Oil, 20"x16", April, 1999.
This was only my second painting, but it remains one of my favorites. It shows my beloved dog Arf (who appears in four of my novels: The Hollow Earth, Saucer Wisdom, Frek and the Elixir, and As Above So Below). He used to drink out of a certain fountain in Los Gatos every day. I sketched him there and added a UFO. When I made the aliens look like starfish I was thinking of H. P. Lovecraft’s obsession with echinoderm-like aliens. But my niece Stella thought of a cuter explanation for their appearance: the aliens are the stars from the sky!
Here’s a passage from my novel Saucer Wisdom mentioning Arf and UFOs:
“Tuesday night, for the first time in years, I dreamed I saw a flying saucer. It was transparent, sketched in lines of pale light against a blue sky. Its form was the traditional saucer shape of gently curved disk with domed central cabin.
“Wednesday I went out walking in the hills with my orange and white collie-beagle dog Arf. It was a calm, warm spring day. Arf and I found a little meadow by some oak trees, and we laid down there in the coarse green grass. Staring up into the blue sky, I remembered my dream of seeing the saucer.
“The sky looked so big and blank — both full and empty. There was nothing between outer space and me, nothing between me and the Sun and the worlds beyond. The faint noises of the woods and meadow began to seem alien, began to stick together in new shapes.”