The original was painted on a wood panel cabinet I hand-made for the purpose of doing this painting. I’ll be finishing up the cabinet when I return home.. I can’t tell you what I’ll be filling the cabinet with – but when the construct is done, I will have had a lot of fun making things to fill it with.
Though the cabinet is not done, the painting part of it is, and it was lovingly, carefully scanned for truest color and detail, and printed as a giclee for the best, most highly-detailed and most brilliant reproduction quality.
These are printed 12×18 (the original size of the work) on Canvas (for the optimal standard framing size), in archival pigment inks on 200+ year archival quality heavyweight cotton canvas. Each is coated with a UV, moisture, and scratch-resistant coating for added longevity.
25 total will be printed. All giclees on Canvas are shipped stretched and mounted withing the US, or rolled everywhere else (but you can arrange to receive a stretche copy if you wish to work out additional shipping).
Each is hand-signed, hand-numbered, and dated by Myke Amend. Each also comes with a certificate of authenticity. Both the artwork and the certificate have matching serialized holograms affixed to them (front of certificate, back of canvas) for added assurance and to protect the value of your print.
Limited Edition of only 20, printed in archival inks on fine art rag paper.
Printed on fine art rag paper at the exact size of the original pencil drawing – hand-signed, numbered and dated by Myke Amend.
Printed at 11×14 inches on an 18×15 sheet of 200-year archival fine art rag paper in archival pigment inks, each giclee is a long-lasting work of art in its own.
Only 20 prints of the original pencil drawing will be made, ever.
Alice rides a Mock Turtle at high speed along a peppermint lollipop shoreline, followed by the Mad Hatter in his own special-crafted craft.
These images are not made to be exact to the original story, or any movie, but rather to capture and portray the wonder that mythical and magical lands may hold within a child’s imagination.
The need to do my own version of turtle from this story was inspired by stories of turtles being burned at sea. It is sad to think that there are beautiful beaches children may never see, once-beautiful coastal towns no longer what they were, forests burning, parks being bulldozed to make way for sprawl… a beautiful Earth that may someday be nothing more than a story for our children and our children’s children.
I hope that maybe, if we can preserve the wonder and fascination, perhaps future generations will be inspired to dream for what was. And perhaps someday, the most fascinating new thing that a future generation could strive for and dream of, will not come from a Wal-Mart or the Apple Store… but in the restoration of all the beauty, wonder, and freedom we threw away.
Every once in a while, an artist is asked about their works, and often times, especially when dealing with a sci-fi genre, practicality and physics both come into question.
It is often worst for sci-fi and comic book authors and artists, wherein they defend paradoxes, quantum physics abnormalities, and continuity errors to “that guy”… you know, the guy with the pony tail, pizza stains on his intended-to-be-ironic Captain Planet underoos shirt, stretched to the very boundaries of physics itself… distracting in its apparent potential to succumb to the forces within… That guy keeps me from buying comics in an actual comic book store.
With the steampunk crowd however, one always has time at these events to consider that the person in question… though some may take fantastical art perhaps a bit too seriously, may be in a related profession – and quite likely, knows *something* and maybe even a lot, about what they are talking about.
I tend to say very little when out and about, because I feel I am at peak social adeptness, when I simply listen and nod. In public, I cannot hit *UNDO! UNDO!*, though the phrase often repeats in my mind… and therefore I often think I must disappoint people who meet me, people who probably expect me to be much more outspoken than I am.
It isn’t that I have nothing to say, actually quite the opposite: My opinions and thoughts on any issue are from so many possible angles and dependent on so many possible variables, that were I to chime in with my thoughts on most anything I would need to monopolize the questioners time for hours, perhaps even days – and there would still be a myriad of aspects I never managed to touch upon. My world is not black and white, but eleventy-billion shades of a million hues and and all the greys between.
And, I actually cannot wind down after any meeting with humans, until I have played back every last conversation I took part in word for word in my head a few times over, paranoid that I might have accidentally offended someone, snubbed someone, or just gave some plain out stupid answer instead of what I knew, because the info was buried below 1000 feet of social phobia or because I was cut off before I had a chance to fully expand upon what I was saying… So, in this I have learned to 1) Stick to the basics: “Hello”, “Goodbye”, “What knife?” 2) Don’t assert any degree of expertise at anything if you can help it… especially at conventions. This may be one of many reasons I avoid panels like the plague. So, consider this to be the closest I may ever get to actually holding a panel on anything.
Let me just say that I do every project, any project with a great amount of consideration for the function of my designs; I tend to lend some great deal of time to mapping out construction methods foremost… where beams will intercept with beams, where crankshafts will need to go, weight placement of boilers and other heavy objects, the perceived strength of sails and of lines, how one would get from point a to point b (and other ergonomic factors), and of course how everything is put together. With creatures I build muscle and flesh onto skeletons, and cross-reference lighting in models I create in 3-d on my lab computer. With buildings and contraptions, I merely break out the drafting skills, building solid structures onto a maze of thinly-lined beams and mechanical parts which will never even be seen.
I also take into great consideration things like “Will it work well?” or at least “Is it even possible?”. I am actually, often, quite neurotic about these sorts of things.
On the Practicality of Scale Models and Scale Comparisons:
In the case of airships and physics, I first took to looking at larger objects, such as the Hindenburg for example, it amazed me just *how little* space within that big balloon up top was actually used for lighter-than-air gas, and *how much* was used for passageways, maintenance space, equipment, and metal support structure.
By these things alone, looking at the designs I was making, with no metal supports or storage space within their bags, and tiny boiler/engine size offset by sails to aid in propulsion and steering, I figured I was doing pretty good… very good.
Looking at the scale of a large thing, vs. the scale of a smaller thing was something I was however somewhat unsure of. It seemed to me that scale models would be unreliable; Much like gravity not being scalable: it would also be difficult to scale atmospheric pressure, and especially hard to scale the density of the molecules within the pocket of gas or density of the materials themselves… though much about buoyancy seems to be simply a matter of comparison to the internal and external density.
All of this made me think “I’d better look for some numbers and waste an insane amount of time on things people won’t really care about”.
So, I went a step (or a hundred) further… I did a lot of numbers crunching, hoping to be somewhere in the safe zone for my preferred designs, and hoping that my perception and memory of what was done in history was not mostly colored by images from “Baron Munchausen” and other fantastical works which could possibly have mixed with historical footage in my mind.
I am not going to pretend for a moment that I am infallible, or that I have taken every factor into consideration. Actually I know I haven’t – minor things such as the weight of ballast… which is pretty darned important if you need to dodge an oncoming building or mountaintop.
I have however found that in my results, there was plenty of room for ballast and the weight of the bag (another thing I left out), with even more wiggle room possible if steps were taken to lighten the gondola in construction, in men, or in equipment.
I am not a scientist – I am an engineer, a tinkerer: Much like I routinely do with computer and internet languages and software — I tend unlearn and re-learn quickly as needed for any project; Though I am great at figuring out what I’ll need to know, researching it, and using the new and temporary knowledge to achieve an outcome – there is always the possibility that I have missed some crucial condition along the way. Typically though, I figure my through things by real-world experience, rethinking and re-researching should something blow up (or fail to blow up). Without a MythBusters-sized budget, everything for me on this subject is going to have to come down to calculations which may look better on paper than in actual wood and fabric.
So…Can it Fly?
My chosen gas: Though Hydrogen of course is the lighter of the two reasonable possibilities, I decided to go with Helium at about 9.8 Newtons of lift: the force to lift 1 kg per cubic meter of gas at room temperature and sea level pressure. Helium because, I really do not want to bother with the debate over the safety of Hydrogen when it comes to a hypothetical model. Really, it is a bit ridiculous that I go this far at all – being a painter of fantasy and all.
So, starting at sea level atmospheric pressure, at room temperature, 1kg per cubic meter is my ratio. It really should be nearly 1.1 – but since this is about possibilities, I decided to give myself numerical disadvantages wherever I needed to round a number.
Given that the gondolas I use are about the shape and build of a viking long-ship, let’s go overboard and use the heavy 70-man Viking Gokstad… a huge 76′ 5″ x 17′ ship (23×5 meters)
The Airship Bag, comparing ship to bag in my preferred look, would be an Ellipsoid: 36 meters by 20 meters by 20 meters, or 4/3 * pi * 14400, or 60,319 cubic meters. [edit – HUGELY Important edit paragraph below image]
This would go for most of my paintings anyway; In my painting of “The Rescue” (below), the ship part is a bit larger compared to the bag. This was not a lack of foresight on Abney Park’s part – I actually made the gondola a bit bigger than their design in my painting… a case of aesthetics trumping physics for the sake of fantasy.
But given my standard proportions, a 36x20x20 bag would be enough bag, or more importantly enough gas to lift 60,319 kg , or 132,981 pounds (over 65 tons) at an air pressure of 29.9 Hg. [see below]
[HUGELY Important edit:] I was thinking today that with all the other numbers being right, the one number bugging me was the volume… and for very good reason: I accidentally used diameter instead of radius. 7520 would be the actual volume of the bag a far cry from 60,319 … which shoots the following pages of content and calculations down completely. The bag should be at least thrice as long as the boat, and almost twice as wide as the boat is long. My mistake does however give me a good proportion for future builds. I.E., even giving the actual 1.1kg instead of the easy 1kg lift per cu meter, I would still need a 73x38x38 meter bag to lift the 23×5 meter boat. Something I will have to keep in mind for future designs – lighter gondola builds, smaller gondolas, bigger bags… Anyway… Read the below as if the bag were this new size of 73x38x38.]
So… Could it carry something the approximate size and weight of a viking longship?
The huge and heavy Gokstad ship was made of 6150 kg of oak, 880 kg of spruce and 225 kg of pine.
The ships planks were fastened with 150 kg of iron rivets, the anchor weighed 100 kg and the sail and rigging weighed 1000 kg.
So, the weight of the Gokstad is about 8505 kg total weight, without equipment, men, and rations. Looking good so far.
Crew and Equipment:
Now, let’s outfit it like a viking ship… because sky vikings are scary and awesome. Add 70 men at about 80 kg each (5600kg). Let’s give them 400 kg of equipment and melee weapons, 1000 kg of food, 1500 kg of water and 1000kg of miscellaneous cargo (3900kg total) … just in case they go 2 weeks without spotting land. We could cary a lot less than this if we touch down to hunt, gather, melt show, or drink from streams.
18005 kg. ship, men, and cargo… already, if we eventually want cannons on this thing, I am going to have to trim down the number of men, and lower the equipment rations. I can also trim down weight by using lighter wood, less of it, and using wood doweling in place of iron spikes… but for now, and because I don’t really have figures on lighter woods or lighter construction, let’s go with the tough route and keep this number.
Propulsion, Steering, and Rigging:
I’ll make 3 times the amount of sails and rigging needed for rigging an ocean-bound ship, since I seem to like sails, and there is a big bag in the way of the wind, and we need steerable sails on all sides for control. (add 2000 kg)
Boiler/Engine: about 825kg for a small boiler with enough energy for the engine with enough energy for the props, going at a small ships steam engine capable of producing 125 horsepower. Not a primitive and heavy design like the Side Lever, but not advanced and light like the Direct Action… Not as tall and awkward as the Walking Beam, or even the Steeple, still towards the more primitive end, like a Siamese.
Differentials/shaft/exchange machinery + Props: about 354 kg.
Fuel: For a 2 week trip (336 hours), averaging 75 horsepower, at 2.5 pounds of coal per horsepower per hour, about 63,000 pounds (28576kg)…it is looking like fuel is going to be the big killer for any long trips, no matter the size or the cargo, or horsepower. Really, I think I went a little overkill on the horsepower, so it’ll likely be both.
24784 total weight + 28576 fuel
53,360 total weight to a 60,319 kg lift factor… Wonderful!
… or… wait…
… we are only at sea level so far…
I guess we are fine if we want to just skim the surface of the water at low tide for 2 weeks in a nice temperate zone.
Above Sea Level:
“Gross lift DECREASES as pressure decreases but it INCREASES as temperature decreases. Thus, as a gas balloon rises in the atmosphere, the decreasing pressure and temperature oppose each other. The decreasing temperature increases lift while the decreasing pressure decreases lift. Atmospheric pressure changes are more significant than temperature changes. Overall, lift decreases as altitude increases.” (http://www.gasballooning.net/Physics%20of%20Lifting%20Gases.htm)
I suppose with my love for cold mountain ranges and antarctic climates in paintings, I am actually better off with the cold environment, doubly so if the temperature within the bag is regulated. Therefore, I am not going to worry too much about temperature, and my primary concern is altitude:
To make things harder, let’s go about 5,000 feet above sea level… which is a pretty good amount if we are traveling between coastal towns, to and from islands, across the ocean, etc… actually, it could get us around anyplace East of the Dakotas as long as we stay away from the Appalachian Mountains or somehow chart between the higher points (I haven’t tried mapping this out, there may not be any passage lower than 5,000 feet through the eastern range for all i know… but I am pretty sure there should be).
72ºF+459 brings our temperature to the Rankine temperature of 531 degrees… this is really a bit pointless to do, because I am going to use a constant and equal temperature. This takes away the advantage of a lowering temperature, or traveling into a lower temperature, and leaves it as a constant (531/531=1), wherein the temperature within the bag is the same as that outside of the bag, and the 531/531 (1) is left there as a bookmark.
So, for 5,000 feet above sea level, the pressure is now 25Hg. This comes out to: 60319*1*(531/531)*(25.00/29.92) = 60319*0.83556149732620320855614973262032 kg = 50400.234 kg
50400.234 kg… less lift than we need, but only by about 3,000 kg. So, we reduce the crew and rations by half. Done; And with 1800 kg left over… we have plenty to spare.
But What if I Don’t Want to Hang Around the Midwest?
A good point. Really, who would? Most of the big Steampunk happenings are on the West or East coast. It would be a shame if we couldn’t get there.
So, if we wanted to get over the tip of the Rockies, we need to calculate for 15,000 feet above sea level (pressure of 17Hg): 60319*1*(531/531)*(17.00/29.92) = 60319*0.568181 kg = 34,272.1591 kg
53,360 kg, but only 34,272.1591 of lift.. not so good. This again is for the full crew of 70 vikings though.
Almost a 20,000 kg difference – one would need to drop half the fuel, and again drop half the crew… 70 men are however only needed if they are sky-vikings, but for explorers… it probably ony takes 5 men to run this sort of ship – and 15 is actually pretty good if you want workers, soldiers, cooks, or passengers in there. As long as it takes less than a week to get across the Rockies – you’re doing okay. And, since a lot of that range is actually 7,000 feet in the foothills to 11,000 through the mountains – you could probably get by on 2/3rds fuel – giving you about 10 days to make it to Californy-i-a.
Conclusion: Sorry sky-vikings, you have to stick to the coast or the Midwest if you want to use your airship. Everyone else is good to go though.
Cannons? Combat? Weapons?:
Oh! I almost forgot:
I know I have painted cannons into mine. I like them. They go boom. We like the ships what go boom… but it isn’t entirely practical.
If you want cannons, well, I’d recommend cannons that are not going to rip your ship apart with the force of their firing.
16 lb cannons would weigh over 1000kg each with a small amount of ammunition, but more importantly, I wouldn’t want to fire one from a suspended ship anymore than I would want to sit on a rope swing firing a bazooka. Okay.. actually that sounds like a fun experiment… but I am not normal.
Also to be considered: You need 2 men (or more) per cannon… fuses, gunpowder, cannonballs, cleaning and re-positioning… it is intensive work, especially on a swaying ship. More men, more weight.
More importantly, what would you be firing at? If anything is below you, gravity already gives you a great advantage, the same goes for explosives. You could just drop bricks, or cows, or savage chickens if you are feeling really mean; It makes more sense though to just drop bombs – more damage, less weight in the hold. Oh.. and stay out of range of their guns. Use a telescope/periscope to see what you are aiming for, because unless your target is very big – if you can see it, you are already too close.
If you are wanting to defend yourself against things that fly, well, I’d recommend something with a great amount of range, and a rapid fire rate. 50mm is about as big as I would bother going with cannons, which makes them “guns”, or if you are smart – go with a rifled barrel instead.
For the most part, I would not want to get into a scuff with anything that had a chance of hitting me, and would not recommend fighting with anything from an Airship if your weapons aren’t better range weapons than theirs. The most important thing about Airship combat: Don’t do it if it can be avoided. When that fails, airship to airship combat is a job for rockets, sharpshooters, and otherwise: an unholy rain of bullets. I think Cherie priest had it right with the use of Gatling guns… highly advantageous, especially if you are not sure who is the better shot (or who has the better luck).
The likelihood of “them” sending an airship at you, without having some great advantage: slim to none. Expect to defend yourself against faster, better armored, more maneuverable craft – perhaps metal-shelled vacuum airships (highly unlikely), or even steam-powered planes (also unlikely)… but what of lighter-than-air mines? rockets? perhaps even rocket-lifted gliders? I just thought these things up, and chances are that “they” are thinking even harder… so keep that Gatling gun handy… and steer clear of “them” whenever possible. If you can, leave the fighting to the steam tanks, gun trains, ground forces.
A Visual Comparison:
It seems, in this case, steampunk aesthetics can often rely on a heavily fantasy-driven model. The more realistic I go in design, the less fantastical they are, and the closer to actual existing constructs the look will become – on into dieselpunk, and on further into actual historical or modern-day models.
A lot of times in art, aesthetics take precedence over function. When it all comes down, it is the look of the piece that draws the viewer in, and how good it will look on a wall is what matters to most art buyers – it is the difference between being a concept artist or an architect, and an actual fine artist.
I hope you enjoyed the rundown and the walk-through, and thank you for reading.
Please take the time to look through my store or my gallery if any of these images interested you (or if they didn’t… I have a lot more than just airships in my collection, and a lot more airships than just these shown)
Images from the World of Smog, via SuperPunch, wherein many more of the new figures from this utterly amazing and imaginative collection are featured HERE.
I’ve seen items from this collection many times in many art forums, and every time, I see something new and am beyond impressed. I only hope they are not too hard to find once I am able to start collecting them.
Today, I sent off three giclees to Gallery Nucleus for the “Lift Off!” art show, adding subtle miniature new artworks within each piece including (but not limited to) added airships, additional polar bears, bottles of rum, additional cephalopods, brightened constellations and other details in order to make each giclee its own unique piece of art.
For these I not only hand-stretched and varnished each one, but I have-made the supporting wood frames with a lot of extra care. I took some photos as I went, though admittedly it is hard to take photos of oneself working without use of a tripod, timer, and a lot of shots. Anyway, I got enough good shots to put together the tutorial this site has been needing for stretching and mounting canvas prints (Shipping giclees unstretched is a greener, less expensive solution – and stretching is not all that hard or expensive to do).
Oh… the show details…
January 9th (opening reception) thru January 30th
210 EAST MAIN ST
It was brought to my attention yesterday that there were a number of prints which were not available in the current incarnation of my site – the result of starting anew on the store I suppose.
Looking through the collection, and cross-comparing, I’ve found at least 40 available prints of at least 15 artworks which never made it back to this site when the rebuild was done.
I’ve added a few tonight, and may add a few more soon. Mostly these are my darker works from over previous years.
I’d also like to start moving ahead and making screen printings of a lot of my engraved images, though I am not quite sure if I am going to make special screen prints for wall hanging, t-shirts, or other items in this course – I believe I will be leaning more towards the t-shirts, bandanas and patches – as I’ve already giclees of most of the engravings.
There will also be some books returning. I am remixing my comic book, starting from the ground up in a lot of places, deleting scenes, adding new ones – and leaning more towards the serious and slightly comedic intended work – less towards the wacky shock humor bit it had become. I’ll have related merch for that when done, but if anyone is interested in any of the remaining comics (there were only 100 of which printed), well just go ahead and contact me for those.
My children’s book, 2 years in the not-making, is next on the slate – I do however have two painting commissions to finish (one of which a book cover for a fave author), and some book illustration (interior work) to do for another author friend of mine.
Anyway – I see a lot of great things coming for this site, and will have a lot of news to give in the coming year. I have a good feeling I will find more time to get more of these projects off my plate come January – but for now – watch for the release of two new paintings (and giclees from them) sometime between December 25th and January 10th.
On Saturday November 28th of 2009, Spend more than $100 My Store, and receive an original 8.5 x 11 inch drawing, drawn on 400-lb 4-ply archival bristol board in pencil.*
1) The theme and style of the image will be chosen by the artist according to your purchase, and made to mesh well with your purchased items. For example: A purchase of a giclee of “The Rescue” might yield a drawing of an airship, while purchase of a couple of “Conception” prints might produce a drawing of mechanical insects.
2) The artist reserves the right to end this promotion should an unforeseen high amount of interest be expressed in the form of purchases (but will still make good on all sketches owed up to the point of cancellation).
3) Drawings will be shipped with their corresponding purchases, and as a result there may be a delay of up to one week on shipping (but only if there are a lot of drawings to be made as a result of this promotion).
4) Offer Ends at 11:59:59 PM Saturday November 28th, 2009, Pacific Standard time.
I’m getting closer to being done with this series, and finished with the book… well, the art book anyway.
The shirts and bandanas will likely be available months before the book – They will be decorated by the cover image, but not the cover text, and are pretty amazing. I’ll be screen printing all of these on my own this time around – hopefully that will make them extra special, at least to to some people.
I was going to wrap the book up with some pencil and pen and ink work, some watercolors and gouache, but I’ve received a book cover commission from an artist I could not stand to have turned down, and that author wanted something similar to what I’ve been doing. I’ve also been asked to do some similar-themed interior illustrations for another author as well. So, this book will be delayed by a hair, but will also be several pages thicker when released.
Anyway, this post has knocked down the post for the November Sale, so I am just going to remind you here that through November 1st through November 31st of every year, my prices are their very, very lowest (because I don’t want to be buried in shipments the week before the Gift-Giving Season). You might want to take a look around my store (if not the entire store, look at the November Sale Section).
Here are some items which are coming soon, though maybe not in time for Christmas. The shirt is now available – though the tonal striped tees I wanted originally are no longer being made by the manufacturer… bummer:
Winter is on its way, and in order to make our Holidays better, yours and mine, I am holding a big November Sale.
Giclees are the main thing on sale this month – some of which there are less than 15 of remaining, ever, out of 50 that will be out there in the world, ever.
Beth and I would like to get into our apartment before winter hits, which will require a new electrical box, having the stove connected, and a lot of work and investment all the way around. Help us towards this goal, and help yourself to prints at the lowest prices we can ever offer.
Now is your best chance this year, perhaps ever, to get these prints for yourself, friends, or family. Not only are the prices incredibly low, but reserves being what they are, some of these may be gone completely by the month’s end.
I’ve organized a section in the store for this sale, click here, or look for “November Sale” in the store categories (lower right side of this page).
Because October is almost always slow for me – and in trying to raise a little extra money for the coming events – I’ve added a very special hand-embellished giclee to our Etsy store. In the far background is another airship. I’ve also added extra blooms and extra details to the main airship.
… Also … I am down to 9 of the numbered “the Rescue” giclees and two artists prints. Only 50+II full size giclees on canvas were made, only 50+II will ever be made – and they sold rather quickly for a while there. I’ll likely be sending a few to the coming conventions, holding one for myself, and maybe holding a a couple for shows and galleries… so.. very, very few. And one of them is also on Etsy.