I've been meaning to write this post for two days. Unfortunately, a barometer-induced migraine intervened and I've spent many hours with an ice pack and pain medication in a dark room instead.
Early Monday afternoon the mailman brought me a great surprise: a well-packed, stiff envelope from Ireland.
Yes, I said Ireland.
After months of back and forth e-mails (mostly from me apologizing for real life getting in the way of PayPal payments), Jay Penn relinquished two of his babies to my care on October 19th. I was surprised to get them so quickly, to be honest. Only three days in transit from Ireland to The Stronghold? Really?
Somehow I doubt it was the doing of the USPS.
But I digress. For those of you not familiar with Jay Penn's work, well, first of all: SHAME ON YOU!! But second of all, Jay Penn is known for, besides other things, giving pictorial life to the pages of Loviatar by Christian, which I may have discussed here on occasion.
Realms of Faerie. He was in the midst of a "31 Day Drawing Challenge" project. It just so happened that the day I visited his particular picture just clicked with me. I had to have it. As I said above: after several months of e-mails back and forth, it arrived on Monday in perfect condition (something I was really truthfully worried about) and ready for framing (if I can find a suitable frame and a reasonable professional to help me do it right). I think it'll look great in my study.
I don't know exactly why, but it spoke to me. I'm not well-versed in artistic theory; if you must know, when it comes to art, I somewhat ascribe to the theory put forth by Justice Potter Stewart when describing pronography: I know it when I see it. In other words, I know what I like when I see it. I generally like watercolors. And there's something about the "twist" of the giant figure overlooking the serene farm and under the watchful eye (or not-so watchful eye in this case) of the manor house on the hill. It all looks so "normal" until your eye falls upon the hazy giant figure.
Jay decided to offer for sale a limited run of prints of his cover art for Loviatar #9: a fellow named Morgan Stringman, who certainly seems more than capable of taking care of himself. See for yourself. And pick one up for yourself while they last!
So I picked one of those up as well. I love the fine line-work and the action suggested by the drawing, not to mention the details. The attraction was helped by the fact that, over the years, I also have had several rangers amongst my players. Those characters share a soft spot in my heart; one of them even looks a bit like Morgan. This one is going to look terrific hanging on my study wall too. I can hardly wait.
I can't say enough about Jay and his artwork. I'm a big fan; it's simplistic, I know, but it's true. I think he's summed up best by Christian's words: Someone needs to come along and take Jay Penn away from Loviatar. He's too damn good to be illustrating this humble rag. His work should be on the shelves of a FLGS and he should be signing copies of his work at GenCon.
I wholeheartedly agree: he's good. Very good. (But please, Jay, don't leave Loviatar!) I'm just proud to say, "I own a couple of Jay Penns." And thanks, Jay, for trusting me with these two of your children. I'm honored.
Check him out. You won't be disappointed.