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Thread: Michael Whelan, Artist

  1. #51
    Donkey Thief Mike Beck is on a distinguished road Mike Beck's Avatar

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    I ended up going to the lecture! me and my buddy got there just in time on our way back from jersey.

    michael whelan is awesome, as i'm sure a lot of you already knew. it was great to hear him talk about his life and career. this is a guy who did it. he loves what he does, and he puts everything into it. i could've listened to him talk all day.

    we saw a lot of slides. from his earliest work to his most recent. and eventhough the guy was amazing in his earliest paintings, he just massively improves by his latest paintings. he's fricken amazing. he showed some of his Dark Tower work, but didn't have a whole lot of time to get into them too much. he had already gone over the 4:00 mark, and had to kind of speed through some of it.

    wizardsrainbow, i think i saw you there with your kids? i didn't remember exactly what you looked like, and definitely didn't have the balls to walk up to someone that might've been weirded out when i said, "hi, it's me mike, from the dark tower.com."

    anyway, it was great to be there. i really enjoyed the lecture!

  2. #52
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    I'd love to meet Whelan and listen to him give a talk like that. Thanks, Mike.
    "...that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little." ~ Ray Bradbury

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Beck View Post
    I ended up going to the lecture! me and my buddy got there just in time on our way back from jersey.

    michael whelan is awesome, as i'm sure a lot of you already knew. it was great to hear him talk about his life and career. this is a guy who did it. he loves what he does, and he puts everything into it. i could've listened to him talk all day.

    we saw a lot of slides. from his earliest work to his most recent. and eventhough the guy was amazing in his earliest paintings, he just massively improves by his latest paintings. he's fricken amazing. he showed some of his Dark Tower work, but didn't have a whole lot of time to get into them too much. he had already gone over the 4:00 mark, and had to kind of speed through some of it.

    wizardsrainbow, i think i saw you there with your kids? i didn't remember exactly what you looked like, and definitely didn't have the balls to walk up to someone that might've been weirded out when i said, "hi, it's me mike, from the dark tower.com."

    anyway, it was great to be there. i really enjoyed the lecture!
    Mike-
    Yes, I was there with my two sons. Man, you should have come up and introduced yourself! Man, I would have been flattered that you recognized me. Were you standing or sitting? You weren't the guy sitting in the first row were you?

    And for all you other Whelan fans out there....

    The room was set up for roughly 60-70 people and 140+ turned out according to Audrey and the Danbury library director. It was standing room only. Michael talked and showed slides for nearly 2 1/2 hours and held everyone's attention the entire time, even my two boys! He really did a fabulous job and you could tell just how passionate he was about his art. He sold lots and lots of signed prints after the show.

    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
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  4. #54
    Wizard of End-World wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow's Avatar

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    On to the exciting part for me. My boys and I were able to go back to the Whelan home after the show (later joined by my wife and daughter who had birthday parties that afternoon). My kids had never been to the house before so it was a real treat for them to see so many of the original paintings....so much more impressive in person and up close then off of reproduced images in books or on web sites. We simply had a lovely dinner party/evening together with Michael and Audrey and a few other close friends of theirs.

    At the end of dinner, Michael went to get the "surprise" he has been saving for me. He was cleaning out his files and came across a very very old preliminary Dark Tower sketch that he had done in charcoal. It was apparently the only one he had saved (for reasons he doesn't remember).

    It is a preliminary sketch of Roland by the water for the Temple of the Oracle painting (original now owned by carlosdetweiller) that he did for the 1st edition Gunslinger published in 1982, so the charcoal sketch is at least 25 years old. Here it is:


    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
    Luke : Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand
    .



  5. #55
    Wizard of End-World wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow's Avatar

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    And a close-up


    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
    Luke : Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand
    .



  6. #56
    Donkey Thief Mike Beck is on a distinguished road Mike Beck's Avatar

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    *is swelling with jealousy*

    you lucky..... man, that is really awesome. what a terrific gift!!

    i should have introduced myself. if we didn't have to rush out, i would have. and i probably would've exhausted my bank account trying to buy some of michael whelan's prints.


  7. #57
    Wizard of End-World wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow's Avatar

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    Mike-

    I am sure we will run into each other some day...given that we live in the same town!!


    Here is a picture (bad camera work by me) of the Temple of the Oracle in the Gunslinger book for comparison.


    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
    Luke : Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand
    .



  8. #58
    Hiiiiiiii. Spencer is on a distinguished road Spencer's Avatar

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    Holy WOW that's awesome!!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  9. #59
    Donkey Thief Mike Beck is on a distinguished road Mike Beck's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizardsrainbow View Post
    Mike-

    I am sure we will run into each other some day...given that we live in the same town!!


    Here is a picture (bad camera work by me) of the Temple of the Oracle in the Gunslinger book for comparison.

    oh you know it! fairfield isn't that big.

    do you know if mr. whelan does these lectures often?

  10. #60
    Roont Matt will become famous soon enough Matt's Avatar

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    This is simply...I don't have the words.

    I'm not sure I could think of anything cooler as far as illustrations are concerned. Congrats Wiz, what a wonderful thing.
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  11. #61
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    You're welcome. I am really over the moon about it.

    Michael did show me the pencil sketches he did for the upcoming Little Sisters/Gunslinger book and they are AWESOME! I just hope the book sees the light of day sometime soon!

    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
    Luke : Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand
    .



  12. #62
    Wizard of End-World wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow has much to be proud of wizardsrainbow's Avatar

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    I was told this was the third such "show" Michael has done. The director of the Danbury public library is a long long long time friend of Michael's, so I know Michael did a similar talk in the past in Chappaqua NY and Brookfield for the same friend.

    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
    Luke : Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand
    .



  13. #63
    Donkey Thief Mike Beck is on a distinguished road Mike Beck's Avatar

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    i really enjoyed it. i hope he does another one at some point.

  14. #64
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    That is a great gift. I hope you plan to frame it. I would.

    So, David, what do you think of the figures surrounding Roland? What do you think they are? I can't quite make them out. Slow mutants, maybe? Figments of his imagination?

    Michael once explained that the whole painting was somewhat hallucinatory. If you remember Roland had just ingested mescaline to facilitate his meeting with the oracle. That is the reason for the weird unnatural shading of green that dominates the painting. Roland is beginning to hallucinate.

    I've often wondered if the phallic nature of the temple stones was meant to be real or hallucinatory. Opinions, anyone?

    Another thing that is often missed is how Roland perceives his reflection in the pool. Sometimes the bottom of the painting is cropped when it is reproduced for a book. There is actually a skull grinning back at Roland!

    Photos attached.



    Close up of Roland's hallucinatory reflection.


  15. #65
    Donkey Thief Mike Beck is on a distinguished road Mike Beck's Avatar

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    holy crapoley!

    i never realized how amazing this illustration really is! thanks for posting, carlos.

  16. #66
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    Woaw!

  17. #67
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    Bob-
    Thanks for your additions to this part of the thread!!!! (also glad you worked out how to post images...hold on to your seats everyone!)

    I wish I were more adept at using as camera, but the images in my prelim sketch appear to be (to my eye anyway) Roland in various positions on the rock by the water. Michael very roughly (and very small) sketched him in various positions. For instance, the bottom left image is Roland on his belly, the middle one is also in semi-recline and the third is more sitting upright. At least that is how it hit me when I studied it the first time. The images are pretty small and charcoal is a pretty smudgy/not crisp medium. Tonight I will look at it again with a more open mind's eye and see what I think.

    As for the questions you raised, if MIchael's talk on Sunday was any indication, he very often purposefully paints images into his work that stand for masculinity or femininity. I think the phallic symbols were purposeful as the temple, or ring was described as being very sexual and the Oracle had a great need. The Oracle in this case was female and (my interpretation) the phallic nature of the stones was meant to sustain her until the next male victim could be lured into her circle.

    And, yes, I had noticed the skull reflection in the water (a fabulous touch on Michael's part). I had not heard that the green background was a reference to the mescaline-induced state that Roland was in at the time. Thanks for sharing that info. And, BTW, I adore that painting!

    Dragline : Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
    Luke : Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand
    .



  18. #68
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    Okay.,...I'm green with envious!!! The same green as Bob's painting!

    Congratulations Wiz!!!
    That image appeared in The art of Michael Whelan, if I'm not wrong.
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    The girl who loved tom gordon ARC with King's letter
    The Plant #3 Unsigned.

  19. #69
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    That is totally amazing. Wiz, you lucky duck.

    And Carlos, that painting is awesome - I didn't realize the skull was in there, either.



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  20. #70
    Big Coffin Hunter jayson is on a distinguished road

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    that painting is beyond cool! it makes me wish there was a DT series of calendars every year like the Tolkien calendars of old.

  21. #71
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    Congrats David on the incredible gift. I had the same thoughts on the other images they appeared to be rough sketches of Roland in different positions. A real treat seeing how Mr. Whelans creative process works

    Thanks Bob for the painting pics, another reminder of how much is missed when a painting is cropped/sized for a book.

  22. #72
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    I ordered this from the Whelan website and it arrived today. It's an artist proof of The End Of The Road. 28" by 20". It is a giclee print on canvas. Looks pretty close to an original painting, IMO. I'm going to the frame shop tomorrow!


  23. #73
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    Very, very nice Bob.

  24. #74
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    Very nice, Bob. Just how many Whelan drawings/paintings/pictures do you have?

    John

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhanic View Post
    Very nice, Bob. Just how many Whelan drawings/paintings/pictures do you have?

    John
    This is the fifth "Artist Proof" print that I have. All with matching #3's. Five paintings. A couple of other prints. They really add up but I've been collecting them for over 10 years. I bought the paintings from The Gunslinger in 1998.

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