Description Acrylic on canvas, 24' x 18', January, 2008.
My wife was out of town for a week visiting our daughter in New York, and I took my knapsack of paints and a canvas out to a cliff overlooking Four Mile Beach north of Santa Cruz, California. This spire of rock was probably part of a natural bridge many years ago. I often walk along the beach to this spot, it’s usually deserted and very beautiful. You don’t see any sign of human activity in any direction.
This was the first time I’d gotten onto the cliff right above the rock. It was a very windy day, and I found a depression in the cliff, a little grassy dell, and I settle in there. I particularly wanted to get the shape of the long, breaking dark wave near the horizon. A pelican flew past and I got a digital photo of him. I wished my wife were there with me.
When I got home, I kind of had to laugh at the inadequacy of the few daubs of paint I’d made—compared to the joyful, living seascape that I’d been looking at. It’s insane. You’re daubing ground up bits of stone onto a cloth and hoping to capture the physical world. But I did two more layers on the painting and finally I was happy with it.To liven it up, I printed out a large image of the pelican I’d scene, also an image of my wife, and I slid those images around on the canvas until the composition looked right. And then I outlined those spots and painted copies of the images. I wasn’t sure I could do a human face—and the woman doesn’t really look that much like my wife. I think of her as “The Muse.” When I go out alone in nature, that’s who I’m hoping to hear from: the muse.
Rudy Rucker, Los Gatos, California Member Since February 2007 Artist StatementRudy Rucker is a well-known science-fiction writer who enjoys painting surreal Pop SF scenes that are often related to incidents in his books. His favorite artists include Bruegel, Hieronymus Bosch, Rene Magritte, Wayne Thiebaud, R. Crumb and Carl Barks.
Born in Kentucky in 1946, he studied mathematics, earning a Ph. D. in the theory of infinite sets. He worked first as mathematics professor, then as a computer science professor, coming to rest in Silicon Valley, where he now paints, photographs, and writes novels full time.
Rucker has published over 30 books, mostly speculative fiction. A founder of the cyberpunk school of literature, Rucker also writes in a realistic/fantastic style known as transrealism. Rucker took up painting in 1999 while doing research for his historical novel about the life of Peter Bruegel, As Above, So Below. He often paints pictures as a way of imagining the worlds of his novels such as The Hacker and Ants, The Hollow Earth, Frek and the Elixir and Mathematicians in Love. and Postsingular.