Monday, November 7, 2011

Rebecca's 19

-by Arnie Fenner
One of the reasons we do a printed Call For Entries poster to mail around instead of strictly doing everything digitally, posting here or e-mailing there, is because we like the idea of having a physical artifact at the end of the day. Something that arrives in the mail, that you open up and look at and, hopefully, tack up on your bulletin board. As a reminder, sure; but also as a sign of community. At dinner following the judging for Spectrum 17, the subject of the C4E posters came up: we've been fortunate to have some wonderful posters by the likes of Greg Manchess, John Jude Palencar, Rick Berry, Phil Hale, Frank Frazetta, and John Berkey among other art giants through the years. One thing led to another during the conversation and before dessert was served, Bill Carman, Rebecca Guay, and Iain McCaig had all called dibs on the next three upcoming posters. They didn't have to offer twice. Bill's outstanding painting, of course, called the troops to order for Spectrum 18. Next up was Rebecca. Now our instructions to each poster artist are the same each time: do whatever you want, just as long as it 1] relates to the fantastic arts in some way and 2] is tasteful. Beyond that, have fun. Coming off two award wins in different categories of Spectrum 18, we were eager to see what Rebecca came up with for #19's C4E. Several months back she dropped us a pair of jpegs of roughs asking which we preferred. Frankly, Cathy and I liked them both, but, after a rousing game of ennie-meenie-minie-moe we suggested "Face 1"—which Rebecca beautifully turned into the painting, "Vivian Becoming."

It looked great to us...but then she sent us a somewhat enigmatic note saying simply, "Hold on a minute; I have another idea I'm working on that I might like better."

And when "Figure 8" arrived a short time later, well, we liked it better, too. "Liked" is an understatement, of course: we were knocked out. Thanks, Rebecca: we could not be happier! Exciting art by Bill Carman, astounding art by Rebecca what will Iain McCaig create for Spectrum 20 next year? I can hardly wait.


  1. I am patiently and eagerly awaiting my poster's arrival.

  2. Rebecca's poster is so beautiful. Her already fluent vocabulary is expanding and I can't wait to see more. Hope this Mcaig character can draw. Doesn't he make movies or something? Maybe for the first time we could have a full length film to announce Spectrum call for entires.

  3. Oh, "Vivian Becoming" is gorgeous!

  4. I really like Vivian Becoming.

    The other one is pretty and technically skilled, but, well, aren't there rather a lot of that type out there? If we really need yet another naked, come-hither body, wouldn't a male one make a nice change?

  5. lovely, delicate, and inspiring.

  6. This one of my favorite Spectrum posters!

  7. I got mine in the mail this morning and I love it! I just went out and picked up a frame for it. Its going up on the wall in my studio next to John Foster's Spectrum live poster!

    Thank you so SO much guys!

  8. Is this supposed to be illustrative of your theme for the magazine? "Naked Women and Water: A Retrospective Interpretation"? This looks like a burlesque poster hung in the dock district, tempting the local sailors of a hundred years ago.

    I'd rather have the woman-with-fish, the piece titled "Vivian Becoming". This is "fantasy" as in "adolescents will fantasize about this". What would it look like if done by a Cubist? An Impressionist?

    The piece chosen for your poster is beautiful, and it may be Art with a capital letter, but it looks like every other piece of Art I've seen from SF/F for a very long time. I think it's time to break tradition, and let your own sense of Art grow.

  9. Zach--

    SPECTRUM is an annual art book, a juried "best of the year" collection, not a magazine. The only "theme" is the subject matter, meaning contemporary fantastic art (which covers a LOT of territory). The posters go to artists (folks known to paint a nude figure every so often), not adolescents hoping for a thrill. As I mentioned, we think "Vivian Becoming" is great, just as we think "Figure 8" is great, too, in an entirely different way: whether you agree or disagree with which one became this year's C4E poster is a matter of opinion. For our part, we couldn't be happier.

  10. Absolutely beautiful art!
    I'm so excited for Spectrum 19. I'm going to put in some entries this year... wish me luck!

  11. Awh thats lovely :)

    I'm so reminded of Klimt's "Goldfish" painting!

    Nice one for the times Miss Guay!


  12. Absolutely gorgeous. Rebecca created a lovely work of art. One of my favorite posters. (Yours too, Bill!)

  13. I know this isn't a discussion board (maybe something to think about at Muddy Colors) but I really am having trouble understanding the argument that Zach makes about the poster being like every other SF/F artwork he's seen. In fact this kind of sensitive treatment of the figure is rare in our world. And why in the name of all the gods should we exclude Art with a capital A from our genre. Maybe you could explain what you meant by let your sense of art grow.

    Preferring one image to another is our prerogative but this image has clearly been misread and misunderstood. Rebecca needs no defense, I always seem to step in to defend those who really don't need it, but I really believe it presents a wonderful addition to her more well known work.

    Spectrum was one of the primary factors in the rise of fantastic art and remains at the forefront in showcasing excellent work but also pioneering new forms in this genre. I hate to give a lecture about the role of artist, actually I really don't hate it that much, but bending, pushing, and destroying the envelope is part of what we do. I am really happy that there are still showcases for those that do.

    I apologize for carrying on. Maybe.
    (Thanks John. Hopefully Iain carries on the "17" tradition)

  14. Bill, your thoughts echo my own. I'm glad you not only defended Rebecca's poster art, but also shared your insightful thoughts. I also find her work to be sensitive and beautiful. This poster image represents a growth in her already esteemed and rich portfolio. Far from the "dock district" label Zach placed on it, in my opinion.

  15. If my aging memory serves me well I think Figure 8 works well and does not seem to be as bad a choice as Zach has stated. I also enjoy that Rebecca seems to be exploring a different style[I think that’s the right word] of painting then her usual work [which I enjoy very, very much]

    Thank you.

  16. A quick question: Which format do you use for entries ? Usual printer size ~28cm in height or bigger?


  17. Hi, Markus,

    According to the Spectrum submission guidelines it reads:

    "Try to limit the size to 8" x 10" if possible, but all sizes are acceptable."

    28 cm (11 in.) sounds like it will work fine.



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