1968 Reader’s Digest edition of “Rebecca” by Daphne De Maurier.

It must have been fate. Born eleven days apart on opposite coasts, Leo and Diane met, competed artistically, and eventually fell in love while attending Parsons School of Design, each aspiring to a life of art. After their marriage in 1957, the artists initially pursued separate careers in illustration before recognizing their strengths were collaborative in nature. In an effort to work in a particular style that they both could master, they symbiotically and seamlessly melded their personalities and styles, employing pastels, colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic, stencils, typography, woodcut, pochoir, found-object assemblage, collage, and sculpture into an entity/partnership that they came to refer to as “the artist.”

Noted Leo on the gorgeously striking complexity of their distinctive decorative realism and unconventional techniques: “People often comment on the ‘Dillon style.’ I think that someplace, the two of us made a pact with each other. We both decided that we would give up the essence of ourselves, that part that made the art each of us did our own. And I think that in doing that we opened the door to everything.”

Marie Laveau Cover Artwork, 1977

The Dillons became famous in the science fiction community for their imaginative and incredible variety of drawings and illustrations for prints, book jackets, textbooks, album covers; the books of authors such as Ray Bradbury, Garth Nix, and Isaac Asimov were all embellished with cover art revealing “the artist’s” unique vision. The Dillons were presented with the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist in 1971, making Diane the first woman to receive the award. Outside the world of fantasy and science fiction, the Dillons became renowned for their numerous children’s picture books celebrated for illustrating stories featuring all ethnicities and cultural heritages–for which they received unprecedented back-to-back Caldecott Medals.

original art for the cover of John Brunner’s The Traveler in Black


DEATHBIRD STORIES, by Harlan Ellison cover art


Queen Zixi of Ix , or the Story of the Magic Cloak LP art


A Wrinkle in Time cover study


The Ring, 1968


Cover art for World’s End by Joan D. Vinge


The Tempest album cover Caedmon Records (1975)


Different: An Anthology of Homosexual Short Stories cover art


The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury cover art


art from Claymore and Kilt: Sorche Nic Leodhas


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27 Apr


Below is a gallery of men disturbing a woman’s restful and rehabilitative beauty sleep. Will I die mad about it? Maybe.


The Rose Bower by Hans Zatzka


Brewtnall, Edward Frederick; Sleeping Beauty; Warrington Museum & Art Gallery; 


Duncan, John; The Sleeping Princess; Perth & Kinross Council; 


Sleeping Beauty by Roland Risse


Sleeping Beauty by Peter Newell


Sleeping Beauty. by Edmund Dulac


Sleeping Beauty by Richard Eisermann


The princess lay fast asleep, Anne Anderson


Sleeping Beauty by Henry Meynell Rheam


Sleeping Beauty by Jennie Harbour


Sleeping Beauty in the Woods by Gustave Doré


The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods, Carl Offterdinger



Sleeping Beauty by Walter Crane

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“Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.”


“She believed she could, so she did.”


“Keep your face toward the sunshine, and the shadows will always fall behind you.”




“It’s never too late for a new beginning.”


“Find joy in the ordinary.”


“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”


“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”


“You didn’t come this far to only come this far.”


“Pursuing reckless optimism.”


“I am open and receptive to all of the abundance in the universe.”


“I am in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.”




“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”


“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”


“I choose happiness.”


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Vogue Hong Kong
Published: March 2022

Szilveszter Mako – Photographer
Szilveszter Mako – Art Director
Lisa Jarvis – Fashion Editor/Stylist
Sean Kunjambu – Fashion Editor/Stylist
Massimo Di Stefano – Hair Stylist
Vanessa Icareg – Makeup Artist
Marina Fairfax – Casting Director
Siyan Chen – Producer
Lauren Ernwein – Model
Haute Couture designs: Dior, Giambattista Valli, Didit Hediprasetyo, Stephane Rolland, Charles de Vilmorin, Alexandre Vauthier, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Fendi.

Images source: models.com





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Hello, fans of moody art capturing the morbid, melancholic, and macabre! Here’s something fun!

Pre-order your copy of The Art of Darkness by August 31 from any retailer and be one of the first 100 readers to enter your information into the Quarto form and you’ll receive a lovely thank-you-package including a The Art of Darkness postcard, sticker, and autographed bookplate from me, the author! Link in comments!



10 Mar

Well, hello friends of midnight shadows and all that lurk in those murky corners! It is cover reveal day for THE ART OF DARKNESS: A TREASURY OF THE MORBID, MELANCHOLIC AND MACABRE.

I am so extremely-over-the-moon thrilled with the somber, surreal, multi-layered magnificence of Alex Eckman-Lawn’s cover art–it’s really a dream come true for this artist’s incredible work to be gracing the cover of a book that I’ve written. Aside from the cover art, I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to work with SO MANY DREAM ARTISTS to include in these pages!

So, what else can you expect to find this the pages of this darkly artful tome?

Throughout history, artists have been obsessed with darkness – creating works that haunt and horrify, mesmerize and delight and play on our innermost fears. While these themes might scare us – can’t they also be heartening and beautiful? In exploring and examining these evocative artworks The Art of Darkness offers insight into each artist’s influences and inspirations, asking what comfort can be found in facing our demons? Why are we tempted by fear and the grotesque? And what does this tell us about the human mind?

Of course, sometimes there is no good that can come from the tenebrous sensibilities of darkness and the sickly shivers and sensations they evoke. These are uncomfortable feelings, and we must sit for a while with these shadows – with a book, from the safety of our armchairs.

The Art of Darkness and all of its dreamy, disturbing gloomy glimpses will be released into the world on September 6, 2022! Stay tuned for more details.

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27 Feb

@alexaspaddy // Alexa Spaddy


@alexeckmanlawn // Alex Eckman Lawn


Knight Ally by @teresenielsenart // Terese Nielsen


@jairaphaelart // Jai Raphael


@jeansebastienrossbach // Jean-Sebastien Rossbach


@chikuwamiel // Chikuwamiel


@debishapirophotography // Debi Shapiro


Dracula, Motherf**ker, by Yuko Shimizu


@kreetakreeta // Kreetta Järvenpää


Cyril Van Der Haegen

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Kazimierz Stabrowski
Inside me are two wolves and they are both paintings by Kazimierz Stabrowski.


Amelia Bauerle
when they won’t shut tf up about meal prepping


Henry Meynell Rheam
when you didn’t do it but if you *did* do it maybe they deserved it


Max Frey
don’t talk to me or my giant sea slug ever again


Frederick Sandys
not me definitely poisoning your ass


Cosmè Tura
get in loser, we’re seeking out irreverent mischief


Prieto Muriana
When you’re an eternally cursed creature of the night, but you got places to be.


Esteban Maroto
if your nighttime skincare routine doesn’t involve separating your head from your body what are you even doing

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For many years now I have been obsessed with the sublimely ridiculous cover art for ‘Geisterjäger John Sinclair’ (Ghosthunter John Sinclair), a pulpy German horror detective fiction series wherein Sinclair, a Scotland Yard chief inspector, tirelessly battles all kinds of undead and demonic creatures. Apparently, he is the reborn soul of both King Solomon and Knight Templar Hector de Valois. Wow!

These covers feature all manner of bizarre and tawdry evils, from vampire nightclubs to skydiving ghouls to horror discos–and it turns out that the artist responsible for some of my freaky favorites is Catalan painter and illustrator Vicenç Badalona Ballester (1929-2014.) From 1973 until his retirement in 2007, Ballestar produced an incredible number of covers for these books — nearly 1,000!! — and later went into fine art, where via his published books he became a renowned instructor of watercolor techniques.

A brief article over at Frieze from 2013 sums up his style pretty well:

“Aesthetically speaking, the world that Ballestar created for the duration of his career belonged to the 1970s and early ’80s. His paintings are populated by figures that could have stepped out of an advertisement from the era, if their faces weren’t etched with fear at the horrors they confront. With his broad palette and use of light, Ballestar derived a garish Pop pleasure from sinister darkness in a way previously found only in Roger Corman’s legendary Edgar Allan Poe films starring Vincent Price, where terror joined forces with Technicolor.”


I’ll confess, I have never read a single John Sinclair story. I almost can’t bear to. What if they are not as much fun as the cover art? But when I am feeling down or bummed out, I treat myself to translations to the various synopses for the stories, and their garbled silliness never fails to make me laugh:

“He was a legend of evil. No one knew if he really died or just lost. Most of Kansas residents just wanted to forget about him anyway. But as twelve tourists simply disappeared, he was remembered again. Suddenly fear passed away, and one sentence went round: ‘Sheriff death is back… “

“When Mike Prentiss and Cindy Mallory are just on their way home from the old castle disco, they pass by a closed cemetery.” Mike finally persuades his girlfriend to follow him to enjoy the togetherness there a little more uninterrupted. But for a long time, the silence on the ancient God’s sucker does not last, because suddenly the two of them are attacked with a sharp knife by a spritual woman… “

Anyway, as usual, this post is just an excuse to show off some favorites from an artist whose works I dig. Enjoy!

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