Darrell K. Sweet (1934-2011)

Darrell K. Sweet died suddenly on December 5. He was a leading cover artist in the sf & fantasy field. He was 77.

Sweet produced over 3000 images in the first 30 years of a career that began in 1975. And, his website adds:

He also produces art for trading cards and calendars. He is famous (or perhaps infamous) for providing the covers of the fantasy epic saga The Wheel of Time. He is also the illustrator for the well-known Xanth series by Piers Anthony, the Saga of Recluce series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. and the Runelords series by David Farland as well as the original cover artist for Stephen R. Donaldson’s series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.

He was the 2010 World Fantasy Con Guest of Honor. Just a few months ago he was named one of 2013 Worldcon (LoneStarCon 3) Guests of Honor.

Sweet was born in 1934 in Highland Park, New Jersey. He was a one-time Hugo nominee (1983) and often nominated for the Chesley Award, but surprisingly never won any of the field’s professional awards.

Irene Gallo has posted a fine tribute to Sweet at Tor.com.

2 thoughts on “Darrell K. Sweet (1934-2011)

  1. An excellent artist and a nice guy who I had the privilege to meet at a convention in the 1980s. Very much under-appreciated by fans who adored those artists who made a larger impression among convention goers.

  2. I got to meet Sweet at the 2011 LepreCon. I’d never been overly impressed with Sweet’s bookcovers, but at LepreCon he had a number of the original paintings on display in the art show.

    The difference seeing his work in original format was astonishing. He frequently painted on extra-large canvases. Details jumped out. Colors seemed more vivid. Whereas the bookcover versions always felt “crowded” to me, the originals seemed much more natural and “open”. I really LIKED those originals, and faunched mightily for some. (But the originals also had extra-large pricetags, so….)

    I don’t think even a big coffee-table book would be able to carry over the difference in impact the originals made on me.

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