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Garden Painting for “Jim and the Flims”


“The Baby Garden.” Acrylic on canvas. 24″ by 18″. April, 2009. Click the picture to see a slightly larger image. More info at my paintings page.

For the last month or so of working on Jim and the Flims, I’ve been nibbling away at a painting of how it’s gonna look when Jim and his new ghost girlfriend Ginnie make it over to the other side, that is, the land of Flimsy, which is both a parallel world with its own natives, as well as being a place where the spirits of some people from our world go after death (as newly decided in the previous post, and thanks again, by the way, for all the supportive comments).

As I’ve mentioned before, these days, when I’m stuck for story images, I like to paint instead of just thinking. I’ve always done little drawings of my scenes before writing them, but now I enjoy the more heavy-duty process of breaking out my kit of acrylic paints. The painting takes longer, and I get more deeply into it than into a drawing.

My inspiration for the motif (art term for the subject of a painting) was van Gogh’s The Sower—a man sowing seeds into a field. In my story the sower’s name is Monin. And I’ve got two people greeting him, they just came out of that interdimensional tunnel visible in the door of a house that’s a limp Brussels Atomium made of lavender spheres. These two are Jim and Ginnie.

The kicker in the picture is that the sower is casting baby-seeds into the field, and we see human heads—and the head of one green alien—sprouting up. I probably won’t have the green alien in this scene in the novel, nor do Jim and Ginnie necessarily look exactly like this—my book paintings are more like dreams or premonitions about my stories than being totally accurate illustrations.


[The helpful, prancing dog of the right brain retrieves the ball. Arf!]

In the morning the seeds in the garden will have grown—they’ll be human-like bodies, with their legs rooted in the ground, and with no intelligence, like blank-slate clones. All of them look like copies of Monin, the sower. Some jivas come and sting the bodies, implanting larvae. The jiva larvae eat up the bodies and burst forth as new jivas.

That’s the practical reason why I need this garden, see. I want the jivas to be savage parasitic flesh-eaters—like wasps who lay their eggs in the flesh of paralyzed hosts (I love the use of the word “host” in this context). But I don’t want the jivas’ flesh-eating to be a problem for the locals in Flimsy, so we have these “jiva gardens” full of clones for the jivas to grow inside of.

And later, Jim can grow a clone of his own body, and put a yuel inside the clone’s skull to produce a zombie fake Jim who can perhaps join the merry roller-derby surf zombies of Santa Cruz…

2 Responses to “Garden Painting for “Jim and the Flims””

  1. sihirliyazilar (magic articles) Says:

    I’ve regularly followed your blog but it’s language is unfortunately a little —or more than a little :)))— heavy for me… And Google’s Turkish translation is even worse so I still prefer to see it in English…
    Anyway I would only ask —if it’s not very nonsense— why the first painting on the paintings page has the name “Georgia’s tree”? I know that your daughter’s name is Georgia. So is this name a gift from you to Georgia or Georgia herself made this painting, so the name became “Georgia’s tree”? Or what’s the similarity with this tree and Georgia? I hope I’ve managed to express my question. Thanks for your answer.

  2. Rudy Says:

    Hi Sihirliyazilar, That picture is called “Georgia’s Tree” because I copied the composition from a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe called “The Lawrence Tree,” see my post about this
    http://www.rudyrucker.com/blog/2008/09/29/copying-okeeffes-the-lawrence-tree/

    It’s also the case that I have a daughter named Georgia, so that influenced my choice of the name. And, for that matter, I just gave this picture to Georgia. So it’s Georgia’s Tree in that sense too, now.


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