Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Title: "Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long six-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech -- and nothing happened. Nothing could happen."

6.75 inches by 11 inches
ink and marker on watercolor paper
September 17, 2012


  1. Incredible! The way you capture motion and the encroaching jungle is so cool.

  2. Thank you Sandy. I was really so pleased with my first attempt at this page (which you can see here) so in some ways it was emotionally draining to have to create it all over again. After lots of effort and headscratching though, my art director at Tin House let me know that the double page spreads just weren't going to work. Too much of the image was getting lost in the gutter and nothing was helping that. It would have to be re-drawn and reconfigured as a single page piece. In the end, I am quite happy with how it turned out. It still has that sense of stagnation, and paralyzed force, and I am actually a bit happier with how I've visualized the encroaching jungle.

  3. Yes, I can see the difficulty. I'm awed by your problem solving skills as you move forward with this project. How different it must be from the Melville project where you created without the constraints of the finished product. Can't wait for this one to be finished so I can add it alongside the Moby Dick book!

    Good luck moving through the jungle.


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