jim has been invited to participate in dragon.con this year. you may or may not know it, but it’s a tiny little science fiction – fantasy meet and greet that’s held in atlanta every year. this year it will be spread out all over downtown, and they’re expecting 40,000+ paying customers to walk thru their doors.
we’ve never done dragon.con. the closest we got was being invited to show jim’s admittedly pre-modern way with egg tempera at a society for creative anachronism festival a few years ago. it was great, he got to dress in medieval costume. i should post a picture.
in the fall of last year, jim happened to be in kerry, the west coast of ireland. and his host kindly showed him thru the black valley and the gap of dunloe, two of the most scenic spots on this planet. and he fell in love with the place. it’s all post-glacial, with huge boulders in the middle of bog fields, cute-as-buttons waterfalls, dark and craggy mountainsides, runnels of water glinting off the cliffs, quiet lakes draining one into the other all down the valley.
so we took loads o’pictures, and he started painting the landscape. now, jim doesn’t often do landscapes, he’s more a figure painter. but if you put in a figure, you can always put that figure into a scene. and this case, it worked the opposite way. here were all these powerful landscapes, and what to do?
so the first painting was of a sea serpent attacking a boatload of vikings in a lake in the black valley.
and then he found pictures of skellig michael, which is a tiny little rock a dozen miles from where i was staying in the back of beyond. and all of a sudden he decided that dragons lived there, and he’s done a bunch of skellig michael pictures now, each one reflecting the new things he’s been learning about the place.
these pictures are as much a catalog of what jim’s been up to for the last six months, as a reference for us to be able to figure out what to take to dragon.con. we’ve got to decide which originals, and which to make into prints. and we’ve got to be starting to make prints and get them ready, because dragon.con’s only a couple of months away, and we’re really excited to be involved.
we think it’s time enough for jim to have languished in fantasy obscurity. time for him to come out of the dungeon and blink in the light.