Sunday, January 17, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 131

Title: The Fin-Back is not gregarious. He seems a whale-hater, as some men are man-haters. Very shy; always going solitary; unexpectedly rising to the surface in the remotest and most sullen waters...

15.75 inches by 10.75 inches
ink and marker on found paper
January 17, 2010


  1. I had wanted to title this piece "BOOK I. (Folio), CHAPTER III. (Fin-Back)." to stay consistent in this "Cetology" series of drawings, but that text actually appeared on page 130 of my Signet paperback edition of "Moby-Dick." Still, the description of said Fin-Back takes up most of page 131 so I was able to keep the illustrations at least visually consistent even if the titles were not.

    Again, this one, like the last two and the next two, is double sized.

  2. I really enjoy this one! It is really awesome! I was linked to your blog recently and I'm glad I was! The premise is just about the best thing ever.

  3. This one is very nice. He looks like he is solitary, true, but there is still a lot going on inside of him. I like the title, too.

  4. As always, thank you Hannah.

    Gail, I'm very glad you found this blog. This project has been an interesting experience for me so far. Sometimes thrilling, sometimes incredibly's been quite a journey. I still have 420 pages to go, so I do hope you'll keep visiting to see the rest of the story.

  5. Anja, your comments were intriguing and quite perceptive. Some readers dislike this chapter of "Moby-Dick" (entitled "Cetology") because it is a fairly severe digression from the narrative and Melville basically spends quite a few pages just talking about whales. To me though, it is one of the most fascinating precisely because of the way Melville assigns these traits and even personalities to the various species of whales. I've tried to capture just a bit of that text in each of these illustrations (and the "Cetology" pieces still to come) so it is gratifying to know that other viewers are sensing some of that.

  6. Amazing, every day the whale drawings get better and better.

  7. Looking back from the perspective of a few weeks, these have been my favorite pieces so far. My wife was gone for the weekend at a conference so I had total solitude, hours and hours to work, and a lot of ideas jumping out of my head. These are some of the biggest pieces of art I have ever made, and I am really proud of them. These whale pieces, I mean.


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