Saturday, January 22, 2011


Nothing overtly funny about this particular panel, nothing to "get," more of a quiet, introspective visual mulling. It's a subtle commentary on the obsolete, shuttered icons that are quaint victims of modernization, more symbolic tourist fodder than any safety feature. Or is it simply a picture of what happens when the power goes out and the keeper resorts to manually warning ships away? In my mind, it shows up an ironic, open question about the light that emanates from other stars, as our planet hurtles through crowded space.
“Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck. “ – Immanuel Kant

Speaking of space, probably half the stars were modified from an actual shot of the Milky Way galaxy taken in Maine, the rest are "hand-made," which'll no doubt bug the stargazers around here who actually know what they're looking at, and will immediately know it's made up. Chalk it up the one of the benefits of drawing: you get to create your own damn universe (and live in your own little world, but that's another post).
Kinda fun to play with the balancing act between depicting a nighttime environment that'd be effectively too dark to see any detail or color, versus implying said darkness with the inclusion of a flashlight beam. Plus, just by virtue of the act of adding stars, nomatter how light it is, it still becomes dark. Weird.
File under more than you really need to know: after the first person to see the work-in-progress as a black & white, pen & ink line drawing just had to quip about the phallic nature of the lighthouse, so then just for her, I made it pink. Also gave the ol' timer jeans, instead of a brief spell where the legs were left white, which looked really creepy. Though it's such a strong symmetrical composition with the vertical axis dominating, it shows how much light can weigh, along with being balanced out with the other horizontal elements. And talk about having a vision as to what the finished piece would ultimately look like: even as it was privately present in-mind from the moment of inception, the beam of light was the absolute last element completed, the "ah-HA" moment which tied it all down. 

I envision this panel to be sort of a backstory to an animated short of a solitary light spearing out into the darkness over the ocean, with a slow reveal zooming onto the salty dog with his flashlight. I was gonna scan & post the watercolor version, but, believe it or not, I do have some standards - it got botched that bad. 
Oh well, next...

“Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse.” – Japanese proverb

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