The valley of the Anchorites

 

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PS. The Table building is too ready to commence, with half a dozen incredible vignettes to Terra as inspiration. I’m immensely excited even if I have two major logistical hurdles to sort out.

Migs

50 thoughts on “The valley of the Anchorites

  1. Lost for words. This is so beautiful.

    It actually makes me sad that this style of art is now totally absent from GW’s publications. It feels partly like a look back to a lost golden age and partly like a vision of what might have been, had the current generation of artists been told to build on, not cast aside the past.

    Mr Thistle, you are a genius sir!

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    1. Can’t help but wish the current generation can catch up at some point. 2002-2012 was the golden decade in my opinion. Now we are just chasing the potential that wasn’t fully exploited then.

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    2. Totally agree! Personal goal is to make this project a bridge of sort from GW’s and Thistle’s incredible work and history to future. We, the “hobbyists” and artists have all this incredible material to draw from and can help keep the soul of Warhammer 40000 alive and well.

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  2. They weren’t told to cast anything aside – digital became a way of meeting schedules and people are genererally enamoured with full modelled art as opposed to what I consider to be illustration and of a style which is old fashioned ……….

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    1. I understand why they moved style. Firstly, hiring people. You want a job as a concept artist, illustration artist etc, you are either 2d and use PS or 3d and use max, zbrush, vray etc. People using real mediums are a dying breed due to the industry changing. People want amends, alterations, multiple version ect so you have to go the digital route. When you go the digital route you have new options. Wow, look, we have CAD data for all our models, we can make accurate 3d renders of our models and paint over the top, artwork in now quicker, more accurate and consistent across various artists. This is what a corporation wants, consistency and replaceable artists that can follow a style.

      Downside?

      It looks the same as what everyone else is doing. It looks the same full stop. You cant spot a JB, from a Mark Gibbons from an Adrian Smith from a Karl Kopinski any more. You now just have generic looking GW artwork number 1,2,3,4,5. Maybe this is what younger people want now though. We are now all old hobbyists. We spend x am mount and keep the wheel turning. GW want NEW blood and know the old blood are not going anywhere.

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      1. To me it is not that digital is bad. People can do incredible art with it. A lot of the more traditional artist could too I am sure. Much of the art in the current 40k books is simply not as good as what it had been in the past (my opinion). The scale and proportions are widely off in a lot of cases, making the art look more comical. I wrote something about this looking at the new Dark Angels codex (http://betweenthebolterandme.blogspot.com/2015/06/codex-dark-angels-look-at-artwork.html). Ultimately I think it has a lot more to do with the rapid pace of book releases, rather than lack of talent. The arts GW employs clearly have a lot of that, but if you need to complete a few pieces in a really short time, some pieces are bound to suffer.

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      2. Your article was a great documentation of the darkest hour. I think in that case it’s a massive lack of talent. There are real highlights too. The Harlequin book is full of stunning digital art where the new medium in my opinion surpasses the old in its genre. JB will be utterly irreplaceable , the difference of his raw creation and art and the profound brilliant impact of how it drives everything most important is a very very different thing to illustrations. We all adore our Daintons and Kopinskis because they brought to life these worlds at stunning drama and scale and impact. JB and select others created them. Finding the next gen creators and some how preventing DA Codex not ever happening again are two different but extremely important things for the future of the company. And I know it can be tough to hear these responses in Nottingham, but people really care for the company and that is priceless.

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    2. I think I’m probably just old fashioned then, but I used to love buying GW books and seeing old favourite illustrations were still there and also being delighted to see a new John Blanche had found its way in. I also miss black and white. What was wrong with gorgeous, evocative B&W illustration? Man, I sound old … 🙂

      Anyway Thistle, my intention wasn’t to slag off GW but to praise you and the other artists who first kindled my love of 40k. I may be suffering from a massive dose of nostalgia, but I do think things were better back then.

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    3. I started to wander onto this on the wayne england post, to my mind irreverently and wrongly and thought I’d put my personal two penn’orth here. I’m no artist and my remarks on that post were too soft, I think, on digital art, this is the picture-viewers take:To be brutally honest I should say that only traditional techniques as used by thistle and kari have merit in my eyes… youre method to which I have given the name gothicke expressionissme… the perfect means of illuminating the dark millenium. It will always be my favourite and it is these images which populate my minde…

      Digital art invariably leaves me cold. Never should have been introduced. I do half believe that, I would totally believe it, nice and simple, if it were not for a certain highly talented (and, in jest, highly annoying for the armchair theorist who likes everything to fall into neat categories) Scandinavian. Marcus is a sort of computer-whisperer who can produce something very close to gothicke expressionismme through digital means. How, when no-one else I know of can, I do not know…

      Mr England is a terrible losse, thistle will be a terrible loss, but for nowe we have the glorie and the foulness of the vallie of the anchorites.

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      1. Forgive me if this is a bout of the scruples… I regret posting this… cruel + disparaging the digitalle medium — marcus himself shows that beautiful worke can be done tho’ his example makes the bad ‘uns all the worse… ’tis not the medium but the technique, I think… I’ll leave my opinion as I put it on the wayne post… sorry for bother…

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      2. It is a bout of bloody scruples, please ignore the last two posts and someone delete them… must take more valium or more brandy 😉

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      3. Bothered that it is offensive again… please forgive me, I’ll keep off the point and confine myselfe to the wonderful art… thanks for tolerating these rashes of apologies and worries from a mentally rather unstable young man.

        PG

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  3. Beautiful and evocative – a wonderful example of a rich and nuanced illustrative style from a more civilised age – a golden time of analogue processes and unbridled creativity.

    Thank you for sharing this Migs, and to you Thistle for another wonderful piece, and for the many years of joy – long may it continue.

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  4. Interesting comments, I feel as though what you guys are doing here is a kind of ‘splinter’ hobby, a niche within a niche, not really part of the same hobby as mainstream GW, not even comparable any more. It just happens to share the same pool of original inspiration (courtesy Mr.B) and the same pool of miniatures, but you’ve gone off in a separate and for me much more interesting direction.

    The new digital artwork is fantastic in its own way, but it’s just different, serves a different purpose. It’s much more commercial. There’s always going to be friction between the commercial requirements of the business and the hobby/art side. Let’s face it, small narrative driven ‘Inquisimunda’ type games is never going to sell many miniatures. Although… judging by the number of ‘bits’ in your conversions and the obscure sources they come from, there’s probably quite an investment in each converted mini, ha!

    What I do like about these ‘organic’ illustrations using traditional materials is that sense of depth, mystery, murkiness,… in the old codexes/codices, it was always the stuff ‘between the lines’ that inspired, those stories in breakout boxes, those little graphic touches at the edges, those illustrations that spoke volumes about what lies behind and beyond.

    Anyway, sorry I’m waffling now. P.S. Today’s piece is particularly inspired!

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  5. Beautiful! Now that’s a crow’s nest.

    I love how the skull feels very much like a real skull, all thin crumbling layers of hollow bone. Maybe there’s a division on Terra that vat-grows enormous disembodied human heads solely for the ornamental skull harvest. Or these huge skulls are actually realistic golden sculptures, capturing the specific decay and fragility of a particular saint’s treasured skull.

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  6. Fantastic and awe-inspiring. The light and smoke emanating from the skull is so cool.
    I need to apply that mechanical, mockingly realistic/naturalistic, crabclaw to one of my minis.
    so rad!

    Anyways. regarding art. I have to say I feel a bit peeved each time I hear that the medium I’ve tried to master for most of my adult life is “not real”, as opposed to pen and paper. But anyway.

    The problem with todays (a sentence that starts like that is awful I know) GW art is, that the artist put little or no personality into the works.
    Why is that? Well as somebody working as a freelance 2d digital artist it’s simple. Paint as company standard or nobody will hire you.

    We don’t take time to develop a strong personal style because we spend our hours studying reality. Exact anatomy, exact nature, full reference no thoughts. Nature is beauty and above all else, while expressionism will not get you any gigs.

    (expressionism CAN get you gigs, but in my experience they’re rare. If you wanna survive you need a “style” that can work for Mtg cards, marvel covers and battlefield menuscreens. You need a big net to survive.)

    In time of course when you “master” painting reality you will be able to invent a stronger personal style, that is still commercially viable. Your grasp of nature will shine through and get you gigs, and your personality will hook the populace.
    But this hasn’t happened yet for a 23-year-old guy straight out of college. It takes time.

    But the remedy would not be to have a legion of new artist copy the glorious art of Blanche. Personally I feel that the act of such copying would mean the death of what Blanche’s unique works means to us.

    The remedy could instead be to hire a dude that’s grasped reality, a digital veteran. Someone with wisdom and experience that has turned his art into something personal.

    A suggestion would be Jeff Simpson( http://jeffsimpsonkh.tumblr.com/ )

    my two cents.

    cheers

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    1. Marcus, I see your point, that’s a pretty bleak excuse for creating art though. It applies in every industry. This is were GW could be different. They had guys in house. And had super stars. Guys who have found their own voice!! There is no reason to settle for what everyone else does or guys who just need a gig. Not when the art and miniatures are your business and soul as a company.

      Great discussion that followed all of us seeing work that resonates with us. I obviously have a ton of passion for this and there is no right or wrong necessarily, just what I believe as a professional who never settled to get a gig and it worked out quite well.

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      1. Migs!
        I think I may have come of a bit bleak and dull yea. I don’t want to sound like “I’ve figured everything out”. Im a beginner in the business.
        I’m speaking from personal experiences that are about as dull and bleak as my comment:)
        Art as business is a conundrum that I can’t grasp my mind around right now. I reserve my most personal paintings and sculpturing for my free time. In time they might merge.

        Yeah I would probably see In-house-artists as a perfect solution. an undisposable elite.
        Maybe if you know where your next paychecks will come from and feel a security in that. While at the same time feel you’re working with people who have chosen you for your way of expression, you’ll produce art in a pure personal form.
        I’ve never had a steady job in my entire life so I wouldn’t know for sure, but it’s like that in my dreams:)

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  7. Love it – the skull obviously is wonderful, the little scarecrow is an excellent touch but it’s the crowd that really makes it for me, the seething mass of humanity that makes me feel I’m really drawing close to the heart of the Imperium. I just love that someone has an umbrella, that detail brought a huge smile to my face when I spotted it.

    Enjoying the discussion on art as well, good to see that so many of us are so passionate about it (although that shouldn’t really surprise me – we are all artists after all). Personally I love digital art (and although everyone is entitled to an opinion I do want to scream when people say it automatically has no soul, as though evil gremlins inside computers steal passion and originality by some arcane means).
    I think what’s more important is the depths of creativity, the little hidden glimpses of things left unexplained, the way the viewer can be guided into having their own ideas. This is true of the fiction as well – it’s not enough to simply say ‘this is how things are, these are the facts’. It’s what I don’t know that makes the Warhammer universes compelling, I enjoy the mystery. It tugs at our human compulsion to know more and marries it neatly to our fear of the dark. We, the viewers, feeling ourselves connected to the human characters that populate these worlds, want to peek out of our hovels in some grim, industrial hive, but dare not stray too far for fear of what we might glimpse out there.
    Thus I don’t want another JB (more art yes, but keep the clone on ice for now), I want more unique voices, more creative people with exciting, compelling things to say and show us.

    Migs made a great point above: We, the “hobbyists” and artists have all this incredible material to draw from and can help keep the soul of Warhammer/40k alive and well.
    To me this is the key thing – we cannot expect GW to spoon-feed us ‘soul’. Their role in this relationship is to create miniatures – something they can do far better, and far faster, than any of us ever will alone. They are the meat and bones of the creature, we – the hobbyists – are its spirit. It’s up to us whether this intangible, creative ‘spirit’ at the heart of these worlds lives, these are our models, our pictures, our stories, our games. The moment we’ve handed our money over to GW and taken our models home it’s up to us what we do with them. So long as we’re out there creating and converting the soul will continue to be healthy.
    I will take my pretentiousness back to my corner now!

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  8. Well said mr gast – don’t know what the clone is tho – I don’t know when the next one will pop up – just happens – exploring potential – working from an emotional view point – it’s a voyage of discovery as I do not set out to make any particular visual statement just exploring terra with a pen – these are all very fast pieces of work and kind of occupies a place in mi head as being a sketch – however who needs catagories ……..

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  9. I only look at thistle’s art and his pilgrymme congeners… to my mind only he captures the Darke Millenniumme, wudugast’s squalid, filthy, serf wrapped in rags, rotten-footed, a gangrenous leg paining him, peering blearily out of his foetid hovel while stinking water leaks through the roof, faith and pain and ignorance, utter ignorance, we need the darke places, the unknown places, for the fortie-firste millenniumme is a time where so much has been forgotten — the librarian does not know what is in even one rancid hall of rotting vellum as he huddles around a flickering light-globe and burns the knowledge of three great scholars to keep warm…, the Mechanicvmme anointing, censing, pleading and wailing before an ancient piece of technologie they do not halfe understand, a god slowly dying as his mechanical bodie fails, his silvery psychic death-choir falling sildent, the machine-forests growing wilder and stranger as the priestehoode withdraws and the long darke descends … when thistle dies the fortie-firste millenniumme will never have another master-illuminator.

    I never read the modern fluff, never read the BL stories… all too modern, all too sleek and ‘heroic’ for me — a certain poet said ”let them be left, wildness and wet, long live the weeds and the wilderness yet” — let the filth and squalor, the incense-misted shadows, the creeping dark of ignorance and forgetfulness never be forgotten…

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    1. Here’s the full quote:

      What would the world be, once bereft
      Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
      O let them be left, wildness and wet;
      Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

      Longe live the darkenesse and shadow and strangeness, the decay and splendour, the grandeur and rot of the Dark Milleniumm.

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    1. He puts things very well, doesn’t he (Wudugast)… sorry about the hopkins quote if it was too much but it reminded me of how the ‘nasty’, not the ‘heroic’ makes 40k…

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      1. Quite a compliment coming from the master of the in-depth analysis (Mr Gray) and thanks also to yourself Mike! As for Mr Hopkins, I’ll admit I’d never come across his work before (I’m not really one for poetry) but those lines really struck a cord with me, particularly in establishing a connection I’d not been aware of between the 41st millennium and my personal philosophies on life. Long live the weeds and wilderness indeed!

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      2. *Deep bow* The names I get on this place will inflate my head until I float! ‘Sirred’ and bravoed by John Blanche, for goodness sake! I’m now ‘the master of the in-depth analysis’!!!! — all deeply flattering but good grief mates, I’m not as good as all that!

        The honour is all the artists’, my role in the hobby is vicarious or at best symbiotic — I’m no artist at all – I just comment, drag up bits and pieces from my wide smattering of reading and try to do justice to the master-illuminator ioannes albus himselffe and most of all to the Darke Millenniumme itselfe… that world of squalor, paine, pietie, splendour, rotte and decaye and ever presente deathe glorious holie sanctified deathe … ignorance and forgetfulness, damp, rot and rust, the darknesse advancing in the rotting and stinking halles of terra…

        This I say so often, but so few see it, drawe it, paint it as it is in Thistle’s pieces and it lives in my mind now — bleared eyes, twisted bodies, skin pocked and blistered, clothes filthy, the nobilitae plastered in powder and ‘beauty spots’ to hide the pustules ande pockmarks (his Necromunda sketches in Emperor’s will show a twisted, agonised, pustuled officer or noble… so are they all, I thinke, lousy wigs over greasy hair, augmetics incense hiding the stench of rot and decay… famine, suffering, disease, agonie and deathe no heroes, no heroism, save the heroism of the saintes which is suffering…

        ‘Space travel’ is literally to enter hell…. a ritualle, no-one, not the mechanicvmme, understands or can make technologie save by following ancient ritualles where not one action is understood — pleading, wailinge, begging, prayer and scourginge in the vaste citie-cathedrale-shippes, the groping of the navigator in hell itself, a gellar field is not understood, it’s another ritualle to pull a certaine lever — many shippes are loste. Communication is by the halfe-madde astropaths, shuddering and screaming, an half-insane priestehoode of holie soule-slaves bounde to their god-master.

        the golde in the chapelles blackened with incense smoke… the emperor on terra a far name, distant, myth-lyke, but murmured by ten billion billion blistered lips… grinding toil, suffering, ignorance, no imperial citizen knows aught of chaos, or the astartes, or xenos, or aught but ancient ritual and the labour, grinding hard, of his guilde or in the offices of the administratum and ecclesiarchy.

        All said before but it all came streaming back at me as I tried to think what it was…

        I’m not a great reader of poetry… I learnt that one out of an anthology I had when I was a little boy I think… Father Hopkins had what my father would call a way with words… it seemed to fit.

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  10. What I would give… (an arme, a legge, a substantial brybe in best Hospitallier tradition…) to see those vignettes of Terra and comment on them!

    This is my interpretation of the ”Vale of the Anchorytes” as I Old-Englished it:

    The spyres and basilicas are closer yet, the celestialle staire, slicke with bloode, has been climbed on broken knees (or the lesse pious nobilitie can buye a sinne-bearer, who is tolde their sins and makes the ascent for them while they sweepe up in glorie), robes already greasy, filthy and ragged stained black with blood… incense filles the air, the great golden domes of the basilicae seem so close as the pilgrymmes pass through great arches and into the anchorytes vale. Yet as we see them closer their delapidation strikes us just as stronglie as their glory — gold-red-umber on the highest domes with only glints of the purer colour as the gilt has long been peeling and cracking away, the decay of millennia as wrought on the, the gold itself is as ever sickly and rotten-looking

    A thick fume of incense hangs over the moving pilgrymmes, figures barely visible in the play of light and incense and the dirty golden walls… priestes with banners, hollow-eyed faces (or are they masked?) shamblinge wretched figures with their hoods cast over their faces, hiding their sinnes from the brighte glorie of the Godde-Emperor.

    As the vaste pilgrymme-thronges of terra stream upwards towards the basilicae they pass through the vale of the anchorytes… a grove of holie marble trees (I thinke these can be seen in the Celestialle Stair and I misinterpreted them as statues of saints), these anchorytes (from the greek anachoreo, to retire) have withdrawne from the worlde to serve the godde-emperor, the carcase-god of terra, for the remainder of their lives…

    Interestingly, they are not ‘withdrawne’ at alle — on the high pillars all may see them and each plays a musical instrument or screams penance in a cracked voice (from right to left we have cymbals, I think the second preaches penance with a skull-topped staff, a third blows a trumpet and in the nearest neste, one plays a bone flute (I fancie fashioned out of an old occupante…) and another bangs on a drumme… a wailing wretched chorus of penance! penance! do ye as we do, do ye penance!

    The pillars remind me of St Simeon Stylites… the nests on the top remind me both of the Oratorian term for a cell (”nido”, nest) and of the Imperial aquila, foetid and disgusting from the long dwelling of their occupants, full of shitte* and sweate and pisse* and bloode from their scourginges, their robes utterly filthy and I imagine below our sight clotted with this unmentionable stuff. The robes of the nearest pair are black, embroidered a little in white with a whitey-grey greasy foul look to them, the skin is pallid, twisted, wretched, necrotic figures surrounded by filthe, another image of the carcase-god. When they die of inevitable starvation, the carrion-birds picke them clean and the bones are made into a memento mori, to reminde all who passe that they too will die… a frame holding a ragged prayer.

    Meanwhile, a vaste thronge of pilgrymmes pass through the goldene halls…Maybe on the largest pillare, the skulle belches incense but I wonder if the down-going tubes eject some of the waste and so a more well-to-do pilgrymme ladie has put up her parasolle to protect herself from the falling filth… the others have their robes splattered with pisse and worse… The incense hides the stench of both pilgrymme and the anchorites foetid nests just as it hides the rot of the Emperor.

    The vast skulle itself, a huge memento mori, an image of the carrion-god and the inevitability of deathe and judgement on this holie temple-charnel world. The suggestion of either a vast golden relic wrought to resemble a saint’s skull even in its decaye or a special vat-growne skulle are fascinationg — I imagine foetuses born again and again to an order of semi-nunnes (whom I call the Sisters Gravidissime – celibacie being waived, of course) whose offspring are genetically modified to be grossly macrocephalic, sustained in ichor in chambers of glasse until the skulles are large enough, then theye are killed and the skull flensed and taken… a truly lovely fate… a life entirely for the God-Emperor…. a lyfe of sufferinge bothe for mother and for child so fittinge in this millenium of agonie and pietie.

    Either may be a source of the skulles but a close examination of Laurence’s skull reveals presumably useless jointed legs and mechanical claws… I wonder, as more and more is forgotten, if the priestehoode did not finde some ancient repair-skulle of the sort so often seene about terra, purpose forgotten and hauled it with muche labour and manie deathes to sit on a pillar as a shrine-home for some of its most zealous adepts…

    This hypothesisse fails to explain the birde’s skulls lining the skull, the appearance of the first neste as almost fur-like and the wires or tubes running to it. It is possible that the birds are those released from the chapells, caught, killed (and surreptitiously eatene by less zealous brethren…). It is equally possible that the fur-lining might indicate it was once a pulpitte or to make a goode impression on the pilgrymmes. Likewise the tubes may merely support it.

    It is also very possible that the anchorytes are utterly corrupt, that they sit in fur because it is comfortable and luxurious (though still shitte-stained and filthy, the tubes cannot drain it alle away and they will scourge themselves extremely visiblie morning and night…) the tubes bring them nutriment (with a birde or two to savour reale fleshe…) and merely appear holie in old robes — the odd mirror-like attachment to the skull suggestes this as if they want to looke down every now and again and see how holie they are.

    The great pillar we see is cracked, the arches of the finial of the column recalling another layer of broken empty tooth-sockets. The crackes are interesting both literally — yet another signe of the long decay of terra — and symbolically… the imperium is cracking, tottering as the throne fails and the astronomican with it and as terra, to my mind, follows the emperor and is moulded round his psychic presence it will decaye more and more… in the best tradition of mediaeval vanitas if the anchorytes are fraudes their worldly gains, shamming on the pilgrymmes, only raise them on a rickety pillar as there will b a reckoning for their hypocrisy after their deathe…

    Wretched figures of filthe, paine, devotionne and deathe… another glance at the squalid, glorious, grand and rotten temple planete… Hats off to the master-illuminator himself.

    Please forgive the length of the piece. I hope it is well received.

    * I dislike swearing and only use these older words (both from Old English from Proto-Germanic and from Vulgar Latin) because they seem to fit the gothick world of 40k better than the latinate/educated sounding excrement and urine…

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    1. PS: I’m in error on the second pillar — it seems to have a hunched figure or a shrine and a skeleton-scarecrow — makes me think of my ‘roadside shrine’ interpretation on the botanicariumme. The observant will notice another smaller skull inside the socket of the larger — is he a vanitas on a vanitas, a reminder that terra the citie planete of deathe and reverence of deathe is mortal and indeed will sooner or later die unless the throne is restored or the Emperor rises from it?

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      1. Thanke you… and how did it come to be there? does it serve, perhaps, to prevent a former occupant from fallinge? A symbol, and if so of what…?

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      2. A… a pun on anchor, anchorite… one who is tied by vowe to a certain place and a thing which ties a shippe to a certain place.. thank you.

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  11. Bravo mr grey – wish I could do that and especially know some real Latin – well put sir – you seem to see inside mi images or maybe see inside mi mynd – that’s scary – wunnerfull is sleep and his brother deathe …..

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  12. Hi,
    Again a great piece! Im currently more exited for the terrain than the miniatures to come.

    But regarding the art discussion: I’m not shure but isn’t John Blanche GWs Art Director? Wouldn’t that make him kind of responsable for GWs decisions considering new Illustrators and the overall style?
    I hope this has not been mentioned yet! I haven’t read all yet that has been written here.

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    1. used to be but not for past 3 or 4 years – 67 now and in semi retirement – the part tyme is spent doing doing miniatures concepts within the sculpting studio – the artists work within the publishing studio …..

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      1. Ok, thanks. The wikipedia article is not clear at that point.
        For me, when I startet playing Warhammer at 12 or so, I didn’t like JBs work. I just thought: this guy can’t draw! I liked Mark Gibbons most. It took years until I saw how much he captures in his pictures. How important he is for the whole thing.
        Now I have a signed JB print hanging on my wall and I’m an Illustrator myself, but I still don’t understand this guys way of drawing. Its real art, no doubt about it.

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  13. if only JB were on the site, I’m sure he would be really flattered! 🙂 i must admit it took me a while before I ‘got’ it, but once you have, you’re a fan.

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  14. thanks chaps kind words – the sketchie stuff was really never intended for publication – just go for the teeth in an emotional wave and care not for draughtsmanship – they got printed at least some of them , anyway – the SOB codex cover is a much more considered style of art but takes ho so long – latest stuff some of which are somewhere in this blog are called voodoo forest and are painstakingly penned – mi first name is laurence bi the way …….JB

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    1. Laurence John Blanche… that I never knew… the Sisters of Battle cover is wonderful… as are the voodoo forest pieces… juste sublime. I imagine them as showinge glimpses of the forest-cathedrals of the crataegus fragmentumme. The trees transformed into the shape of beestes… the darke genius of the lost mechanicvmme, toilinge for generation beyond count, a rotting deathe-flora yet bursting with sicklie life.

      I shall try to give them all the Patricke Greye treatment if you would care for them… I actually mean to give myself the pleasure of commenting on all your pictures but enough from me.

      That remids me of a question I meant to raise. In the Brossten Haggwers painting, the Botanicariumme and in the first voodoo forest on iron sleete the tree has always the same shape, a broad trunke and a sort of sinuous ‘s’ shape… I am faintly aware of lynes of beautie and other concepts in arte, so is there some analogous reason? Breughel beggars… Dore provides the hospitalliers foetid denne… perhaps another inspiration? Or a pure JB creationne… a strange twisted bole for a strange millenniumme.

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  15. oh its just an acer in mi front garden – compositionally that arabesque curve creates movement but also provides a template for controlling the composition within a small picture frame – i tend to draw small becuse i work fast and want to put out as many ideas as i can – i see illustrations these days as series not as singular intities – in mi mynds eye theyre all books – world building – voodoo forest is a series of twenty and at the book binders now – not for sale tho ….

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    1. Thank you — terra is certainly a series that ought to be bound up… visions, or dreams, or drawings, or metaphors and allegories of the temple-world, the cathedral-world, the charnel-world, the gilded carcase of the Imperiumme, its rotting heart and dying lighte… all seems to pull together and I see the wailing anchorites in their shitte-stained robes, the regal yet greasy and necrotic priestes, processions of powdered and perfumed cardinalles to hide the pustules and million on million of pilgrymmes march through my mind, a greate funeralle processione, an obsequy that will never end for the dying and deatheless god…

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      1. P.S. the insighte into composition is fascinating as illustration is an utterly alien field — ham-fisted, I am… I confesse I envy the manne who can see thistle’s bookes and sketches.

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