Women Artists

Although the issues with women authors we have been discussing recently are very real, the situation with artists is much more severe. We hardly ever see a woman on the Best Professional Artist ballot for the Hugos. I was very pleased to see Kinuko Y. Craft, Julie Dillon and Irene Gallo on the Chesley ballot, but I think they are the only women on the whole thing (excluding Lifetime Achievement, of which much more later).

I was reminded of this today because Jeff VanderMeer did a post about Leonora Carrington who was a surrealist artist and also a writer (she was a friend of Angela Carter). She died last week. I’d never heard of her. I should do better.

But my real failure came to light with another death a few weeks ago. Jeffrey Catherine Jones was one of the leading lights of fantasy art. Frank Frazetta apparently called her “the greatest living painter”. She was also, as you may have guessed from the name, a trans woman.

There’s a very nice obituary for her in the June Locus, from which I learned that she has four Hugo nominations, and two World Fantasy nominations, one of which turned into a win. These all occurred before she came out as trans and added the Catherine to her name, but I’m very happy to acknowledge her as being there before me. (Other people may have been too, of course, but I only talk publicly about people who I am certain are publicly out.) More recently, she won a Spectrum Award and was named a Spectrum Grand Master. I see she’s up for the ASFA Lifetime Achievement Award, and I very much hope that she wins.

But I do wish I had known more about her earlier so that I could cheer her on, and I would have loved to meet her. Mea Culpa.

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8 Responses to Women Artists

  1. Twilight says:

    OT, but I owe you an apology. I had NO idea how extreme a reaction you speak of when you speak of “radical feminists” not accepting your reality. I guess I knew some people were “uncomfortable” – i’ve seen that even in very progressive environments (Wizards of the Coast comes to mind) when someone was transitioning. I thought it odd at the time, but it makes sense in retrospect – more often it was a member of the gay community who was vocally uncomfortable than a member of the het community. When your sexuality isn’t questioned every day, it’s easier to relax about other people’s I guess.

    But to equate transgender surgery with forced sterilization? This woman is a complete loon! No one says *I think I’ll walk the hardest damn road in the Western World” just out of a short term “exploration of identity” as she suggests.

    Damn. There are loons of EVERY stripe out there.

    • Cheryl says:

      If anyone is wondering what Twilight is talking about, it is this tweet from Roz Kaveney, which points to a vicious ran against trans people by “feminist” Sheila Jeffries.

  2. Surtac says:

    Very sad to hear about Jones.

    I was very much a fan of her work in the 70s and 80s. In fact I think it was her covers for the Ace editions of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books that got me into Leiber’s fantasy in the first place.

  3. I was so pleased to see Julie Dillon among the nominees. She does lovely work. [Including the art for four of my covers.]

  4. Susan Loyal says:

    I, too, loved those Ace covers of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but I was wholly unaware of Jones’ identity. It’s way too late, and I should go to bed, but I couldn’t stop reading her autobiography, which is full of turns of phrase like “I was young with the unbridled inertia of a bomb.” What an amazing life, and what amazing art.

    (Kinuko Y. Craft was on my Hugo nominating ballot. It’s good to see her and Julie Dillon and Irene Gallo on the Chesley ballot.) Jones asserts strongly, throughout her autobiography on the website, that men don’t draw better than women. Time for us to stand behind that, I think.

    Thanks for the links (even if I’ll be sorry in the morning). Goodnight.

  5. I did know about Carrington (I have two artists in the family, so…) but I too did not know about Jones. What a wonderful woman.

  6. Yeah, the artist situation is so bad that it doesn’t even make me angry (if that makes sense).

    I have made a point in the past few years to seek out female artists to nominate in both pro and fan categories, and IIRC the Clarkesworld cover galleries were helpful in reminding me how awesome Julie Dillon is. I also expected the Chesley ballot to be more helpful than it was.

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