Saturday, February 21, 2015

Antarctic travels, and lost paintings

My last post here was Halloween, as the winter holiday season is typically a time that I try to step away from the computer for as much as possible. While it's a brutal winter back home in the Northeast, I've been living my own version of the frozen wasteland, by reading a lot about Antarctica recently.

There's a classic travelogue of Capt. Scott's journey to the South Pole (with special focus on a side trip to gather penguin eggs) by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, written in the 1920s but taking place in 1910-1913. It's available free as a public domain text from all the usual places (I got mine from Manybooks because those are always formatted nicely). The writing style is humorous at times, and at other times gets bogged down in a lot of description of coordinates, numbers of ounces of pemmican consumed at various meals, etc.

One of the most delightful things I learned in this reading was that one of the members of the expedition, Dr. E.A. "Bill" Wilson, did watercolors throughout the journey, some of which have been preserved. These photos from the Terra Nova expedition can be seen at various places online -- I am borrowing a glimpse of them from the Cool Antarctica website. It lists them as courtesy the NOAA. I love the soft colors and the otherworldly quality of these paintings -- they were done under extreme, freezing conditions, with the few materials he had at hand, and that is part of why I love them so much.

by Dr. E.A. Wilson "Scott's Last Expedition" 1913

by Dr. E.A. Wilson "Scott's Last Expedition" 1913

The past few years have been full of "Scott of the Antarctic" related news, in 2012 they found his ship, the Terra Nova, off the coast of Greenland... and incredibly, one year ago they finished retracing the Scott expedition, a wondrous event I wish I had been following in real time.

At any rate, whatever the reason for my interest in Antarctic (and Arctic, which I also want to read up on) exploration, I like doing paintings of icy world landscapes as well so here is my contribution to the genre for now, "Penguin Peak" --

I made a special trip to the aquarium pyramid at Moody Gardens in Galveston to meet some penguins in honor of my recent interests.Unfortunately, there is not a "swim with the penguins" option.

Here are a few other things new in my Etsy shop. First, a new version of a painting I originally did in 2003, but I wanted to recreate it and eventually make prints from it as well. I don't have hi-res pics of my paintings from that far back, but I also like to repaint, and hopefully improve upon them. "On the Green Moon" is available as an original painting for a mere $50 for a limited time.

I also uncovered some older paintings that I haven't had up for sale anywhere in a long time. I kept them in my personal stash but I'm willing to put them out there, for now....if there are no takers I'll put them back in my personal stash. :)

This butterfly fairy is 9 x 12 and only $60 for the duration of this listing. She is based on a vintage postcard photo but I added all the fairy and butterfly elements.

And finally, a D&D inspired piece showing some classic dungeon monsters taking a coffee or tea break. Also at a special price and for a limited time. I can make prints of any of these on request but I haven't specifically listed prints on their own yet.

We do, however, have some of the most popular prints back in stock right now...including ghosts, banana slugs, cloaked witches and this, possibly my most popular piece...these always sell out quickly when I get a few in stock!

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