Acrylic - 25" x 34"
THE GODS OF MARS
This is one of my favorite books in the series, and there were many scenes I could have chosen to illustrate. I selected this scene from the first chapter because it is so full of action, in contrast to the statuesque grandeur of the cover scene from A Princess of Mars. I'd like to do it over. In spite of my enthusiasm then, I think I would do a much better job at depicting the scene now. In retrospect, I believe I was thrown by two factors inherent in Burroughs' narrative.
First, the plant men are described as "hideous," "ghoulish," and "awful travesties of nature." In an attitude of self-censorship, I was reluctant to paint them too hideous, knowing that the image would be used as a book cover. Since Lester del Rey certainly gave me free rein to be as accurate as possible, in retrospect I don't know why I assumed such an attitude.
Second, I felt overwhelmed by Burroughs' florid descriptions of the visual aspects of the scene--everything was a brilliant color of one sort or another, and in attempting to portray the scene as described I lost any feeling for balance or unity in the color scheme. All things considered, I'm looking forward to someday having the opportunity for a second try.