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© Jonathan Atkinson, 2013 gutenberg Copyright Hand Crafted in the U.S.A.
1st of January

Ralph McQuarrie



Ralph McQuarrie’s art must look familiar to generations of movie goers, his work featured in Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica and a slew of sci-fi flicks. He was a conceptual artist, and past away this year in March at the age of 83. He left behind a legacy of fantastic moonscapes, robots, and epic futuristic space stations.

McQuarrie started off drawing teeth and aeroplane parts for a dentistry firm and Boeing respectively, and created posters for the Apollo Space Program. His technical illustration ended up catching the eye of George Lucas, who commissioned him to create conceptual art work for his new film, Starwars.

“McQuarrie designed many of the film’s characters, including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO and drew many concepts for the film’s sets. It was McQuarrie who suggested that Vader wear breathing apparatus. McQuarrie’s concept paintings, including such scenes as R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving on Tatooine, helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Star Wars, which became a huge success upon release in 1977.Neil Kendricks of The San Diego Union-Tribune stated McQuarrie “holds a unique position when it comes to defining much of the look of the “Star Wars” universe.”McQuarrie noted, “I thought I had the best job that an artist ever had on a film, and I had never worked on a feature film before. [...] I still get fan mail — people wondering if I worked on Episode I or just wanting to have my autograph.” source

His work carved out a particular style within the sci-fi-fantasy genre, creating landscapes and worlds that one could really imagine inhabiting, vast alien vistas receding into the distance, populated with characters that, brought into our lives through cinema, feel like old friends.

“Ralph McQuarrie’s life can be clearly divided into two distinct sections: before Star Wars, he was an industrious, skilled, virtually unknown technical illustrator; after Star Wars, he became the most sought after Production Illustrator ever to work in films.
A primary reason for this change, of course, has to do with the film’s unprecedented success. But, in a very real sense, Star Wars wouldn’t have been the film it was without McQuarrie. His eyes and hands were the first lenses through which Star Wars was focused and captured for Lucas’ inspection and refinement.” source

You can find out more, and see more of his art on his website.

29th of December

Stefan à Wengen


These are a few paintings from Stefan à Wengen, a Swiss artist based in Germany. His work is often times dark, mysterious, and I particularly love his “Occurrence” series, which I have presented here. The paintings make you ask questions, what happened? why? where? Your imagination spins off in a multitude of directions, fuelled by his landscapes and creatures, who seem furtive, perhaps trying to escape, flying off canvas, and creeping into shadows. The mood seems one of the hunter or hunted.

He includes an interesting interview in his website, an excerpt of which I have included here.

Where does your interest in night, darkness and desolation come from?
That is not an easy question! I try to answer;
I try to work with things I do not understand like death, sexuality and time. Since my childhood I am fascinated in things I tried to understand but nobody could explain me, for example where melancholy comes from, why do I have depressing days, why is alienation so alien, why is the night sometimes frightening and at the same time so beautiful and protective.
There is always light in the dark, there is always good in evil – or like Lautréamont once said: “Like Baudelaire, like Flaubert, he too believes that the aesthetic expression of evil implies the most vital appreciation of good, the highest morality.”
Or to tell it in an other way:
I always felt the idyll seems uncanny to me, the idyll of a fancy suburbia for example implies to me a great deal of violence to keep up the idyll as such, to keep up the atmosphere of this area, that suggests, that there is always Sunday. These things make me angry and are fascinating me at the same time.
There is no black or white, there is neither a grey, but there can be black and white… you know what I mean…
And doesn’t have everybody a dark side? Don’t we enjoy the execration sometimes – beside it helps to keep up our cardiovascular system?

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19th of December

Nicholas Lockyer


These are collage artworks by Nicholas Lockyer. The juxtaposition of the cut out elements create new and interesting forms, often organic, sprouting horns or scales. “(His) work explores the relationship between the saturation point of digitalization in today’s society, Trash Cinema and lowbrow ephemera culture that exists outside the digital world and the themes of primitivism, ritualism, mutation and attitudes towards death.” I find the collages repellent but also find myself taking a closer look, as the figures appear to morph from human to animal to growth, and then back. They are intriguing also in their painterly qualities, and although nightmarish, they resonate with the viewer, and their shattered appearance emphasises their dreamlike, hypnotic effect. Visit the artists website Paper Phantasm.

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7th of December

Kent Williams




Kent Williams
is an American artist painting in an incredibly expressive style. His works evoke shards and scenarios as if from some not quite remembered dream. The colour palette emphasising the soft focus, where figures emerge, blend and join in folds of paint. The artist has worked as a graphic novel illustrator, creating a number of covers for Hellblazer, and his paintings have been exhibited across North America, in various gallery shows.

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6th of December

Phil Hale


This is the work of Phil Hale. Mostly working in figurative art, his work received recognition through the National Portrait Gallery where he has been awarded various prizes. Initially working soley as an illustrator, he created work for a variety of publications in America, and apprenticed to Rick Berry. Isolated figures are often the subject of his paintings, with stark backgrounds, surreal landscapes, his figures sometimes oddly contorted. He was commissioned to paint the portrait of Tony Blair which hangs in Westminster. His work graces the covers of a mountain of books, including Penguin Classics, where he worked on covers for six Joseph Conrad stories including Heart of Darkness. Hale currently lives and works in London. His artwork has been compiled into 2 publications, including most recently – Goad.

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24th of November

Sergey Kolesov


These are the fantastic digital paintings of Sergey Kolesov. He creates concept work for film and games, and you can watch some of his progress paintings here. The depth of his work draws you right into his scenes, atmospheric and ethereal. Enjoy!


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