Go to Homepage   Fantasy Art Provides Holiday Escape


Forget the turkey, give up trying to wind the lights around that wobbly tree and switch off the nth showing of It's A Wonderful Life. Take a real break and hurry to your nearest bookstore to add a touch of fantasy to your holidays in the form of fantasy art books. After all, a great many of us would love to be transported to another world during holidays -- any other world

Book: The Julie Bell PortfolioThe Julie Bell Portfolio

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1855858525

This beautiful book offers the full range of wonderful liquid metal paintings that characterize much of Julie Bell's work. Bell takes the human or animal form, then sheathes it in a skin of fine liquid metal, or combines this effect with the contrast of skin and scale to produce unusual and very attractive pictures. Conveniently set on opposite pages, each picture could be removed, framed and hung on the wall as the superb work of art -- but it would be a crime to mutilate such a fine example of printing and photo reproduction.


Book: Transluminal, The Paintings of Jim BurnsTransluminal: The Paintings of Jim Burns

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1855856786

Jim Burns brings people to life on canvas. He captures a wide range of emotions and presents them to the viewer, emphasizing each mood with well-chosen color. The backgrounds vary, but always display perfect judgement and reinforce the flex and curve of skin and sinew (or occasionally fur/scale and sinew). Transluminal focuses on Burns' science fiction commissions but offers some very good fantasy pictures too.



Book: Jim Burns, LightshipJim Burns: Lightship

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1850280118

Jim Burns' second book for the holidays offers more of his amazing studies of the living form. People, animals, people that look like animals, aliens -- Burns leaves no form unexplored. You can almost hear the sneers, sighs, even chortles of each individual emanating from the page. A wonderful section of science fiction paintings featuring advanced technology and cosmology makes a great counterpoint to the wonderfully lifelike weird characters Burns paints.


Book: Mermaids and Magic Shows The Painting of David DelamareMermaids and Magic Shows - The Painting of David Delamare (text by Nigel Suckling)

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1850282498

The human form takes precedence in David Delaware's paintings. A school of mermaids pose gracefully. Scenes of unearthly fairs ruffle the viewer's sense of the unreal. The remainder of the book deals mainly with variations of human bodies with animal heads. Curious and quirky, the book provides a telling glimpse into the mind of an artist who paints fascinating and elegantly rendered pictures.



Book: Alien Horizons, The Fantastic Art of Bob EggletonAlien Horizons - The Fantastic Art of Bob Eggleton (text by Nigel Suckling and Gregory Benford)

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1850283362

Variation and contrast characterize this collection. Bob Eggleton escorts the reader from purely fantastical interstellar dragons to prehistoric beasts (that carry guns and smile) to epic cosmic vistas and high-tech spaceships, finally ending with a selection of compelling horror. Eggleton's comments on his style of painting flavor much of the art featured in the book. Interestingly, the book includes colored sketches for many of the paintings, showing the differences between the original idea and the final product.


Book: Greetings from Earth, The Art of Bob EggletonGreetings From Old Earth -- The Art of Bob Eggleton (text by Nigel Suckling and Bob Eggleton)

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 185585662X

Bob Eggleton's second contribution to this wish list tends more to what people expect in fantasy art. Beginning with an impressive section of dragon paintings, Eggleton segues to some very emotive scenic views from around the Earth. Finally he takes us into the realms of deep space -- allowing readers to gaze at vast cosmic vistas and sleek deadly spacecraft. But despite the spacecraft, Greetings From Old Earth definitely qualifies as a book for dragon lovers.


Book: In the Garden of Unearthly Delights, The Paintings of Josh KirbyIn the Garden of Unearthly Delights -- The Paintings of Josh Kirby (text by Nigel Suckling and Brian Aldiss)

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1850281548

The world is a disc, and this book about veteran cover artist Josh Kirby proves it. Probably best known for his covers of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, Kirby's style emphasizes humor. Reveling in the purely fantastic and purely comic, Kirby tells a story in each picture -- and often throws in a few one-liners for good measure. Chapter Seven also provides an interesting insight to some of Kirby's other styles of painting, including several that look like he modeled them on Arnold Schwartzenegger.


Book: In Search of Forever - Rodney MatthewsIn Search of Forever - Rodney Matthews

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ASIN: 1850280037

A straight line is as alien in a Rodney Matthews' world as a sput snuzzler is to Earth. Matthews revels in the curved imagery of the fantastic. Tall arching ships, bridges and twisting landscapes -- all enhanced with a particular sense of whimsy that only Matthews can create -- enchant and delight. Now out of print but still available from numerous online sources, this first Paper Tiger collection of Matthews' work provides a chapter on the artist's biography, techniques and early pictures, making it worth the effort to seek out.

Book: Last Ship Home Rodney MatthewsLast Ship Home -- Rodney Matthews

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1850280959

This second, more readily available selection of Matthews' work brings his art up to date. The numerous roughs accompanying the text offer entertaining comparisons with the finished paintings.



Book: Tim White The Science Fiction and Fantasy World of Tim WhiteTim White: The Science Fiction and Fantasy World of Tim White

Paper Tiger (Trade Paper), ISBN 1850280576

The most striking aspect of Tim White's paintings consists of the intensity of detail within each image. Mainly a science fiction artist, White's paintings primarily focus on spaceships, stars, planets and cities of advanced technologies. Each bolt or strut, meticulously added and balanced with the remainder of the piece, solidly anchors the paintings. Just seeing the switches and status lights within the pilot's cockpit awes -- and makes one long for liftoff.

Stephen John Smith

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