We had a perfect and artful New England weekend. On our way up to Robert Wiener's annual Apple Fest, we decided to take a day in Boston to visit Edwin Austin Abbey's “Grail Cycle” and John Singer Sargent's “Prophets” murals at the Boston Public Library. We had wandered into the Library on a whim a few years back and were blown away by these murals. This time we came prepared..and we were still blown away.
Here’s a shaky-cam 360 of the Abbey room.
And, of course, a quick stop at the aquarium. I love aquariums. And their jelly fish exhibit is, as all jelly fish exhibits are, a must-see.
The following day: Dave Seeley rounded us up, along with Jason Felix who was in for a Magic tournament. A quick stop to poke through Dave's studio. (A place no one with sensory overload issues should enter.) Then, over to pick-up Rick Berry. Rick had just finished packing up a crate of work to be shipped to the Lucca Festival where he'll be exhibiting and painting with Phil Hale. If you’re in Italy at the end of October, you should go so that we, who are far away, can be envious.
Finally, we were off to the main event: Robert Wiener's annual Apple Fest -- where we ran around Robert’s backyard picking, eating, and squeezing as many apples we could shake a strange, extra long, lacrosse-like stick at. Robert also has one of the most extraordinary collections of science fiction and fantasy art imaginable. It is overwhelming. After an hour or so you are left unable to absorb more and left realizing there are days, literary days, worth of viewing left. It was a fantastic time. A huge thanks to Robert! I wish it could be Apple Fest every weekend. 2010, we leave more time for the artwork and break out the apple cannon.
(Currently: Eating apples and peanut butter for dinner as I type....emmmmm.)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Just in case you thought all wallpapers were going to be of 12 year old girls....
Dave Seeley's cool militaristic stylings and, in celebration of the Tor.com/Spectrum collab at ComicCon, Joe DeVito's awesome Spectrum logo painting.
Free on Tor.com.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Go see how Todd Lockwood, Dave Seeley, Jeremey Geddes, John Picacio, Donato Giancola, Glenn Orbik, and Bob Eggleton answer the question:
As an illustrator, what was it that drew you to science fiction and fantasy to begin with, and what place do you feel illustration has in the science fiction and fantasy field?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I’m back from the awesome Race Brook Lodge. Twenty-plus artists friends and I were there for a week -- some working on assignments, others working on personal projects, and then there was me, doing absolutely nothing but hanging out, eating, and sleeping.
Sadly, the waterfall was sans water, but a lovely hike nonetheless. The pizza was amazing...until Baba Louie's burned down. (I swear we had nothing to do with it.) And teaching whiffle ball to the Hungarian artist duo Zoltan Boros and Gabor Szikszai was more amusing than the actual game. It also seems that I am an excellent first-game bowler but suck at any subsequent rounds.
Unfortunately I can’t show any of the work that was done since some clients are more sensitive about that than others. But a quick run down of a few of the projects:
Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell were working on their next calendar. This time they will be telling a visual story throughout the months.
Tony Palumbo was working on a few “sword” cards for a tarot deck that he, Julie, Boris, and Dave Palumbo are all collaborating on. (It was fun to hear Julie talk about being in the art director’s seat on the project.) The set is being published three cards at a time in Heavy Metal magazine, starting now, and will take three years to complete.
Dan Dos Santos was working on a Tor cover, the sequel to Dark Warrior Rising. When the painting is done I’ll post a few shots in progress.
Greg Manchess was finessing a few sketches of Egyptian pharaohs for National Geographic -- a cover plus two large scale interior paintings that will run in the February edition. (Progressions on that, once published.)
The only bit of work that I did was to go through a few Spectrum books and start making a first pass stab at curating the next Spectrum exhibit. Based on the post-it notes, we are not in for an easy ride. Somehow we’ll need to select just 150ish works of art out of four editions.
Everyone else was working on private commissions and personal works. Some stunning pieces that I am very much looking forward to seeing done.
Our "Free To Be You and Me" photo::
TOP: Dave Palumbo, Ben Foster, Dave Seeley, Scot Brundage.
MIDDLE: Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Christine, Tiffany Prothero, me, Rebecca Guay.
BOTTOM STANDING: Steph Laberis, Wesley Allsbrook, Greg Manchess, Tony Palumbo, Julie Bell.
KNEELING: Arkady Roytman, Zoltan Boros and Gabor Szikszai .
THERE IN SPIRIT but sensible to get out before people started climbing on the rafters: Boris Vallejo, Steven Stroud, Lars Grant-West, Cyril Van Der Hagen, Giancola’s Carrie, Naomi, and Cecilia, and Dos Santos’ Chris and Uno.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Last year, Dan Dos Santos and I asked a group of artists to dedicate their time and talent to help raise money for the Society of Illustrators' student scholarship fund. Each artist created a 5x7 painting that was exhibited at the Society for a month and then auctioned on eBay. That auction raised $5,700.00 for art students.
We are very excited to announce this year's auction is now up and running on eBay. Ten paintings and one sculpture. All were on display at the Society throughout June. All proceeds will go to help the next generation of illustrators.
Auction deadline: July 21
Click here. Or search "MicroVisions" on eBAy.
This year's participants are:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Red Nose Studio
Friday, March 23, 2007
Last year Dan Dos Santos and I asked a group of artists to dedicate their time and talent to help raise money for the Society's student scholarship fund. Each artist created a miniature painting, 5x7, that was exhibited at the Society for a month and then auctioned on eBay. All of the proceeds went to the scholarship fund. That auction raised $5,700.00 for art students. We are very excited to announce this year's participants:
Red Nose Studio
The paintings will be on display in June and, once again, auctioned on eBay. I'll update this site as the paintings come in and the auction draws near.
PHOTO: Last year's auction. Huge thanks to Julie Bell, Bob Eggleton, Boris Vallejo, Greg Manchess, Dan Dos Santos, Vincent Di Fate, Lars Grant-West, Stephan Martiniere, Jon Foster, Adam Rex, John Jude Palencar, and Scott Fischer for participating.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
You know, there really is more to the job than hanging out with artists but it just so happens that there has been a lot of hang time lately.
Lunacon was loads of fun. Dave Seeley did a great job as Guest of Honor. He was on panels day and night - slide shows of his work, progressions of paintings, industry info, prop making, you name it. He also had a massive exhibit in the show -- very impressive. Dave was instrumental in setting up the "studio" that hosted a number of planned and unplanned demos which seemed popular.
All the art programming I saw was well attended. I must say, Lunacon treats the artists right. I think last year's World Con had three or four programs items for artists over the entire four days - Lunacon had multiple tracks of art programming all day long, all weekend long.
Two of my favorite paintings in the exhibit sold -- the portrait that Donato had started at Art Out Loud and Dan Dos Santos' Spirits that Walk in Shadow. (Someone remind me to get a raise so I can buy more art.)
I got to meet a bunch of the conceptart.org crowd. Shout-outs to Shay, Brendan, and Ben. (Sorry if I've missed anyone.) I realize I've met some of you at Art Out Loud but my mind tends to be mush by the time we get to those demos. It was great spending real time talking.
Some random shots. (I'll leave out the wheelbarrow racing to protect the ridiculous.)
LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: Dave Seeley and Dan Dos Santos, Donato, Bob Eggleton, Dan Dos, Shay Casey, Brendan Keough, Arkady Roytman, Dave Palumbo, Rebecca Guay.
Next up, some actual book covers, I promise.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The artist line-up at LunaCon promises to be pretty awesome - rivaling most World Cons. I’m on two panels, listed below. (Frankly, the second panel is the only interesting thing left to say about the first panel but, we’ll see how we do.) Otherwise, I’ll be in the art studio or the bar. Stop by and say hi.
Pixel and Paint
Saturday March 17th 5:00 - 6:00 Room: Elija Budd
What is the impact of the digital revolution on genre art? Come hear a panel of artists, and directors talk about what has transpired, and speculate about the future. What were the predictions, what is the reality? Has it been for better or for worse? Who benfits most as digital makes further gains in the cover illustration space?
Participants: Joseph Bellofatto, Dan Dos Santos, Jon Foster, Irene Gallo, Dave Seeley
Sunday, March 18th 11:00 - 12:00 Room: Birch
Join top professional artists discussing the "virtual studio" where they share work in progress for constructive criticism and collaborate in an open exchange of ideas. These studios represent a significant evolution in the way artists work as a result of the ubiquitous www. While the virtual studio harkens back to shared real studios, these lists take on a life of their own - there are significant differences in these virtual manifestations which creates some new dynamics. They can be invaluable, get out of control, and/or implode.
Participants: Dan Dos Santos, Jon Foster, Irene Gallo, Donato Giancola, Dave Seeley.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Boskone was a great time. I didn’t get to as many panels as I would have liked but that’s because I was having too good a time talking to various peoples. I got to spend more time with Tor authors than I usually do. It was great to catching up with John Scalzi and Toby Buckell. I met Karl Schroeder -- who I teased with the fact that his next cover from Stephan Martiniere is nearly done. (Stephan has been taking process shots of the painting, I’m looking forward to being able to show a step-by-step here soon.) I met Matthew Jarpe and had to apologize for loosing a “t” in his name on his Radio Freefall cover. (No, it is not final and, yes, will be fixed soon!) I had the pleasure of many conversations with Lou Anders from Pyr.
As for the art side of things: Gary Lippinncott’s work is always wonderful to see and get lost inside of. Dave Seeley, Ruth Sanderson, Rick Berry, Brian Dow all had great shows. It was fun to see some of Bob Eggelton’s “painting a day” pieces in the flesh. A real highlight of the exhibit was the Hubert Rogers retrospective. The Rogers family brought in a number of paintings and lots of ink work. One of the most enjoyable parts of Boskone for me each year is seeing Rick and Shelia Berry. They invited a small group out to Rick’s studio Sunday night. -- a really nice and mellow way to end a con.
Next convention: LunaCon. While this tends to be a fairly small convention it is chock full of artists. The guest of honor, Dave Seeley, has made an effort to be sure that that will be particularly true this year. He’s arranged for an open studio throughout Saturday. A few of the artists attending throughout the weekend, either officially or unofficially, are Donato Giancola, Jon Foster, Greg Manchess, Dave Palumbo, Dan Dos Santos, Tom Kidd, Steve Hickman and others. This will be quite the art party.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Anyone reading fantasy and science fiction knows that the genre is dominated by series. From my end of the business, series are both a pleasure and a curse. Once you get the look of a series down, its continuation is relatively easy for me -- so many decisions are already made, the type, the artist, the tone. I get a few new details and basically sit back and let the artists work. When a series starts off looking good, it usually sails along nicely, but then, of course, the reverse can be true as well. If you don’t hit the mark on the first go you set up a sizable hurdle for the following books. Unfortunately that means rather conservative decision making up front. While I may want to try out a new artist, I don’t always feel comfortable committing to 3, 6, 12 books with someone that I have never worked with before. Not always, but often enough, I tend to stick to the guys that I already have proven relationships with. This, in turn, often leads leads to scheduling conflicts down the line -- an inevitable alignment of stars and planets will end up with a bunch of one artist’s titles in the same catalog season. I’m glad for the ease of some series, and when they go well I really enjoy seeing the paintings as a collective whole, but I can't help but to wish we had more stand-alone books and different points of view to explore.
I asked a few artists what they felt about working on series titles:
"Series are cool because it gives you a chance to fill out the world you're building in some more detail. I also feel more connected to my character after several portrayals. It can be a shackle when the marketing crew is sure that a particular portrayal is responsible for selling the book. It's best when the AD gives you latitude to be able to show the world from a different view each time. I also think that the tendency to "brand" authors with a single artist can make the biz of illustration tougher. Instead of book assignments, you have series assignments, and that makes the ebb and flow of work more extreme. Your flow is also greatly effected by how prolific your authors are, and that can vary enormously." DAVE SEELEY
"From an artist's standpoint its quite nice. You become familiar with the characters. That means less time worrying about accuracy and more time developing story." DAN DOS SANTOS
“A series is a good thing if you're an artist. You want the books to look good and do well, so you'll get the next one--that's the pragmatic, economic reason--but you're challenged to keep the series fresh, which forces you to think about the approach, to try to see things from different perspectives. Even a series has to have variety and flow. It's a restraint that can help you to grow. It also lets you explore a direction more than once. A series of books can become a collection of paintings, each with a slightly different flavor.” TODD LOCKWOOD
“Series are neither harder nor easier to undertake, as I approach each and every commission as a new start. The goal of each image is to convey a compelling representation of the content of the book, and considering the variations most authors place on the content of their novels, I do not see how it is possible to use the same approach every time. For me, continuity in a series, if there is any, tends to be more formally based than anything related to design.
One of my most successful series was for Isobelle Carmody, where the unifying factor was the scale of the figures to their architectural environment, and the passage of time 'through' the images: the beginning of the journey; the journey; and the final recuperation/rejuvenation. Each image stands alone and has very little, in terms of design, to do with the others. As a painter, I look to challenge myself and find new ways to reinterpret similar content without appearing too incestuous within my style.” DONATO GIANCOLA
Shown here are some series that I enjoy seeing as a unified body of work:
John Jude Palencar’s “Eden” novels. I think Wings to the Kingdom is one of my very favorite paintings.
Dan Dos Santos' Alosha Trilogy. Coincidentally, the girl on Yanti is the spitting image of our fabulous paranormal-romance editor Anna Genoese.
Dave Seeley Elizabeth Moon novels from Del Rey.
Donato Giancola and the Tor covers for the Obernewtyn Chronicles
Tristan Elwell and the Starscape editions of the Obertnewtyn Chronicles
Todd Lockwood and the Obsidian Trilogy
Jon Foster and the Dragonback novels.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
A reader emailed me to ask what the Axis cover looks like. As it happens, it just came back from the printer few days ago and it looks super cool on a foil paper stock. We printed a fair amount of white underneath the colors so that the final effect is a satiny sheen, rather than an overly reflective "wrapping paper" effect.
The galaxy was created by Dave Seeley. The design by Drive Communications. Dave has done numerous covers for us, most notably the L. E. Modesitt science fiction books. Drive has created countless covers for us, on both the Tor and Forge sides, as well as our Starscape logo. Drive also designed the great coffee-table books, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror of the 20th Century for Collectors Press.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Well, I had meant to use the week to write insightful, substantive posts. Honest, I did. In the end, there just didn't seem to be enough time for anything besides eating, talking, sleeping, and eating. So, instead, here is a quick run-down of the remainder of the week:
On Wednesday a bunch of friends met us at the Rockwell Museum -- Jon Foster, Dave Seeley, Scott Fischer, Rebecca Guay, and Lars Grant-West. Afterwards, we headed back to the barn for great, late night drinking, eating, talking, and intense Pictionary playing. (Some might argue that the winning team, which I happened to be on, was not altogether gracious about the slaughter we unleashed on the rest of the group.) Somehow we ended the night by watching Evil Dead....at 3 in the morning. (I blame Dave Palumbo!)
Thursday: everyone was very mellow in the morning. Rebecca Guay read us the first chapter of a comic book that she is writing as well as drawing...Not only is she a wonderful artist but this story is so funny and charming I cannot wait to see it done. Her reading of it was priceless...anyone that meets Rebecca must ask her to read it to you. Scott Fischer surprised me by bringing in the final John C. Wright "Chaos" cover. It may be my favorite of the series. A frisbee was thrown, more food, and an earlier night.
Friday was a nice long goodbye. We all had a final relaxing breakfast...which somehow rolled into a final relaxing lunch and then back to New York to prepare for the following day’s Art Out Loud demo with Todd & Donato.
Despite all of the above, I was impressed with how much work got done. (By others, not me.) A few of us were in much-needed vacation mode, but the majority of the group was very focused. (I'm sorry to have avoided showing the paintings here but I'm not sure who was working on projects that clients may not have seen yet.) It was particularly exciting to be in a group of artists at so many different stages in their careers. Artists typically work in isolation...It was clear that everyone enjoyed being able to walk around, look at other people’s work and chat while taking breaks. Todd was the only one working digitally but most everyone sat down with him at some point for a private tutorial. All agreed that it was the most refreshing and energizing week that we could have hoped for. We already miss our barn.
Pictures: Scott Fischer with his cover for John C. Wright's Titans of Chaos. At the Rockwell. Relaxing in the barn. Outside the barn. Everyone: Scot F., Dave S., Dave P., Rebecca / Lars, Scott A., Me, Jinju / Cyril, Arkday, Julie, Todd / Mark, Christina, Sara, Jon / Tony, Scott B., Greg / Boris, Dan, Tiffany.