Inspiration: James Gurney

James Gurney has been selected among a prestigious group of only 35 illustrators to represent his generation in The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, by historian Walt Reed, the definitive history of American illustration. He has won three Hugo awards, The World Fantasy Award, together with many gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and Spectrum.

He is best known for carefully researched and imaginative paintings of dinosaurs, ancient cities, science fiction futures, and fantastic creatures. His illustration work has appeared primarily on paperback covers and in the pages of National Geographic.

I mean…c’mon….do you really need to read anymore to understand why James Gurney is inspiring? His work has that sort of timeless quality that is rare in art of all genres.


It both looks like something we may have grown up with, swooned over while under the blankets late at night with a flashlight, while reading stories of distant galaxies and far off lands…and at the same time, his work is very new, very much something you have never seen before. Whenj you looks closely, you realize it has a realness, an editorial quality that just smacks of realism the you never really saw in those bygone days under the covers.


His “plein air” landscapes defy description. Imagining, as an artist, ctreating thing this beautiful, on the fly, on site…?



I love his work. I think you will too.

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