Hi, Folks. Sorry I haven’t posted in some time. A few months ago I finished a small project for Easton Press: Poe: Stories & Poems.
One of my earliest memories of the horror genre involves Edgar Allan Poe. I remember the actor Vincent Price playing characters for a number of Poe’s short stories. As a young child I was particularly terrified of “ The Pit and the Pendulum” story. I even have a Bobble Head of Poe given to me when I was the Artists Guest at the Balticon Convention in Baltimore, Maryland (Poe’s is buried in Baltimore).
Bobble Poe in da house (studio).
This project was a little different than others that I have worked on. It is a Limited Edition book, Slipcase, leather-bound with gold endpapers etc.. The edition is limited to 1200 signed copies. The most grueling part of this project was actually signing 1200 copies. Just try to signing your name one hundred times and you’ll know what I mean. I was ready for the rubber room when the last box arrived with 600+ signature sheets.
These editions are intended for the serious book collector, meaning they are not cheap. They are presented very nicely and use very high quality printing methods and bindings.
Anyways, here are some rough sketch examples and final art for a few of the images contained in this limited edition. The final art is created in acrylic on a plate finish Strathmore.
“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” – sketch
“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”, Acrylic on board
“Masque of the Red Death” sketch
“Masque of the Red Death”, Acrylic on board, 8.50″ x 11.00″
Raven sketch – I created a Grim Reaper-like Raven for this story.
“The Raven”, Acrylic on board
You may be interested to know that Rick Berry (Dracula) and Caniglia ( Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol) have illustrated the aforementioned limited editions for Easton Press as well.
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.