Nearly 15 years ago I stumbled onto an imported book from France at the San Diego Comic-con, A la Recherche de Feerie, a beautiful collection of faeries and their like by Erlé Ferronnière and Jean-Baptiste Monge. I was immediately taken by Jean-Baptiste's work. His sensitivity to the human (faerie) form and to that of the animals accompanying them showcased a talent and mastery that was at the top of the field. How frustrating it was to have to wait years for a second tome to see more of this artist's work. Needless to state, I have been a fan ever since viewing that first cover painting.
I recall meeting Jean-Baptiste for the first time at FairyCon in Baltimore back in the early turn of the century. He spoke nearly no English, and my French was worse. We exchanged a few compliments through an interpreter, but were unable to hold any lengthy conversation due to the atmosphere of the convention.
A few years passed, and the next time I saw Jean-Baptiste he was visiting the States, after just moving to Montreal, and had dropped by the Illustration Master Class along with James Gurney for a surprise visit. His English was light years ahead of my French now, and I was thrilled to learn he was seeking more work from American clients thus guaranteeing that we could see more of his art here in the future!
I thought to share with you a few sample images of Jean-Baptiste's work, as he is compiling a new self-published collection of his work to be released later this year. Considering how moved I was with discovering his work for the first time years ago, I wanted make sure you did not miss out on the chance to make a similar discovery of Jean-Baptiste's work this time around.
What continuously moves me about JB's work is his ability to design characters with extreme levels of gesture and expression, all the while merging those characterizations with a realism matched by very few figurative painters. It is this balancing act that I am forever in awe and in respect of, for it is an impossible feat to pull off as JB has convincingly done. That is what makes him a master. I just had to share his work with you!
A masterful talent and stunning visions in Celtic Faeries:
For more of Jean-Baptiste Monge's art, visit his website: