Fantasy Art Auction

I recently went to a fantasy art auction where the displayed prints and originals were of dragons, fairies, space ships, stars, moons, dragons and various other dragons – just in case dragons of all shapes, sizes, wing design and colours were missed out.

Some times I give in to artly desires and purchase an item at such events. This year, I realised a long held aspiration, to own an Anne Sudworth. Or at least, a print. Her originals are too large for my walls and now out of reach of my pocket.

Anne Sudworth is a delightful, wonderfully dressed, softly spoken woman with an engaging smile who is ready to tell you the story of how she painted her subjects. Speaking to her on this occasion, she described painting Whitby Abbey which looks remote, windswept and otherworldly. I gather that is how it was for her going to paint out there.

I bought a print called ‘The Goblin Tree’, pictured below:

The image is a bit weird as (quite naturally) these are protected and not to be downloaded from her website, but I thought I'd try!

Sig other was with me and strongly hinted his impending disapproval if I bought anything dragonly. Damn cheek, when I next turned round he was bidding on a print from an artist whose name I can’t recall, with pink dragons on it!

Here is the link to her website where the gallery pages show her work.


Jerzz said...

As I've got older, I've increasingly been aware of how much I like SF and Fantasy art, though with a preference for the former. It began to dawn on me a couple of decades or so ago when I realised I was buying paperbacks I already had because they were old editions with the covers I loved as a young adult. In particular, I have two versions of many of Brian Aldiss's books, as I bought new editions in my 20's, but later started to buy second hand the ones I first read - NEL editions with covers by Bruce Pennington. The secret of a good SF cover is that it should leave room for the imagination, and Bruce Pennington's made mine soar (sometimes together with the books' titles: 'Space, Time and Nathaniel' I think the most evocative title I know).
I also noticed that an SF artist can define the look of all the covers for a decade: in succession Richard Powers, Bruce Pennington, Chris Foss and Jim Burns. Richard Powers' work is especially fine; transcends the genre.
I was 50 this year and my brother bought me Bruce Pennington's collection 'Ultraterraneum'. Sad that it was out of print; he got it secondhand online.

Jes said...

I buy paperbacks I already have, because I now have more titles than my memory can cope with. Of course, sometimes I'm fooled into rebuying a book because it has the US title or is reissued as part of a collection, but usually, it is because the cover art is different to my existing edition.

The solution is for me to catalogue my books on Library Thing, but I'm not realistically going to get around to that anytime soon.

The only artist in your list that I've heard of is Jim Burns. I tend to go for interesting cover art which does not portray anti-basic laws of physics space ships, or (please forgive me for bringing it up) talking squid!

Note to non-SF readers: "talking squid" is an in-joke in SF circles which I have no will to explain here.

Jerzz said...

To generalise to an unforgivable degree, Richard Powers did psychedelic/surrealism in the 60’s, Bruce Pennington did bejewelled far-future priests in the 70’s, and Chris Foss did big gaudy machines in the 80’s.

Notice the cultural parallels: flower power; progressive rock, and Thatcherism.

Some links for you: esp ‘Reach for Tomorrow’ in the middle and ‘The Shape Changer’ near the bottom. shows the book The Art of Richard Powers by Jane Frank I bought at an SF Con a few years ago. shows three of Powers’ of the kind I love. My golden age! The ‘Dune’ covers show the priestly aspect, better seen in the ‘Null-A’ covers (not shown here). Foss’s pictures are more complicated than I have suggested. Firstly, they are often wrecks, ruins or decaying; and secondly the machines tend to have curves, unnecessary I suspect from pure engineering considerations, and so are softened. Not as hard as you might suppose at a first glance.

Jes said...

That's interesting, but the idea of curvy machines, especially space ships is ok by me. As far as I am aware, space is frictionless, so rockets etc can be any shape or have as many bits sprouting out of them as desired which leads me to realise that I prefer intricate depictions of SF art were I to express a preference.