Artist and illustrator, John Jude Palencar is a rarity among modern artists—mixing meticulous technique reminiscent of the old masters with a soaring, darkly surreal imagination. There are touches of Bosch and Da Vinci in his visual allegories of netherworld landscapes and doomed characters.


For more than twenty years, Palencar has created book covers and received honors for his contributions to the field of illustration including Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators, two Gold Book Awards from Spectrum, as well as their “Grand Master Award,” and seven Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA)—including the award for “Artistic Achievement” presented at the World Fantasy Convention held in Yokohama, Japan. He has also had work accepted in the Communication Arts Annual, Print Regional Design Annual, and Society of Publication Designers among others.


John Jude Palencar's work has appeared on hundreds of book covers in over thirty countries for such renowned authors as H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, P.D. James, Charles deLint, Octavia Butler, David Brin, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Stephen King, to name a few. His cover paintings for the “Inheritance Cycle,” by Christopher Paolini, have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List. (Paolini named Eragon’s birthplace, “Palancar Valley,” after John.)


He has also created editorial illustrations for Time Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, and Nat. Geo. Television. Palencar has also worked on entertainment projects for Lucas Arts, Paramount Pictures, and Vivendi Universal.


He has been a featured artist in Idea Magazine, Japan. John has also been the artist-in-residence at the Cill Rialaig Artist’s Project in County Kerry, Ireland, where his personal paintings were included in a special exhibition entitled, “Images of Ireland” held at the National Museum in Dublin, Ireland. He has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.S.. Palencar has also been a “visiting artist” at several colleges and universities across the country.


John was the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Hamilton King Award presented to him by the Society of Illustrators in New York City.


Recently, he was the only artist to have two paintings accepted into the Butler Institute of American Art 76th Annual Midyear Juried Exhibition. He also received the Allied Artists of America Award in the same exhibition.


His art book, “Origins - The Art of John Jude Palencar," published by Underwood Books, is a sumptuous tribute and collection of his book covers and select personal works.






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