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THE RETROGRADE GALLERY

floral fabulations

When you think of science fiction, the next thing that usually comes to mind is not "flower arranging". Unless you happen to be me I suppose.

I first learned of the profound power of flowers as young man when I discovered that bunches of them, properly packaged and delivered, could make some people very happy (usually mothers and girlfriends). More importantly, these floral configurations could get me out of serious trouble.

In my Grade 12 Biology Class, my teacher (who was a very good teacher) invited one my fellow students (who was a very good student) to show us some slides of his close-up photographs of local wildflowers. When I got over my jealousy of what a great photographer this guy was, I was astonished at the incredible complexity and beauty of life-forms that I hadn't even noticed before. Ever since then, flowers and plants show up in my artwork every once in a while. So thank you Grade 12 teacher and student. I wish you well wherever you are.

Sometimes I like to draw flowers and sometimes I like to draw science fiction stuff. Sometimes I mash them up. Sometimes I don't. Maybe that's creative, maybe that's messy. Maybe both.

Sounds like a album by Isao Tomita, doesn't it? In fact, his music might make good background listening while you enjoy these images.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isao_Tomita)

 

All of these works were created using my drawing tablet and fairly basic software. It's got to be simple or I won't live long enough to master the technology.

Some of theses images are based on photographs while others started as my own hand-renderings. Either way, the process of careful observation and tracing has revealed some astonishing things to me -- almost like walking a labyrinth.

electronic blossums

A rose by any other name is still a really remarkable thing

If you happen by our home and it's the right time of year, you are likely to encounter a front porch that needs tidying, a lawn that needs trimming and some really beautiful roses that Helen is responsible for. Maybe if I would spend less time drawing and more time on yardwork, the context for these lovelies would be nicer.

Can't help it I suppose. I am seduced by the structure and colour of roses and they are my favourite flowers to illustrate.

the nostalgia of the mess

About 25 or so years ago most of my illustrations were done with Rapdiograph pens, ink-washes that I'd mix myself and chalk pastels. Those pastels would leave coloured dust everywhere but when I'd apply fixative it would pretty much destroy the images and make the pages of the sketchbook stick together.

So I could only share my art with the few who didn't mind getting multi-coloured fingertips. Getting to scan the art was a godsend but sometimes I miss the chaos and exclusivity of the physical mess.

Going Cosmic

Soon it wasn't long before I was putting flowers into some sort of strange interstellar context. No, I don't know why and no I don't think flowers act as any sort of time/space traveling portals. Sorry, maybe there's some other website where you can get that.

Although it does kinda look like there some sort of mystical evolution going on here, doesn't it?

Contest:

you could be a retrograde winner!

That's right folks! The first three people who send me proof of purchase of two books by Hugh A.D. Spencer at spencer.hugh@gmail.com will receive a free t-shirt with a one of my floral art pieces from this gallery. Alternatively, you can select an illustration from Andrea Nechita's Hugh A.D. Spencer Collection!

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