One of about six Guests of Honour at the recent World Fantasy Convention was artist Ruth Sanderson, who has illustrated an uncountable number of picture books (and/or book covers), many of them fairytales and other fantasy stories. Her paintings, several of which were on display in the Art Show, were breathtakingly beautiful — had I a spare $4000, I might well have brought one of them home.
I went along to Ruth’s GOH presentation, which comprised a slide show (with commentary) of her art over the years, each painting individually brilliant, especially (in my mind) those which tended towards fantasy themes. Pictured is one of my favourites (one I could have bought… sigh), from a picture book written by Jane Yolen, called Where have the unicorns gone?
I couldn’t resist buying a copy of the unicorn picture book, particularly once I discovered it is now out of print. I also bought a copy of The Enchanted Wood (which Ruth claimed was probably her best book), and The Twelve Dancing Princesses (which Ruth nominated as her favourite). The Twelve Dancing Princesses (and hopefully others) is about to be re-released with a brand new painting for the cover. She has also worked with her daughter to animate an e-book version of her version of Cinderella for the iPad.
Never would I have predicted that the only books I actually purchased in the Dealers Room at this convention would be children’s picture books! But I’ve just realised that fantasy art has always attracted me, usually from the cover of a book, and perhaps I ought not be surprised that paintings of unicorns were the first thing to catch my fancy.
I would dearly love to post examples of all Ruth’s beautiful paintings, but instead, I recommend a visit to her gallery here.
Here’s the link to my first overview post on the convention.