Remember the other day I talked about the “Artful Reading Club” I’d joined? It’s now time (actually a bit past time) for my January review and art piece inspired by the book.
I read the science fantasy “The Skies of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey. This story is part of a 22 (yes… 22!) book series set in the future on the planet of Pern over a period of 2500 years in 5 different time periods. Pern is a planet settled by humans escaping wars on Earth. Long story short… a series of disasters forces the settlers to develop fire breathing dragons to survive periodic planet wide menace from space. The disasters also cause the loss of the advanced skills the settlers had so that the civilization functions at a pre-industrial level.
The stories center on these intelligent dragons and their telepathically bonded riders.
It has been said that McCaffrey stated the books should be read in the order they were written. I don’t agree with that except that the first two trilogies should be read first as these are the ones that really draw you in. After that, I would read them in the chronological order of the story line.
The first story of this epic series (Dragon Flight) was published in 1967 and I read it about 11 years later in high school. The Skies of Pern takes place in the same time period (9th Pass) -- which is my favorite. While I've read almost all of the series, this last one somehow was lost in the shuffle.
I’ll have to admit I’m quite biased in my opinion, as I love the dragons and their riders. So I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is the last one written for ‘9th Pass’ collection and there shall be no more as Anne McCaffrey died in 2011. It was rumored she was working on a final story to wrap up the series, but I’ve heard nothing else about it.
If you’ve read any of the Dragon Rider series, this one continues the adventure and I recommend it. If you’ve never read any… I suggest you start with Dragon Flight and work your way thru to this one at a later time.
I knew immediately what I wanted to do for my artwork for this book… but first I had to look it up to make sure it was really considered “art”.
diorama [ˌdaɪəˈrɑːmə] n
1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) a miniature three-dimensional scene, in which models of figures are seen against a background.
Yes!! It’s art!
I created this small diorama rider Tai and green Zaranth resting after fighting Thread. Hot and tired, they have traveled ‘between’ to the cool mountains of High Reaches for some moments of quiet before returning to their Weyr.
I used a shadow box shelf and attached a photo from an oversized book to depict the mountains of Pern. It wraps all the way around the three inner sides of the box. A quick trip out to my driveway and I had all the stones I needed to make my river side resting spot. Filling in between the stones is sand I brought back from Lewis isIand, Scotland.
Bringing the river into the box was the tricky part… especially since a lot of my supplies are boxed up while I remodel my studio. I used a glue gun to make the water and mixed up paint to match the color of the river as best I could with what I have out. I’m rather pleased with it.
Zaranth is a enameled metal ‘box’ from my collection of dragons. Tai is a tiny clay figure I had picked up for a project that didn’t work out. I used a ‘brush pen’ to color it in.
I'll enjoy having this little scene setting on a shelf in my studio.