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Program cover, ConText XX

ConText is an annual speculative fiction convention that has a heavy writing focus. I loved it. I got to do the program covers two years in a row. This was the second year.

This year was a memorial cover, commemorating the death of one of ConText’s founders, Liz Gross, a biochemist and professor at Ohio State.

Context XIX program cover, 2006
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For those interested in that kind of thing, here’s the symbolism applied in the picture, after discussion with one of Dr. Gross’s friends and fellow ConText supporters.

  • I used three test tubes in a rack to both indicate science, and three areas of her life suggested by her friend: science, science fiction, and Christianity.
  • White lilies emerge from one tube (digitally adapted from one of my own photos). Death and Christianity.
  • Elements and proteins emerge from another. The protein is plastocyanin, and all the elements & molecules listed are involved in cytochrome f. Investigating Dr. Gross online I found her particular areas of research involved plastocyanin and cytochrome f, so I hope she would appreciate this.
  • Science-fiction imagery and books spill out from the third test tube. One of the books reads ELeGy; her initials were ELG.
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Program cover, ConText XIX

ConText is an annual speculative fiction convention that has a heavy writing focus. I loved it. I got to do the program covers two years in a row. This was the first year.

The names on the books are authors associated with the convention.

Context XIX program cover, 2006
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Here be kiwis

This was a commission from a friend, for friends of hers in New Zealand. If I remember rightly they live in Auckland, and are the Roses of the “Castle Rose” in the map. I put the Southern compass point at the top, rather than the North, to show the proper respect.

The quality of this image is poor, as I took a photo of the painting with a disposable camera before the painting was shipped to New Zealand. This is a digital photo of the photo. Watercolor and ink on paper.

Watercolor and ink whimsical map of New Zealand
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Chez dragon, or, Kiss the cook

A commission from the same friend who commissioned the map of New Zealand. This was a remake of one made when I was 19 or 20. As I recall, the original was a little more bloodthirsty, and there were piles of armor and weapons looted from the knights in the cauldron. Also, the recipe books were clearly for humans.

The book titles, right to left: In Search of Nessie; St. George: Myth or Monster?; Cuisine à la Dragon; and Reptile Recipes.

Painting of dragon family cooking a meal
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Meditation

This was a prayer, or a meditation of sorts. A grail, a tree of life, wisdom knots, and a tao/communion wafer are here; and each leaf is its own tao, as well. I was in serious need of peace. I found the frame at a garage sale for a nickel. Ink and watercolor on paper.

meditation, watercolor and ink
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Absolut Alex

Writing, art, and vodka. Inspired by the series of Absolut vodka advertisements painted by modern artists; a personal version. Stippled ink and watercolor.

Ink and watercolor painting, Absolut vodka, typewriter, and books
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Hummingbird

My mother was very taken with this; I think it’s still one of her favorite pieces. I was fourteen. The inks were a Winsor & Newton set I absolutely adored; the best paper I could find was onionskin resum√© paper at the grocery store. We were vacationing at Padre Island and the dunes inspired me. Colored inks on onionskin paper.

hummingbird, colored ink, 1979
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