The Art of John Harris Hardcover – 30 May 2014
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"This beautiful hardback features the artwork for many... classic SF stories a selection drawn from over 40 years worth of imagination." --Sci Fi Now
"Fantastic Sci-Fi art shows you a beautiful, bewildering future." - Wired.com
"Truly inspiring... This is not your average, generic science fiction fan artbook... What s featured in these pages is something altogether entirely different: gorgeous, dream-like imagery that s rich in detail and perfectly executed." --Imagine FX
"Harris is one of the most recognizable figures in SF art. This book is beautiful!" - Buzzfeed Community
"His new book provides a fantastic primer for that long and varied career, along with some great insight into his process." --The Verge
"The striking paintings and illustrations of English artist John Harris imagine a brightly colored, haunting world beyond Earth and even beyond the stars." --Flavorwire
"There s no need for any prior understanding of art to appreciate this collection, or indeed a love of sci-fi...The collection showcases Harris thirty plus year career, offering the reader a chance to admire the ambition and evolution of an artist. 9/10" --Starburst Magazine
"If you ve never come across John Harris work before or maybe you have but didn t recognise him specifically, then this book is going to be a real treat... A true Science Fiction artist." --SF Crowsnest
"The Art of John Harris, Beyond The Horizon is as beautiful as the images contained in it... One might consider this the definitive collection of John Harris work, except that, as this book shows, he s not slowing down a bit with his visions." --Tor.com (Greg Manchess)
"Epic stuff." --SFF World
"This is the perfect collection to adorn the coffee table of any science fiction fan." --Geek Art Gallery
"Do not miss this beautiful collection of timeless sci-fi artwork!" -- --Muggle Net
About the Author
John Harris is a British painter and illustrator, best known for working in the science fiction genre. His extraordinary paintings have been used on book covers for many science fiction authors, including Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Ben Bova, Orson Scott Card and Jack Vance.
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Due to its subject matter, it may be dismissed by those who are more interested in "traditional" subjects, those that prefer another variation on "The Bishops Garden", or those who collect the factory-produced pastoralism of Thomas Kinkaid. Harris's art, like science fiction itself, looks not to a fossilized past, but rather imagines terrors and wonders of what may come.
The works in this book cover a range of years and book cover illustrations for different authors, and reflect changes in Harris's own technique. There is a conspicuous lack of photoshop-ery, the originals being frequently oil on canvas and have a quality that CGI cannot yet seem to match. The book itself is oversized, the paper heavy and the images are usually full page. The images are of a style that is--to my mind--associated with the likes of Chris Foss, John Berkey, and Robert McCall. It is "painterly" in that the scenes are by no means photo-realistic, but every image can--if you take the time to examine it--pull you in with its depth and layers of detail, of stories to be told (regardless of whatever book they might have been commissioned for), of simple wide-eyed wonder. I don't often find or am so emotionally moved by imagery such as is in this collection, and very happy to have it near to hand.
His artwork is characterised by broad, sweeping, almost abstract layering of colour and carefully considered tone, the finer detailing picked out with minimal line-work or precise brushwork; his preparatory sketches are rendered in what appears to be a combination of chalk, charcoal and pastel and have a freedom that suggest on-the-spot studies made from the observation deck of some space craft or the plains of the alien world he happens to be touring. His more "finished" paintings show a truly masterful control of colour and are rendered with unashamed, honest brushwork - very much at odds with the prevailing trend for digital painting.
The book is very well illustrated throughout with a fine selection of both sketches and paintings accompanied by a fairly minimal text from the author. A useful website address is provided on page 160 to access three films on the artist.
This is a beautifully presented book; I received it as a Christmas present and it has never been far from my drawing board or coffee table since I got it - a really inspirational volume for anyone interested in good science fiction artwork and especially recommendable for budding artists.
I've seen a lot of sci-fi artbooks and nothing quite evokes the same kind of magical feeling that of a John Harris painting. I guess that's it, they have a very painterly feel to them as compared to digital paintings commonly seen nowadays. By painterly, I mean his masterly use of those hard and invisible edges. There are details where needed, and the less important bits are merely suggested. There's a very textural feel as he uses canvas, and it's wonderful to see how the colours work against the painting surface.
Looking at his paintings, it's as if John Harris is painting plein air, or in this case plein space, in outer space from some space station or studio. The colours, design, composition are wonderful. I feel that the sense of scale is being conveyed very well. And the large size of the book makes the artworks look more majestic as well. The book's a 160-page hardcover.
In addition to the sci-fi art, there's a section with paintings featuring an exotic location almost inspired by Asian architecture and his own imagination.
The commentary is basically John Harris talking about his thought process, and some background to the worlds he paintings.
This is a fantastic book.
Highly recommended to sci-fi art fans.
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