One of the truisms I’ve discovered over the years that has to do with art is that numbers impress. If you show a person one drawing they might be impressed by it but if you show them twenty drawings, especially twenty drawings that share a theme, they’ll be much more impressed. It’s just the way our minds work. That has to do with another habit of mine. I’m not sure what to call it besides a confidence booster but every now and then I have to lay out a lot of my work in front of me.

Most artists I know are most interested in the piece that’s in front of them. Whatever I am working on now has my attention almost to the exclusion of all else and then after it’s done it’s gone from my attention. This leads to the feeling that I’ve done nothing. Maybe if I was a rich and successful artist I’d be surrounded by the trappings success and had a feeling of self satisfaction but instead I file things away and they often disappear from my consciousness. I find the key to countering that feeling of getting nothing done is to pull out a bunch of my work, set it before me, and give it a good look. That’s what I’m doing right now with my “Far Away Worlds” series.

I’m not much of a landscape artist. I make landscape images occasionally but it’s a specialty that I haven’t delved deeply into. Oddly the landscape paintings that have influenced my ideas most I haven’t even seen in person. They would be the landscapes by the famous figurative painter Gustav Klimt. I’ve only seen reproductions of them but I like them a lot.

“Far Away Worlds” is park of my faux comic book cover series and unlike my other faux comic book covers this series isn’t figurative. It has no people on it but is all about alien landscapes. Alien landscapes offer me more freedom to put weird things in them and use colors freely. Strange trees, weird hills, odd buildings, and planets in the background are some of the things I work into the images. I’ve drawn six of them so far. First I draw them in pencil, then I ink them, and finally I color them with marker. I’ve done enough of them now for patterns to emerge.

The first one seems most connected to my ‘Dreams of Things” covers. I was working on them at the same time so that’s not surprising. All of the ink work on it was done with my side of the brush technique. That makes a ragged and textured line. It also has the style of buildings in it that I’ve been using for years. This one is closest to other normal landscapes that I had drawn before it. It is the first of the giant eyeball towers. This developed into a theme. I think it’s a way to get something relatable into the image. At least relatable to me. I think I connect more with faces than landscapes so if I stick an eye in the landscape it affects me more than if it wasn’t there.

The second one has no eye in it. It’s the only one so far without an eye. It does have three slender pyramids in it though. Pyramids are another staple of my landscapes. You can often find them in the backgrounds of my pictures because they are a great basic shape and I’m a fan of history in general. The pyramids represent deep history. The house is a weirder than my usual ones. It doesn’t have any of my usual ancient Greek and Roman shapes but looks more like it has overlapping tiles. It’s not quite rectangular either which is odd.

The third one is like the Klimt paintings. It has a high horizon line with levels in it. A modernest space. It doesn’t move back in 3D space like a realistic painting but builds from the bottom to the top. It also is the first with two eyes in it. I guess I was making up for the lack of an eye in the last one. I’m not sure what that giant purple sun is behind the yellow building. It’s almost a planet like shape that I’ve used before (especially in my “Deep Space” faux covers) but it’s in front of the mountains so it can’t be a heavenly body. Must be some sort of power dome. Weird buildings too.

The fourth one is the most outer space-like. The building looks like it could be a space ship plus we’ve got two planets in the background. It’s a split composition too. The bottom half under the brown bridge is almost it’s own landscape. It has a sky, mountains, and grass all of its own. Also the atmosphere behind the planets is very cosmic. Yellow and green. Those aren’t colors we see in the sky.

The strange eye trees become the star of the show in cover number five. The large blue eye is front and center. We get two three types of buildings with this one. Some basic pyramids in the background along with my simple shape line buildings on the horizon and a modified pyramid in the front. There are lots of elements here. This might be the best composed of all of the covers.

The sixth one might be the weirdest. The eye on the pyramid seems the most human of the eye creatures to me and somehow that makes it the weirdest. Maybe it’s that it seems to be standing on a bridge and only people stand on bridges. The bridge only became a bridge as I was working on it. It started out as a shape that might have become hills that morphed into a bridge. That was a surprise to me. The bridge is mostly symbolic too because it isn’t shaped like a real structure. The water under the bridge is also symbolic. It doesn’t fit into the world of the cover as real water would. The sun pyramid and the hole in the ground are what anchors the whole picture. They set the ground in place and let everything float about them no matter how weird the everything is. I like the weirdness of this one.

So there we got. Six faux covers. I laid them out in from of me and gave them a lot. I almost feel like I accomplished something!