Bob's ART du Jour

Hi, I'm Bob Eggleton and this is my painting and "life in general blog" but mostly paintings. Usually they're for sale. Anyway, if you like something contact me at and ENJOY!!

My Photo
Location: New England, United States

I am a Hugo award-winning fantasy/SF artist who works on both publishing projects and film concept work(such as Jimmy Neutron and most recently, The Ant Bully) but I have a passion for landscape work, small paintings and exploring the properties of paint. This blog will mostly showcase my "painting-for-the-day" as kind of a personal voyage. I'll also be inserting sketches,photos and ideas of projects I am working on, that I can, when I can, so look for those every so often(usually as paint is drying!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

A New Star In The Sky: Edd Cartier 1914-2008

Classic SF artist Edd Cartier passed away Christmas Day. He was 94, which is a pretty good age.

Edd was one of the classic SF artists of the Golden Age known for hiswhimsical work on John W. Campbell's UNKNOWN and ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION and 800 illustrations for THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. He also drew stories forStreet & Smith's RED DRAGON and SUPER-MAGICIAN COMICS.He did alot of work with ASTOUNDING editor John W. Campbell and writer L. Ron Hubbard, Cartier also illustrated the beloved Hoka tales by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson, and stories by John D. MacDonald, Isaac Asimov, Henry Kuttner, L. Sprague de Camp, Clifford D. Simak, Walter B. Gibson, Lester Dent and many others.

He and Kelly Freas pretty much defined SF illustration of the 1950's. The only difference was Cartier more or less left the business by the 1970's and moved into fine art and other aspects of commercial work. I always liked his stuff as I did much of the classic work which gets so forgotten these days it seems. I had the pleasure of being a fellow judge with Edd on the Illustrators of The Future contest and I managed to meet him once.

Another star leaves us to shine in the Holiday skies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas 1968, 2008: Good Luck & Godspeed!!!

It was 40 years ago, today, that Apollo 8 orbited the moon and, for the first time, humans looked back at earth, rising over the horizon of the moon. I remember it very well, like it happened yesterday as I watched as a special news show, on a black and white TV set. I was living in Lancaster, PA at the time, and it's what I remembered most about Christmas 1968. Like 2008, 1968 was basically, a Year in Hell. An unwanted, costly war, economic and social troubles and political turmoil. In 1968, Star Trek was in it's 3rd season, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and PLANET OF THE APES were new movies. All this geared me up to be an artist who painted imaginative things, whether I knew it or not at the time.
It amazes me where the time went to and makes me realize that the time, is now to live and enjoy. We head into a new year, and I hope a better year in terms of politics and economies. In the meantime, Merry Christmas 2008. Apollo 8(all the missions, in fact) showed what Man can he truly achieves great things, despite all the adversity present.
I wonder where we'll be in another 40 years??

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This is abit of a tribute to Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who passed away this week. Yet another star of the Original Star Trek who has left us. This and all the talk about the new Star Trek movie coming up in May, had me dig out my first "Star Trek Convention" Program Book.
These conventions, were done at the time by the now-long defunct "Tristar Industries"(it wasn't an "industry" as much as it was a few people who organized things) of Staten Island, which essentially picked up the baton left by Joan Winston's bunch, in 1976. They cost a whopping $15 for the weekend to get into and a staggering $39.00 a night in the mid-town Hotel, at the time called The Statler Hilton(It's now The New York Hotel Pennyslvania, it's original name). I went to this particular con ona very cold Feburary 1978 weekend,with friends Jack Eaton and the now-late Andy Hastings(he passed away about five years ago from a long neurological illness which he suffered from, which he had at the time we went to the convention).

The size was about 8 x11 inches. I think this was the last program book they did. Next time we got handed a sheet of paper and a color promo thing for STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE.

It was seeing this artshow that I realized conventions had art displays and, I decided in the future it was a good way to attend a con, displaying some of my early scratchings.

Sadly Isaac Asimov and Joan Winston have both left us. Bruce Hyde, long having abandoned acting, is a Doctor of education-some kind of Dept Head, at a college in the northern mid-west of the US. Dick Preston is still around, in his 70's long retired from NASA-and fandom. He was a fixture at alot of Sci Fi and Star Trek conventions from the 70's into the early 90's-I thought at one point there were at least two of him as he was constantly on the road. Steven "Heash"-not his real name-is some kind of therapist in New Jersey!

Here's some of the program items. Wow. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in glorious 16mm on the big screen. This was the day when all movies and TV episodes were loaded up on 16mm reel-to-reel projectors. Jack Eaton reminded me of us both seeing the sign announcing 2001 would be shown and, after viewing my previous blog entries for the Arthur C. Clarke painting I was commissioned to do this month, it reminded me of from wence we came, when I saw this program book sitting in a pile of stuff here.

Click on any image if you want to read it up close!!! Never got to see "Inside a Klingon Battle Cruiser"

I dare you to take the trivia test!!
It was a great time. We went to New York City, with virtually no money,a questionable transportation to and from the city, and while we winged it and lived on hot dogs and fast food, it was a grand time. How 30 years can make a difference.
Amazing. Thank you, Star Trek.
Addendum 12/24: The "Tristar Cons" as they were called then, lasted until about 1981, when a few things happened. The price of hotel space skyrocketed to the point many organizers couldn't afford "big city" hotels space anymore. Also, after 1979 and STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE, Trek became "hot" property again and Paramount Pictures, wanted a piece of the action in terms of licensing the very name "Star Trek" to a convention-which became an expensive proposition. Also, major "A" list guests started wanting astronomical fees for their appearances at such events, and many also declined going to them. The last "Tristar Con" I believe took place someplace out on Staten Island at a low-rent Holiday Inn and the last guests, I believe, may have been Roger C. Carmel(Harry Mudd, who lived around New York at the time) and Howard Weinstein. Weinstein, btw, was the writer of the Trek animated "The Pirates of Orion". I never attended that one. But it was around 1982, that Creation Conventions actually made a somewhat exclusive deal with Paramount to hold "Star Trek" conventions, much to the chargrin of the smaller local conventions which were being told by lawyers to no longer use "Star Trek" in their promotions or convention names. Creation went onto well into the 80's and 90's securing many if not all of the biggest names in all of the varying "Star Trek" series.
My most "Majel Barrett" moment was in 1989, at a benefit event at Caltech, during the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune, I was to attend a party that had guests Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett, Walter Koenig and Buzz Aldrin at it. As I was coming up to the stucco-walled back garden of some Spanish-looking villa on the Campus of Caltech, a limo pulls up out of nowhere. It was one of those Twilight Zone moments. Out steps Majel in a formal gown(this was about 3pm) and beckons to me "Hello? Hi! Do you know where this party is? No one told the driver where he had to go". Holding my invite, I go "You mean this? Yeah, I think it's this way" motioning through the arch and into the garden. Majel goes "Come on Gene! We'll go with him" and she pulls Gene Roddenberry-in a tuxedo-out of the stretch limo. Wow moment. Both introduce themselves as if I didn't know them. So the three of us, proceeded across a rather well-manicured lawn to this rather opulent villa where there seemed to be activity(and food-I was starving!). I can remember talking about the heat of the day, how nice the garden looked, etc, as I strolled with them into the back of the place. We walked up some stairs and come to a huge reception party with cameras,musicians and a red carpet-waiting for a limo that would never come. A woman turns and looks at me, then Gene and Majel and goes "Oh my God. Where did you come from?" And Majel pipes up and goes "Oh, this wonderful young man was waiting to show us how to get in here!" to which I realize the MAJOR faux paux that has occurred. The woman goes "But he doesn't work for us! Who are you!!??" she demanded from me, and I said smiling "A guy who was in the right place at the right time!" and told Gene and Majel what a joy it was to help and, meet them and I sauntered off to get my fill of hors d'oeuvres and in the process meet Buzz Aldrin.
I got into some fun stuff in those days.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Clarke...Himself!!

I had to also provide a fun portrait of Clarke himself to use as part of the Space Odyssey collection. This is a guy with a GREAT face to paint. Did it in an afternoon, smallish work 9x12. Which again, was because I had to come up with this in a short time, at the same time as the previous one. If you're interested, this painting is for sale, so write for the price!
I like doing portraits again, as I did them 30 years back in High School and got paid as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Painting: Step-By-Step Pt 2

Okay, I then decided earth was too distracting at this point and just painted it out as I finished Jupiter. I also moved Io away from the center and over onto Jupiter's bright side. Nothing destroys a piece of artwork like something *dead center*. Europa is to the left of that. That happens-your original idea always changes as you move along. This is why I don't do tight sketches, because what looks good small can be not so good, large. It also works for sponaneity. I added in the "starstuff" inside the monolith with a palette knife and basically rubbing paint on in layers. The stars were added in with a toothbrush-spattering paint on.

I now start paying attention to the astronaut. I'm using my "Malstick" which is what oil painters use to rest their hand on whilst working on the painting. I also paint upright-better for my back I find. My "Malstick" is not some fancy thing either. It's an old pool table cue stick. Works a charm and found in my Mom's basement.

The astronaut was the last thing I worked on and here, we're looking more finished. In the upper left you can see the dark side of Ganymede which I used as a "curtain" element to help with the "V" composition that holds the painting together.

Basically, done. I picked at it abit and added a blue backlit color to the astronaut because I needed him to stand out from the black. I'm not a rocket scientist, in fact my math(I'm not even sure what algebra is, and I need a calculator for adding anything up!) and science averages about a "C" or a low "B" so science was not my priority as much as drama was. In fact it's earth's moon the monolith is on, I just had to incorporate more elements from the saga into the piece AND finish it ON TIME(which I did) and make it work as a doublespread.
Anyway, hope this gives some insight into how I work.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Painting: Step by Step!!!(Pt 1)

This is for Arthur C Clarke's "Space Odyssey" Quadrilogy-a frontispiece for the books, a special edition out next year. The only problem was there was no time!! I had about 10 days... I had to sum up the books in one long doublespread painting, so this was the thumbnail I came up with. The format is a given so I wanted to keep major elements out of the center where the gutter would be for the book. I wanted to include The Monolith, Jupiter, three of it's moons, and the surface of our moon and, an astronaut looking at the monolith and cosmic stuff starting to happen...this was about 2x4 inches.

This is the final drawing. Because of time, I worked right on the canvas. In this case it's stretched canvas. I'd also considered working in acrylics as I only had six days to make this painting come together and do a separate portrait of Clarke himself. I changed the angle of the monolith to make it like a door, with "My God it's full of stars" action going on. It'll be 18x24. Something I would normally work bigger with, I just don't have the time. That said, it becomes a good challenge then to meet a deadline and, in the business world, that's most important.

After roughly, an hour, the painting looks like this. I smoosh in paint that basically forms the underpainting which the rest of the colors sit on.I use Ultramarine Blue and Paine's Grey and Burnt Siena for "space" black. I also use the medium of Galkyd which is a drying agent that speeds up working in oils. I also use a bit of Drying Linseed Oil. Very little turpentine mainly because I hate the smell or even using the non-odor stuff. When I use it, I use Gamsol which is a formative substitute. I also use large-sized brushes only!!

After about 3 hours, it looks like this. I started detailing Jupiter, using photos from Galileo/NASA. Originally, I was going to put the earth on the horizon but felt it messed up the composition and became too distracting. I generally dislike "montage" illustrations so I had to do elements from the books but was more concerned with getting the central theme across without being too cliched and kind of disjointed. I was hoping to the stars that the painting would be what I wanted.

Check back next time for how I finish it up in Part 2.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Sea Monsters that keep going and going and...

After ten years, this book is *still* selling. A long story- it was originally made as a Paper Tiger book in 1998, and had a totally different cover. It didn't sell well in the UK but the US edition sold something like 20,000 copies!! Because of the way co-publishing deals work, I didn't see any royalties from the Overlook Press edition. Until now! The UK edition is long out of print and Overlook re-published the book in 2006/7 and, apparently, it still keeps on selling. I can't tell you how much usage the images have gotten(The Discovery Channel site has just asked to use an image) and the painting of "The Kraken" has sold as a print too many times for me to keep track of and been used in two museum displays!! So, if you are looking for a Christmas Pressie idea, here you go! The best way to get them is via Amazon, or order them from Barnes and Noble. Here's the Amazon link:


Wow. I've been blogging for TWO years today! Amazing!

Where did the time go? Thanks for hanging in as we move into year 3.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Late at Night...

Music: The Rolling Stones "Playing With Fire", Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"

Sometimes you are so exhausted, from having finished something, you lay on the bed, just listening to The Stones music, and Led Zeppelin, with your eyes closed, letting the music wash over you, feeling very cosmic. That's me about now...

Visual stuff soon...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SF Mindmeld

It's been a draining and busy week with finishing up a major project. Hence no new posts.

Anyway, for your perusal, here's the site SF Mindmeld where I did a summation of my Year's Best SF/Fantasy/Horror films. You have to scroll down abit:

I'll have a step-by-step process coming up in a day or so for you to see as I paint something.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Forrest J. Ackerman has died. He was 92. Not unexpected, given his age and recent health but this guy was an inspiration to most of us who grew up with Famous Monsters of Filmland, the great magazine from the 1960's and 70's which, before the net was our ONLY way of seeing previews of new monster and sci-fi films. He inspired a generation of filmmakers like John Landis, Steven Spielberg and Rick Baker right on down to artists like myself. Not one of us could have imagined the end of the life of Uncle Forry.

Forry coined the term "Sci Fi", waaaay back as a pun on "Hi-Fi"(a type of stereo sound in the 50's, kiddies). Many "elitists" in the SCI FI field were chargrinned by this term over the years, saying it somehow "demeaned" the field. Like, get a grip and get over being a Revisionist Historian about the field. It's been around longer than many of us, we're only riding the waves in it and SCI FI will go on long after we're not here, just as it has and will with Forry gone.

There is nothing that can be said that hasn't been said save for "Thanks Forry". Celebrate our imaginations, in his honor, the best way to remember him I'd say. More on him at Yahoo News:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Welcome to...The Night Gallery....

It's positively weird I mentioned Night Gallery in my last post!! I walked into a store to see Season 2 just recently out and immediately I grabbed a copy-it's *only* been four years since Season one!!. It's got some of the best episodes of the series on it such as the eerie "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes" and several H.P. Lovecraft stories on it including the moody "Pickman's Model"with the horrific monster suit - done by a young Rick Baker- for it. The best part are Rod Serling's introductions for each episode, in which are based on a painting or sculpture, that he's standing with. In this case, an extra of the set is a gallery of Tom Wright's unforgettable paintings he did for the show. Those paintings, are collectively, the very reason I got into some of the horror and darker art I've done over the years. I never forgot them having first seem them 35 or so years ago. This stuff is alot of fun. And the set makes a great Christmas gift!!
Here's a link that shows most of the Tom Wright paintings, and explains a little of the history of the show as well. Interestingly, Tom Wright went on to direct The X-Files, Millenium and other shows. But this is interesting reading: