Jul 11, 2013

100 Heads in 100 Days #45 - Greg Staples & Slaine

I quite enjoyed writing about Jeremy Soule yesterday. It's given me an idea too. Seeing as I still have over fifty of these 100 Heads posts to go, there's a lot of space to fill with words. What I want to do is, every now and then, discuss a person that I like in more detail. It could be an artist, a writer, a musician, whatever. The important thing I want to do is express how these people relate to me. These 100 Heads posts are meant to be somewhat autobiographical, so when I write about, say, Brian Froud, it will be my experience with his work and how it has affected me, not so much a straight biography of him.

First cab off the rank is an artist by the name of Greg Staples.

I first came across Greg's work in the late nineties. I was going through a bit of a Slaine phase at the time, having been a fan of the character ever since Simon Bisley's seminal run on Slaine the Horned God a bunch of years before that. I was pretty drawn to Greg's work straight away. I liked his anatomical structure and application of paints.
So I started hunting his work down, which inevitably brought me into the world of Magic the Gathering. Initially, I only collected cards by artists I like, which was pretty much just Greg and another Slaine artist, Dermot Power, in the beginning. There used to be a cool little gaming shop near Glenferrie station in Melbourne. I picked up nearly all of the cards I needed there, this was back when the Urza block was out, which would make this about 1999.
What attracted me to Greg's work was his obvious skill with a brush. During the mid-to-late 90's there was a real feeling of there being a 2000AD school of artists. These artists were masters at the use of acrylics, utilising layering and strongly contrasted highlighting. Greg was definitely in this school.
The great thing about Greg is that he has never really stopped growing as an artist. If you look at his earliest published work, all the way through to his most recent, you can see that he has continued to grow, refine and improve as he has gone along. I'm particularly fond of his work from about 2000-2002, when he was producing some fantastic stuff, especially the Slaine story 'Beyond' and Magic cards like Alloy Golem, Phantom Warrior and Southern Paladin. Saying that though, later cards such as Sigiled Paladin, Force of Nature and Hunted Troll are rather spectacular, I think.
Back in 2000, I emailed Greg in the hope of chatting to him about his work. He was pretty swamped at the time, so we only got to exchange a few emails unfortunately, but he was very generous in talking to me at all. I've been friends with him on Facebook for a long time now, and it's always great to keep up with what he is doing.

I'll be trying a few different post ideas out over the coming week, so do pop back, won't you?

100 Heads in 100 Days #45
Me Fact #45
My father's side of the family is of English descent. We've never really been able to pin down from where in the UK, but we like to think the we're related to William Penn. We are not, however, related to Sean Penn's family, they are of Italian descent.
My mother's side is English too, but her mother comes from Irish stock, the Maddens. Where I live in the west of Ireland, there are quite a few Maddens about the place. There is also a large company called Penn Engineering nearby, so one could say that I am surrounded by distant family.

1 comment:

Tim Shorts said...

I like the write ups Jay. Always interesting to learn about other artists.