Q:Have you ever experimented with animation, Mr. Whelan? When I look at your incredible paintings, and me being a fan of animation (the classics, such as the early Warner Bros, the original Walt Disney team, and many more) I cannot help but think, had animation in America matured beyond it's comedic roots, I would have hoped animation would have the look and finesse that is represented by your fine style. :)
Thanks for the compliments. Actually, while I was attending Art Center in LA I visited Disney Studios for an interview, but it never led to anything. Soon afterwards I was receiving offers for book cover assignments – which is what I had wanted to do in the first place anyway – so I didn’t feel bad about how things turned out. In retrospect I don’t think Disney would have given me the freedom I’ve come to relish in my illustration career, so I am content. :-)
Thanks again for your comments.
HOPE (1997) by Michael Whelan
Acrylic on Watercolor Board - 13” x 10”
I feel now that they are reflections upon the transient nature of reality and the fragility of life. Ideal figures carved from stone, even they are subject to age, accident, and injury… yet the worn stone will eventually weather into soil and become reborn as plants, trees, life. So there is resurrection of a sort, even for angels of stone.
FORTITUDE (1997) by Michael Whelan
Acrylic on Watercolor Board - 9” x 12”
I got to thinking of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character John Carter of Mars….whenever it looked like the odds were hopeless and he had no options, his response was a defiant, “I still live!” As in all of the works in this series there are ammonite fossils, though this time they represent an island in turbulent seas. I know there is some symbolic significance as to why he is holding an uprooted tree, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it is…
MUTANT HUNTER Q AND A
Michael Whelan is a legend in the field of illustration, the only living artist inducted in the SF Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, his cover for A MEMORY OF LIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and he just completed another blockbuster in Sanderson’s […] http://dlvr.it/3pKTM3
Michael Whelan is a legend in the field of illustration, the only living artist inducted in the SF Hall of Fame.
This is an interview with Michael Whelan that I posted on IO9 earlier today.
Update on three new Mutant Hunter projects. Includes an excerpt for THE SKIN BAGS, which should be out this month on Amazon.
HIGHGATE MIST (2010) by Michael Whelan
Acrylic - 10” x 8”
Looking for sketching subjects, I started to seek out sculptures of angels and enjoyed using them as models. Not knowing why they particularly attracted me, I guess you could say I went ahead and painted them on faith, knowing that the deeper meaning would become more apparent to me as time went on.