time. And of course after that, I had some leftover paint on my palette. There was also an explosion of Permanent Rose since I squeezed the tube BEFORE clearing the blockage in the mouth of the tube...sooooo big spoosh of paint. Sigh. So, I picked up a little canvas, drew some circles for moons and a space station and 'went to town'. So the first little rocket doodle was born. After it dried a little, I decided that it needed a teeny rocket for narrative. Here is the result...

 "Red Dust City"
(5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price: $240.00  SOLD

The second little painting was one I had already drawn up from a few months ago. I'd used an idea from my teeny 3" sketchbook. So I popped that canvas onto a small easel and ferreted out the reference that had inspired it. Suffice it to say, it is a space station orbiting inside the rings of an ice/gas giant planet. The space station is a refinery that continuously processes minerals, gases and ice resources for a variety of colonies and nearby inhabited planets. The rocket ship has left the station and is cruising above the outer rings, skimming over the glittering ice chunks, prospecting for a new area to mine. The pilot must be careful not to be blinded by the light reflecting off the ice-steroids, nor become mesmerized by them either, or he and his ship could end up just another casualty among the ancient planetary ejecta. So...


 (6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00 SOLD

Here is the teeny thumbnail sketch from my little design sketchbook that this painting is based on...

It was detailed enough that all I had to do was enlarge a copy to the correct size and trace it down. It gave me basic lines to work with and just noodle paint.

Unfortunately the bad photos were taken quickly in our kitchen before we left for a show, and they have lost the luminosity that original oil paintings have. Then again that happens with most photography of oil paintings. Light bounces through the paint, hits the white canvas beneath and bounces right back out at the viewer, giving off the typical luminous look of oil paintings no matter when they were painted. It loses that when photographed in most instances, sad to say. Photography also lose subtleties in the paint as well as colour variations. Digital photography has come a long way, but still has far to go to capture any painting correctly. Still, bad kitchen lighting and all. Ahem. LOL

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw these up on the blog while I could. There is more to post. Isn't there always? So I will get to them when I can. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon.