Some months ago I was scouring the Internet for images pertaining to H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Neither motion picture had been released yet and I was hungry for anything new on the subject. Google image searches yielded many fine results such as: a gallery of Martian photos and maps called The Changing Views of Mars, discovered while searching for Schiaparelli's maps; a well-done and nearly acurate sketch of the Wells' Martian; the awe inspiring Martian tripod & cylinder sculptures erected in the city of Woking, wherein Wells' novel the first cylinder landed; and a wonderful portrait of the author himself.
When I first bought my house I had vowed to avoid hanging posters on my walls since I had lived with the effective yet crude décor for as long as I had lived with my parents. If I wanted to display something it would be framed or done in such a tasteful way as to counter the stereotypes of a typical bachelor pad. One thing I wanted was to have three large framed pictures of my favourite authors, namely H.G. Wells (1866-1946), Edgar Alan Poe (1809-1849), H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1936), and more recently, Lord Dunsany (1878-1957.) Photos of Mr. Poe are easy enough to find, as well as Mr. Wells (Dunsany & Lovecraft will be more of a challenge) but I hadn't yet made a definite decision on what images I wanted. I was leaning toward the photo above of a young Mr. Wells who, interestingly enough, looks much like a good friend of my father's at that age. Google yielded many images of various quality but the one that caught my eye the most was a painting by freelance illustrator, Edward S. Gazsi.
I was impressed; the pose, the expression, the color, all work so well together and conveys just what I wanted to see in something I would hang in my home. I immediately wrote him a letter gushing over his work and asking if he sold prints. He responded a couple days later and after exchanging several letters regarding options, details and other information and a couple months where I misplaced his contact information my check was finally on it's way.
Mr. Gazsi was possibly the last person I expected to call me one late Labour Day morning. In fact, I had completely forgotten that I included my phone number along with the address and check I mailed. I composed myself quickly enough but he still commented on my surprised reaction. He had called to discuss final details regarding the print he was sending. It's printed on a special material that can be stretched like canvas over a wooden frame to give the appearance of an actual painting so I suspect I will have to enlist the assistance of my artist friends to do so. He is signing the copy for me and it should arrive in a long mailing tube by the end of the week.
We chatted of other things: He lives in Florida but was not bothered much by Hurricane Katrina. He asked if I was an artist and I told him I'm more of a writer, which piqued his interest. He would especially like to see any of my science-fiction work so I will e-mail him A bit of Green Leather as soon as I can find it again. I agreed to write again to let him know the print arrived safely and will send a photo later once it is displayed in my home with the others I plan to get.
If I had the money I would commission him for paintings of the other authors but his original works are currently out of my price range. I will be happy with this for now and who knows, maybe he'll like my stories enough to illustrate one.
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