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Mark Garlick

Mark A. Garlick is a professional illustrator and author, working freelance and specialising in science fiction, technology and space. He came into the profession with a scientific background, establishing his business in late 1996. Since then he has written and illustrated four of his own books, and his images have appeared in their hundreds in other books, publications and in advertising. For more of his work, please see and

The Dimension Between

`Between what?' I hear you all ask. To which I usually reply, `Ain't got a clue.' In case you hadn't noticed, this one's also the `wallpaper'. Still with pastels, here. I got the perspective idea of layers of clouds receding into the distance (admittedly quite crap clouds) from a greetings card. The rest of the stuff, who knows? Weird in the extreme - I think Salvador Dali might have built a shrine to this one. Note that this picture is designed so that our Australian cousins can enjoy it too.  

Aquatic Illusion

Another weird one - this is what doing astronomy does to your brain - and not entirely original. I ripped off the pronged from a friend of mine, M. C. Escher. Perhaps you've heard of him. One of my favourites, this is I think I was getting the hang of pastels by this stage. And, yes, I know that interference patterns on water look absolutely nothing like that. But it looks subtly weird this way.  

Surveying the Crop

I couldn't decide after this was finished whether the structures were supposed to be plants, animals or tories. I showed it to a friend of mine (Ady, if you're reading this, you've been immortalised) and he said, `Hey, looks like they're surveying the crop'. Cool title. It stuck straight away. This was my first attempt at a medium change - I used gouache on this one. I remembered being quite good with them at school. This was also my first go at an alienscape. If you think the `plants' look anything like legs, you're probably deranged. However, you're probably right too.  


Ah, yes, one of my favourites, and also one of the hardest - it's not easy getting a uniform colouration with pastels. I did this for a friend of mine who said, `Why don't you do me a picture of a cataclysmic variable'. This one is an intermediate polar (a subtype). Basically, the white dwarf has such a strong magnetic field that it truncates any accretion disc that might have formed (hence the title). The streak across the picture, and the bit at the bottom left, are supposed to be the back and front of the truncated ring respectively. I should do some more of these `artist's impression of blah blah blah' astro-art things.  


My personal favourite, even if it is a huge cliche. I just love it. I looks simple, but it took a while to get the idea for this worked out properly. As for the title, don't worry, it wasn't easy. It came only after hours of hard sweat, blood, tears and sputum. I reckon this is one of my most successful images, in that the mushrooms actually do look quite humungous. I failed to get the same effect in Surveying the Crop. I think I've really got the hang of pastels now. People often ask me how you get sharp lines and details with pastel. I usually say, `I wish I could get sharp lines and detail with pastel'. Hmm....  

Global Mortification

Gloomy, but I couldn't help it. Somebody stuck me in a room for four weeks with nothing but Jeremy Beadle videos for company. This is one of my most original I think, and one that definitely deserves to be on an AC/DC cover or something somewhere. Any offers? This was yet another that I coudln't pin a title to myself. I showed it to a friend of mine (hi, Paul) and he said in a deep, scary voice, `Wow! Global Mortification!' Perfect. This one grew on me. I didn't like it at first, because the nebula is too orange. But so many people have said, `Hey, that skull looks like an X-ray to me' that I classify the picture as a huge success - that's what I'd based it on. The skull nebula may feature in a future painting, by the way.  


And just to prove that I am capable of doing stuff which does not necessarily have to be weird, this is a pencil drawing of my girlfriend. I copied it from a photo - otherwise she might have got a bit of s stiff neck sitting like that for ... what was it? Fifty hours?  

The artist himself

An artist's impression of the artist. Some geezer did this for me in Florence and then stung me to the tune of 20000 Lira (about $12 US). Lovely. Still, it's quite good. He asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I was an astronomer, he demonstrated the typical layman's comprehension by drawing me holding a magic wand of some kind and poring over a crystal ball! I'm surprised he didn't tell me he was a Capricorn or something and then ask me what that meant. I don't know. You try telling them that you're an astrophysicist instead and they close down so efficiently that you can actually see them turn into a little white dot. You never win.