Originals #30 • Peter Elson ‘Mission To Universe’

Anyone of a certain age who was into sci-fi in the 70’s and 80’s will be familiar with Peter Elsons work, if not his name. His highly detailed spaceships and futuristic tech were as recognisable as Chris Foss‘s and I used to seek out the tiny ‘PE’ logo that he hid in most of his work time and again as confirmation that an image was by him.

*Special ‘Originals’ guest post – I don’t own this one* My friend David Rees recently bought this original painting from Peter’s sister (Elson passed away many years ago) and was kind enough to share these images with me. It’s fascinating for me to see the close up details of this piece – ‘Mission To Universe’ – that I first saw in one of the Steven Caldwell Terran Trade Authority books way back when. As far as I know there is only one book of Elson’s work collected, ‘Parallel Lines’, long out of print and shared with another artist of the genre, Chris Moore. That’s a real shame and he deserves wider recognition. The painting is shown next to the paperback which it was painted for below.

6 thoughts on “Originals #30 • Peter Elson ‘Mission To Universe’

  1. I meant to say im “wondering” if you can ask your friend…..
    Anyway, I also wanted to say how awe inspiring the works are when your see an original because when the images are shrunk down for the paperbacks so much detail is “lost”. As you said, Elson’s work is so detailed that it is utter joy to revel in the multitude of elements. How did he even think of all those bits? Yet they make perfect sense I their intricacy! Thanks for posting the close ups!

  2. Love this artist! I know it’s been a few years since your post but I’m going you can ask your friend David Rees if he can find the contact info for Peter Elson’s sister. The captcha on his website had been broken for a long time. So, there is no way to submit messages, comments, or inquiries.

  3. This so is wonderful to see!

    I’ve been a fan since I spent all my pocket money on a softback copy of ‘Great Space Battles’ circa 1980. It was Elson’s designs that particularly inspired me from the get go. The level of detail blew my 6 year old mind I think.

    By the time I’d gone on to art college however it was the ‘photo real’ finish and voluptuous curves of Jim Burn’s richly airbrushed acrylics that really floated my boat. Can’t think why…

    You’ve inspired me to dig out my old SF art books and show them to my kids. The images are hard for me to look at objectively, so burned are they on to my memory they will always look fresh. Perhaps to the eyes of today’s 9 year old fan Elson’s spaceships look as retro as Flash Gordon and Star Trek did to me back then?

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