By John Jude Palencar
Some of you may have seen this clip on YouTube. This video shows the only know footage of Andrew Wyeth at work. In this short clip he’s painting a small portrait of Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It is nice to see how informal this session is… Wyeth is a lap worker, sitting on a small stool in his father’s (N.C. Wyeth’s) studio. Although you can’t see how he is developing the image … he does take frequent breaks to evaluate the painting by constantly checking measurements and proportions.
John Jude Palencar is a rarity among modern artists, mixing meticulous technique reminiscent of the old masters with a soaring, darkly surreal imagination. There are touches of Bosch and Da Vinci in his visual allegories of netherworld landscapes and doomed characters.
For more than twenty-five years, he has created book covers and received honors for his contributions to the field of illustration including Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators, two Gold Book Awards from Spectrum, and four Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA). Most recently John was presented the award for “Artistic Achievement” by ASFA at the World Fantasy Convention held in Yokohama, Japan.
His work has appeared on hundreds of book covers in over thirty countries for authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, P.D. James, Charles deLint, David Brin and Stephen King. Recently, his cover paintings for Eragon and Eldest, by Christopher Paolini, have appeared on the New York Times Children’s Best Seller List. (Paolini named Eragon’s birthplace “Palancar Valley” after John.)
Time, Smithsonian, and National Geographic Magazine, and the Philadelphia Opera have employed his illustrative talents for their publications and productions. Palencar has also worked on entertainment projects for Lucas Arts, Paramount Pictures and Vivendi Universal.
He enjoys an on-going artist-in-residence program in County Kerry, Ireland, where his personal paintings were included in a special exhibit entitled, “Images of Ireland” held at the National Museum in Dublin.
He continues to create new work and has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Occasionally John is invited to lecture and serve as an artist-in-residence at colleges and universities across the country.
He resides in northeastern Ohio with his wife, Lee, and two sons, Ian and Kit.
This is amazing and inspiring! Thanks for the share!
OK, OK, I'll come out to your studio if you want to paint me. Just give me a little notice.
Fascinating! Even though his face is turned away from the camera, there is still evidence of Wyeth's brain working like clockwork.
Absolutely fantastic. Thanks for sharing this, John! Makes me want to get down to the Brandywine even more than I already do.
Hey Bill – Sure you can stop over and pose for a portrait at my secret studio anytime…. but first, you have to become the Director @ the “Met”!
Erin – You're welcome – I wish I lived closer to the Brandywine… I'd be there all the time!