The other day I run into the art of Leo and Diane Dillon for the first time and was absolutely stunned. So many amazing images! Fantastic drawing teqnicue! And I never heard of them before, over here in Sweden! But from their work I can easily guess that they must be very well known (and a quick google check confirms that in a second).
It is so wonderful to find great, talented and inspiring illustrators that you didn´t know of before! It is like exploring a new world. Especially in this case with the enourmous amount of images they have created over many decades in so many different styles, almost a new one for every project it seems.
I found them on the great blog The art of Leo and Diane Dillon. With post after post showing their work all the way from the mid 50´s when they graduated from Parsons school of Design in New York. They got married and started a lifelong unusual co-operation in making drawings together as a team. And they kept working together until 2012, when Leo Dillon past away.
It is so interesting to follow their work progress. How they picked up the many different ”modern” styles thru the decades, but still remained so true to their own estetic world.
Dillons had a marvelous gift for detailed patterns that I really envy. Based in traditional art and culture, and expressed in swirling moving fabrics, hairs, feathers, wind.
Many motifs came back over and over again, and that is so nice, because that is like the Dillons own language. There are for example lots of birds, feathers and blowing winds in the drawings. And lots of different variations of the sun, moon and sky.
Lots of folk culture mixtures between human, animals and nature. Lots of african and african-american motivs and historic art and cultural influences. And lots of medieval details and motivs too. The Dillons really seem to know their history, art history as well as folk cultural history, and use it very well.
Even thou it is far from what I draw I really love their many fantastic and fantasy packed images and style. It is so well made, with such high detail level and with such a good feeling to it.
I wish I could make patterns and swirling lines like they do, but I can not. But Leo and Ann Dillon are great masters and hopefully I can learn something from them…
All these images are from the blog The art of Leo and Diane Dillon.