When I was really young I had these collectable cards that I really treasured, they had dragon illustrations on them. Really great paintings, it was the first contact I ever had with fantasy illustration. I think the main reason I ever became interested in illustration was because of the paintings on those cards. I wanted to be like the guy who painted them.
Growing up and moving houses (and countries) at some point I sadly lost the cards. I couldn't remember the artist's name, not a hint.
But I remembered the images and quite vividly. I've searched around from time to time on the net over the years but I couldn't find the images or the artist. I thought I probably never would, that they had gone out of print, or something like that.
Until a few moments ago, I was reading through Todd Lockwood's site, and I saw him mention a guy named Michael Whelan. The name sounded vaugly familiar... from somewhere... I did a google search, and it turns out it was the person I admired from my childhood! I recongnised it was him because of the "06.jpg" image on this site, the one with the green dragon.
I'm really happy, I feel like I reconnected with a very early memory of my life that I had forgoten part, and been looking for years.
Just wanted to say that. I don't think Michael Whelan needs much introduction to a lot of you, but if you don't know him, take a look at his works, they are really quite wonderful.
EDIT: Found his biography on another site, here's the link.
Winner of the World Science Fiction Award for Best Professional Artist, which he won eleven times, seven of them consecutively. What really fascinates me is what says at the end:
EDIT2: In my haste, I used google images first, and then the web engine, so I missed the official page the first time But here is isAll of Whelan's artwork is, at its most fundamental level, about creating a sense of wonder. Most closely allied to the scope and feeling of what is referred to as contemporary visionary art, his paintings are imbued with a strong sense of the mystical or dreamlike and are highly allegorical in nature. There is a deliberate attempt to invest the image with a marked degree of symbolic meaning while having an immediate subjective or emotional appeal.
Michael Whelan Official Site