I'll be uploading a series of sea/space/landscapes over the course of the rest of the week, a series of short studies I am doing to complement a short written piece for my Russian Science Fiction and Fantasy course. The final project for the course was left very open-ended, and I chose to create these paintings to try and get at the similarities and differences I saw in the settings of the works we read this past year.
From the streets of St. Petersburg to the cabin of a small spacecraft in the middle of nowhere, science fiction settings tend to have a dual sense of isolation and potential. The first painting I have put up, a loosely drawn seascape, is my reaction to Polish author Stanislaw Lem's Solaris. If you've read the book you know that it is more about man and human psychology than it is about the environment, but in the novel the planet Solaris is completely covered in a giant, mesmerizing ocean. The ocean turns out to be a conscious being, reaching out to the three human scientists in the nearby observation platform through psychological apparitions.
Although dark skies and breaking waves aren't exactly the right imagery for the planet Solaris, since breaking waves require some kind of land to break upon, I wanted to paint waves because water itself can exist both as a unified flow and as discreet droplets and spray. This duality is best visualized through breaking, churning waves, rather than smooth ocean swell... it is interesting that Lem chose an ocean to embody the single discreet consciousness of Solaris, despite that duality. A single mind, trying to understand the concept of discreet existence.
It's an interesting backdrop for a story, in any event... a few lone and lonely men, cut off from each other and from mankind, against an endless ocean.
(hehe, I really am posting journal entries only about once a month... oh well.)
Listening to: Gnarls Barkley
Playing: Burnout Legends