A! Magazine for the Arts

Charles Vess

Charles Vess

Charles Vess speaks about latest project in Abingdon

October 30, 2019

Internationally known fantasy artist Charles Vess speaks at the Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m.

Vess speaks about his latest project, “Driftwood Days.” Under autumn leaves, a boy watches a beaver build a dam. One of the branches slips away, carried downstream by the river. Through the changing seasons, the branch makes a long, epic journey to the sea, before finally getting tossed back onto shore. Changed by the elements, the branch—now driftwood—lies patiently on the beach, until the boy discovers it once again.

Featuring breathtaking artwork by Charles Vess, “Driftwood Days” is written by William Miniver and offers readers a beautiful, multilayered story about nature, science, childhood and change.

Vess recently won two Hugo awards for his work on Ursula K. LaGuin’s “Tales of Earthsea.” He is also nominated for World Fantasy Awards Best Artist for that same work. For more than 30 years, the fantasy art of Vess has been acclaimed worldwide. He is the chosen illustrator of numerous publishers and writers, including Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint and Susanna Clark. Embodying the timeless approach of the golden age of illustration, Vess’s work recalls an era when paint and brushes were the medium that carried readers of all ages to distant lands, bygone eras and the realms of the imagination.

Vess is probably best known in the region for his development of the bronze statue of Titania, the “Queen of the Fairies” from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which is across from Barter Theatre in downtown Abingdon.

His artwork has earned him the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist three times. His illustrations as a fantasy artist include many for Marvel Comics, including the cover art for “The Amazing Spiderman;” for DC Comics, there was an 11-issue run of “Swamp Thing” and illustrating the “Sandman” series written by Neil Gaiman. In addition, he illustrated Charles de Lint’s “The Cats of Tanglewood Forest.” He also developed 175 paintings for “Stardust,” the illustrated novel by Neil Gaiman, which was adapted to an acclaimed film in 2007.

The event is free and open to the public. Book sale/signing follows. For more information, call 276-676-6298 or visit www.wcpl.net.