(Very incendiary post title, n’est ce pas?)

Actually,  I really (really) like John Blanche’s art work.

(I find I’m always defending and justifying his artwork  to others–I even bought the Ratspike book that John Blanche and Ian Miller put out through Games Workshop back in the late eighties!)

The only thing I dislike about John Blanche’s body of work is the rust-washed sketches he’s done rather a lot of.  I don’t think they’re particularly horrible; I just think it’s a shame that SO much of his work is constituted of these sketches that seem to be more his thumbnail sketches exploring ideas than “art” per se.

My personal theory is that being the director of the entire art (indeed, vision) department of Games Workshop is likely so involved that John Blanche has time only to pump out sketches to keep him artistically active–which, for any artist is very important.

Just my theory.

That said, I did come across the blog, “Tears of Envy,”  which displayed some of Mr. Blanche’s more recent artwork (dated late 2010); so maybe he’s achieving better work-life balance….or maybe my little theory is just plain wrong. I think you’ll agree: the artwork is pretty compelling.

So where am I going with all this? What was the point of today’s post title calling John Blanche not a real artist, and then spending the body of the post talking about how he actually is one?

Well, apart from giving me the opportunity to show off some of his painted miniatures (though a bit messy–in a very painterly way, mind you–I think his painted figures are absolutely genius!), I’m using John Blanche’s artistic style to show off the stuff done by Kris Kuksi, ( http://www.kuksi.com/ ).

From the first time I saw his stuff, I was drawn to it much the same way that Blanche’s visions of 40k appeal to me: indeed, it feels to me at times that Kuksi’s sculptural works are on a similar plane of thought as Blanche’s illustrations and paintings.

I feel like I could write and write (and write some more) on why I think art is important, but I don’t think I’d do much more than slalom down that course, ranting and rambling with equal measure. Instead, I’ll throw a couple more pictures on today’s post –and I highly recommend checking out Kris Kuksi’s site; the gallery page of sculptures alone  are worth the visit (though it seems that page wasn’t agreeing with my browser today). At the very least, search for his art on google-images; again, you won’t be sorry if you like the dark, foreboding tone of Warhammer 40,000.

Here’s another close-up of the Palace of Hedonism sculpture (above) and a few more of his works (below).

Friends of mine on Facebook, the ones who pay attention anyway, will recognise this stuff, as I linked to Kuksi’s website a couple of weeks ago. It was the picture of the Churchtank at the bottom and my quest to find out if the piece was merely some cheap photoshopping at work (or if it was something more) that led me to discover Kuksi’s website.

So that’s what’s on my mind today….that and I need to finish the name pates on those terminators so I can finish my Work in Progress photos on them. Sigh, maybe tomorrow.


A friend of mine just sent me this link to more of John Blanche’s works: http://gothicpunk.tumblr.com/. I just took a quick look there; and, yes, there’s a goodly amount of the ink-washed sketches that I’m not a fan of (at all); but there’s also a lot of Blanche’s more  commendable pieces there too. (Thanks Adam!)

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5 Responses to Quick Post: If John Blanche were a REAL Artist

  1. Mark says:

    hey man
    I picked up a copy of Ratspike on Ebay, took it to the UK because I desperately wanted him to sign it.
    Did you know he is borderline agoraphobic?
    I saw him at HQ, and was walking towards him,to ask, and he had a mild panic attack, and I was asked to not bother him.

  2. Adam says:

    You welcome for the link, just passing it on for a friend i met on Deviant art

  3. Phil says:

    Hey there, the chap behind Gothic Punk here, glad to see word spread around. GP is going strong, coming up for 200 posts of Blanche art. Many rare, forgotten and never-before-seen pieces (many non-washy too!). I can’t be 100% sure, but it looks like it’s the biggest Blanche resource on the net. Contributors are welcome to help out, just hit the “Ask” link and leave a message and an email address.

    Nice post too. And rational blog 😉

  4. Phil says:

    Or hit “Submit”, sorry, lol

  5. robert says:

    John is one of the best artists, to me he is the pure essence of GW’s imagery for Warhammer, 40K and most everything else. Not everyone likes his style but his amazing detail and diversity is amazing. Great article.

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