Jeff Vandermeer and Matt Staggs‘ web pages are diverting me away from education per se as a theme for this blog and into literature, especially of the speculative or fantastic kind.

Having just re-read the Lyonesse series, which seems to get better each time, I thought I would search to see if the cover artist, Mick van Houten, had a web-page.

He does and it is great. Particularly interesting are the photographs he prints. To me his work captures a quality in the landscape and air that you find in certain places. Scotland, Northern California, Galicia. The art may be fantastic but it works because it feels solid and real.

Then

Now

And he painted what is probably my favourite cover image of all time, and an awesome book too – Always Coming Home by Ursula Le Guin. I must have spent hours staring at it over the years, and I took my just bought copy on a family trip to the Western Isles, to Scalpay, when I was a teenager, still the most beautiful place I have been. Perhaps that is why I connect the landscapes together in my mind, though I guess on the face of it they don’t have a lot in common – it’s something underneath.

Prints can be ordered from the artist here.
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