Sunday, January 23, 2011

MOBY-DICK, Page 540 (second, final version)

Title: ...while still as on the night before, slouched Ahab stood fixed within his scuttle; his hid, heliotrope glance anticipatingly gone backward on its dial; sat due eastward for the earliest sun.

8 inches by 6 inches
ink and marker on watercolor paper
Jannuary 24, 2011


  1. Often, a reference to a heliotrope is a positive one. A renewal. But not here. Melville is deliberately overlaying dread and doom with the next rising of the sun. This drawing perfectly captures the image Melville was painting with words.

  2. Thank you Buck, that helps a lot. I know that my illustration is perhaps a real stretch, and sometimes I struggle between that urge to be more literal with the depictions (Ahab simply sitting on the Pequod facing east) or to follow my own inner vision even when it is almost entirely symbolic. This one, other than the colors, came together like a lightning flash in 15 minutes at my desk at work while on break. And it does have everything I had hoped for.

  3. Beautiful image. I really love this body of work, I hope you intend to publish it whole.

  4. the promised skulls are here. again so at odds, mortal and triumphant. and not without sweetness too. or is it my eye imbuing them?


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