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“Outcrop” (1993) Colored: 2017

This image is quite special to me. Although the rock people appeared in earlier drawings of mine, this one hit the sweet spot. Composition wise, it feels good to me, and having this rock man being helped up and out of the ground by the tree, created a story. The Easter Island Moai appears because I needed something in that open plane to complete the composition. Moai’s are mysterious, so it was a good fit.

 
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“One Less Poacher” (1979) Colored: 2017

After seeing so many nature documentaries on TV, the all-too-common theme of the consequences of poaching would always disgust me. Here, I take an inker’s revenge. The poacher’s vehicle tracks show their demise...into oblivion!

 
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“Open Sky” (1979) Colored: 2017

Sometimes there are no stories in my drawings...just images that interest me, and suggest something mysterious. This is one of them.

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“Deanna’s Dream” (1981) Colored: 2017

My niece, Deanna, must surely have thought her uncle mad, having placed her image in one of his “unusual” drawings. I hope she is consoled by the fact that it is my dream, and not hers. She holds the distinction of being the one and only family member, as well as a rarely seen human, to be in one of my drawings. Hopefully, she considers it an honor to be included!

 
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“The Music Never Stops” (1981) Colored: 2017

Music is an important part of my life, and for the Dactyls, too. No story here, just the love of music.

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“53rd Street” (1981) Colored: 2017

The 1968 film, “Planet of the Apes” was the influence for this image. Those wild and crazy humans!

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“Morning Descent (Orange)” (1985) Colored: 2017

No story, here. I was just having some fun with graphic design, and the butterfly, frog, and orb are all there to play along.

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“A Piece of Paradise” (1991) Colored: 2017

A life disrupted. A sucker for illusions, trying to piece his life back together. Bad pun, huh?

When drawing “A Piece of Paradise,” (as well as “Passing Time”) I used real jigsaw puzzle pieces. I traced their outline in pencil, then inked them in. I love jigsaw puzzles! The man atop the floating puzzle piece, also appears in the image “Hullabaloo.” “A Piece of Paradise” first appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this card: “His unrestrained quest for personal satisfaction left him empty, alone, puzzled and longing for happiness.”

 
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“Breakaway II” (1991) Colored: 2017

As I mentioned in the “Re-entry II” narrative, “Breakaway II” follows the same theme...breaking  lines. The original “Breakaway” (1977) has the same archaeopteryx that is seen here, but instead of the Dactyl wildlife biologists chasing it, there is a panther. Much better outcome for the archaeopteryx had the biologists captured the bird, instead of it being dinner for the panther! For those of you pulling for the escape of the archaeopteryx, rest assured, as it does indeed find freedom in both versions. However, with that freedom, it now must find it’s way...in another dimension. “Breakaway II appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” Miles Russell wrote the following narrative for the back of this card: “Breathlessly poised among the dense broad leaves, the team waited for the right moment to capture their winged friend. Dactyl study of nature requires patience and good fortune -- not rewarded this day.”

 
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“Divers” (1991) Colored: 2017

By the time I did this drawing, the Dactyls were an established part of the family. In this image, they are engaged in an activity that I have performed myself...abalone diving. What you see here is exactly as we did it. The anchored float, the fins, the abalone bar (right hand of deepest Dactyl) and the only thing missing are the snorkel and mask. Dactyls have no need for snorkels and masks...they are well adapted to the underwater world. I’ve never been able to hold my breath for as long as a Dactyl can! “Divers” (originally titled “Sea of Sustenance”) first appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this card: “Precious bounty from the sea, the abalone mollusk will sustain the Dactyls explorers for a time.”

 
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“Morning Descent (Green)” (1985) 2017

No story, here. I was just having some fun with graphic design, and the butterfly, frog, and orb are all there to play along.

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“I Quit” (1978) Colored: 2017

It’s interesting how music influences my work.  I can still recall the words and music of Brian Eno’s “I’ll Come Running...to tie your shoe” and how they affected the creation of this image. Just two words from “I’ll Come Running…,”  “wandering sailor,” created the foundation for this drawing.

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“Falling Feeling” (left half) (1979) Colored: 2017

The stones that these Dactyls are standing on, were not placed there by them. Ever the explorers, they came upon them, and carefully ascending the pile, they discovered yet another portal to somewhere strange. The third member of their party, who went first, can be found in the “right half” of “Falling Feeling.”

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“Falling Feeling” (right half) (1979) Colored: 2017

Where would I be without those Dactyls? Here they are again, slipping irresistibly into another dimension.  And yet another horizon line. I began most of my drawings with only a horizon line. I would draw that line, then stare at an otherwise blank sheet of paper, and conjure. What fun!

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“In the Nest” (1979) Colored: 2017

Looking at this image now, I think it would have worked better if I had drawn some of the young plants lifting away from their mother. Seedlings, either flying or drifting with the wind. After all, these imaginary plants were inspired by nesting birds. With it’s nest below, the young prairie dog watches the youthful and exuberant whale, breaching it’s nest.  

 
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“It’s Not a Dream” (1982) Colored: 2017

This drawing was a lot of fun. Human sightings in my work are rare, and the human that is asleep in his sleeping bag, is in for quite a surprise! I suppose the Dactyls will be a bit surprised, too! Yes...M.C. Escher influenced my work.

 
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“Godspeed” (1982) Colored: 2017

My late father-in law, George H. Coffey, built this boat (he christened it “Moxie”), and I simply wanted to place it in one of my drawings. Of course, I had to give it a strange twist, so I made it fly, pitched a tent on his deck, and piloted it with a Dactyl. Can you see the boots on the Dactyl?

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“Gathering Wind” (1987) Colored: 2017

“Gathering Wind was inspired by a Hawaiian vacation, and the swaying palm tree got caught-up in the border.

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“A Message” (1991) Colored: 2017

The turtle in this image is pivotal to the story, whereas when it appeared in “The Lobby,” it made only a cameo appearance, while on it’s way perhaps, to meet up with the ant.   “A Message” first appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this card: “Appearing from a future time when once again the animals minister the earth, the ant delivers the axiom of hope to a desperate kingdom.”

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“The Art of Biota” (1991) Colored: 2017

This drawing is basically “Biota” revisited, with a Dactyl artist, and a few embryonic rock people thrown in. The rock people are born from beneath the earth, and take decades to emerge. The Dactyls are friends of the rock people, and assist them when needed. “The Art of Biota first appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this card: “Having left the lobby earlier that day seeking inspiration, the Dactyl attempted to capture on canvas the words of the seers. They spoke of the manifestations of the rock people -- a mysterious new race of beings that would emerge from the rockbound soil of countless planets across the universe. Not even the seers knew that from this day it was to be only three decades before their first appearance.”  

 
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“Re-entry II” (1991) Colored: 2017

The drawing titled “Re-entry,” (1978) was the original version of “Re-entry II.”  As with the first “Re-entry,” the theme in this image remains the same...breaking the line. With the original, once I had decided to break the line, the next step was to come up with “what” could break that line.  I grew up watching television, and one of my favorite shows was “Lost In Space (1965-68)”. I was hooked from the first episode, where one of the men from the intrepid Robinson family’s spaceship, “Jupiter II,” went on a spacewalk, and lost his tether. He fell all the way to the surface of the planet! I loved it! And so, with “Re-entry”, and “Re-entry II” I finally got to place my own astronaut in the same jeopardy.  There were a few years between the two Re-entry’s, and the most notable difference in the two drawings is that there is an Apollo spacecraft in the first version, while in the latter, a Shuttle. Now, the Shuttle is no more. Things change. “Re-entry II appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this card: “The serenity of their afternoon sunbath and shallow water foraging was unexpectedly shattered by the falling creature, who had crossed the line of no return. In the world of Dactyls, man is alien.”

 
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“Lady In Waiting” (1979) Colored: 2017

Deserts fascinate me. Harsh beauty, that doesn’t really want your company; except in the case of “Lady In Waiting.” Here, there is someone who would love the company of an unaware hiker, making his way to her front door, on a dark, desert night.  Listening to Brian Eno’s “Spider and I” definitely influenced this image.

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“Point Blank” (1980) Colored: 2017

I was just playing with graphic design, and breaking a few lines.

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“End of the Line” (1979) Colored: 2017

At about the time of this drawing, I was monkeying around with a single panel cartoon titled “Pole to Pole.” Being a huge fan of Gary Larsons’ “Far Side,” I attempted to enter that field. I received a bucket-full of rejections, and eventually abandoned the project.

 
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“Sneak Attack” (1979) Colored: 2017

“Sneak Attack” features more Dactyl culture than any other drawing I have done. I don’t know why, but I never offered much more of these mysterious creatures’ culture.

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“The Lobby” (1991) Colored: 2017

The two cautious Dactyls in “The Lobby” could be connected somehow to the lone Dactyl seen descending from the same rope seen here, in the image “Return to the Lobby.” Wouldn’t it be fun to come upon a place like this? “The Lobby first appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” Miles Russell wrote the following narrative for the back of this card: “The Dactyls world offers portals to countless other times and places across the universe -- perfect for these inquisitive explorers. The rock men plead, “Can we come along?” The hour is nigh.”

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“Return to the Lobby” (1991) Colored: 2017

This Dactyl is in a bit of a hurry, and that aggressive Damsel Fly is a concern. I once had aspirations to become an entomologist, hence the many insects found in my work. “Return to the Lobby” first appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992 “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, titled “Dactyls.” The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this card : “At journey’s end, the Dactyl, weary and now alone, prepares for his long perilous descent home.”

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“Sliver Moon” (1991) Colored: 2017

“Sliver Moon” was created especially for my sister, Lisa, and her then fiance’s wedding invitation. As I recall, Lisa asked only that I include a whale.

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“Environmental Science” (1991) Colored: 2017

In 1992,  Miles Russell, of  “Non-Sports Illustrated,” and I, collaborated to produce a 20-card set of trading cards titled: “Dactyls.” On five of those cards were featured tiny flying saucers that were seen exploring Earth, and it’s creatures. “Environmental Science” is merely a gathering of more of the images used in the trading card set.

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“Encounter” (1991) Colored: 2017

“Encounter,” originally titled “Sileton,” for the 1992 trading card set “Dactyls.” “Dactyls” was Miles Russell’s “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set.  Miles wrote the following narrative for the back of this card: “Two flying objects, wary of one another, stand face-to-face. The students are spellbound. Sileton-62463 was successfully identified, however, the over-zealous instructor who was piloting the craft was later reprimanded for endangering the students unnecessarily.”

 
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“Frog and Saucer” (1991) Colored: 2017

“Frog and Saucer” is another image that was created for the1992 “Non-Sports Illustrated” produced trading card set, “Dactyls.” The original title for this image, when it appeared in the trading card set, was “Obinzal.” The following is a narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this trading card:  “Quietly surfacing near the pond’s shore, the Environmental Science students identify Obinzal-91888, of their field study manual. The approach itself, and the subsequent filming, later earned this group distinction in their class.”

 
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“On the Wire” (1991) Colored: 2017

This was another image created for Miles Russell’s, 1992 “Non-Sports Illustrated” trading card set, “Dactyls.” This image was originally titled “Hirboc” for the “Dactyls” trading card set. The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of the trading card: “Previous days observations showed that the human communication lines provided a favorite resting place for Hirboc (specimens not yet classified). The students placed their craft on the lines during the pre-dawn hours and were rewarded a few hours later with a favorite vantage point. Later studies would show the foolhardiness of several students who had ventured on foot along the lines -- they might have become that morning’s nourishment for the Hirboc.

Detail: “Fish” From the image “Naturally.” Colored: 2017.

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“Out on a Limb” (1991) Colored: 2017


This image (originally titled “Enfal”), was used in Miles Russell’s “Nonsports Illustrated” produced, trading card set, titled: “Dactyls.”  The following narrative, written by Miles Russell, appeared on the back of this trading card: “Having completed the day’s observations, the Environmental Science 101 students secured their craft to the underside of a branch. Meanwhile, the previously identified Enfal-91551 rested, awaiting the imago stage of it’s life.”

 
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“Night Crossing” (1992) Colored: 2017

Dactyls, moving carefully through the night. Their mission? They never said… “Night Crossing appeared in Miles Russell’s 1992, “Nonsports Illustrated” produded trading card set, “Dactyls.”  The following is a narrative, written by Miles Russell, for the back of this card:  “Equipped for exploration, three Dactyls approach a stream. Under clear night skies the explorers cautiously make their way across, knowing that the rockmen will steady their bridge. The hour is nigh.”

 
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“Naturally” (1993) Colored: 2017

This drawing is just a gallery creatures and “things” that I found interesting.  My Amazing tech guy, Joseph Wilhelm, digitally pulled from “Naturally,” the details, “Fish,” “Petroglyph,” and “Frog.” They too were colored in 2017.

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“Passing Time” (1993) Colored: 2017

The film “Jurassic Park” sparked a huge appreciation for dinosaurs, and I was no exception. Two time zones, here. Those bones will belong to that wary looking fella, strolling through the primordial jungle. See the narrative for “A Piece of Paradise” for an explanation of the puzzle pieces.

 
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“Miners” (1991) Colored: 2017

Even when there is work to be done, Dactyls will find time to play. In this case, the special anti-gravity rock specimens they have dug up, become toys. “Miners” appeared (untitled, and with no narrative) in Miles Russell’s 1992 “Nonsports Illustrated” produced trading card set, as an “Extra Bonus Card.”

 
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Detail: “Fish” From the image “Naturally.” Colored: 2017.

 
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Detail: “Frog” From the image “Naturally.” Colored: 2017

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Detail: “Petroglyph” From the image “Naturally.” Colored: 2017

Humboldt artist Rodney Marchetti's pointillism artwork is available as fine art prints, mugs, greeting cards and more. Visit our online store to see all the wonderful items available.