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LOVECRAFT'S NIGHTMARE B

Del Rey Books asked Michael to do 2 paintings of horrific images they could use on 7 volumes of H.P. LOVECRAFT stories. He didn’t have to illustrate the stories, just create images that conveyed the mood. This and LOVECRAFT’S NIGHTMARE A form his only real diptych—1 artistic image created on 2 panels and the paintings can meet side by side either way with one flowing into the other. They are featured in MICHAEL WHELAN’S WORKS OF WONDER, his second art book, and they are hugely popular with heavy metal bands and fans.

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LOVECRAFT'S NIGHTMARE A

Portions of this and LOVECRAFT’S NIGHTMARE B were used to make 7 covers for reissues of H.P. Lovecraft books. Many of these images have also appeared on album covers for heavy metal bands from around the world and as tattoos and motorcycle decorations.

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THE WITCHING TREE

An accidental shape on a scrap of illustration board evoked a sort of Lovecraftian tree.

The board originally had a figure sketch on it from the work I did for Lucca Comics & Games. When I saw it turned 90 degrees sideways I was struck by the shapes and one thing lead to another…the figures turned into a “tree”.

Executed with leftover acrylics from an underpainting on a gallery piece that I’m currently working on.

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ELRIC & THE COLD DRAKE

I had a quantity of the pigment left on my palette while working on an HP Lovecraft painting in Payne’s Grey and white, so I fished a canvas scrap out of the wastebasket in our print room and sketched this scene. Painted mostly this past Spring then finished off yesterday.

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HIGH WEST WIND

This started as a collection of brushstrokes on palette paper while working on a Lovecraft painting.

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THE LOST CITY

A board used as a palette which became a scene reminiscent of a Lovecraft story…but not so much of a palette gremlin as a palette snowscape.

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OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

I recently bought some slanted brushes that I find fun to play with when I want straight edges in a picture. While applying random brushstrokes to a piece of illustration board, they began to look more and more like little cubes to me. This brought to mind H.P. Lovecraft’s descriptions of strange shapes seen on the mountain range his explorers fly over when traveling to the Plain of Leng. With the addition of windblown ice crystals and a little ‘aeroplane’ for scale, these random brushstrokes became a scene from AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS.

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SHOGGOTH

Painted with leftover acrylics from another painting, this was done while working on a cover painting for an H.P. Lovecraft novel.

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LOVECRAFT’S NIGHTMARE

Michael Whelan’s only real diptych – one artistic image painted on 2 panels. The two paintings meet side by side either way with one flowing into the other.

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LOVECRAFT’S NIGHTMARE AT AUCTION

LOVECRAFT’S NIGHTMARE AT AUCTION

This weekend, Michael Whelan’s celebrated LOVECRAFT panels are being offered for sale by the Frank collection at the Heritage Auction of Illustration Art in New York City. Over the last 40 years, Howard and Jane Frank have amassed one of the signature collections of...

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