For more than twenty-five years, he has created book covers and received honors for his contributions to the field of illustration including Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators, two Gold Book Awards from Spectrum, and four Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA). Most recently John was presented the award for “Artistic Achievement” by ASFA at the World Fantasy Convention held in Yokohama, Japan.
His work has appeared on hundreds of book covers in over thirty countries for authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, P.D. James, Charles deLint, David Brin and Stephen King. Recently, his cover paintings for Eragon and Eldest, by Christopher Paolini, have appeared on the New York Times Children’s Best Seller List. (Paolini named Eragon’s birthplace “Palancar Valley” after John.)
Time, Smithsonian, and National Geographic Magazine, and the Philadelphia Opera have employed his illustrative talents for their publications and productions. Palencar has also worked on entertainment projects for Lucas Arts, Paramount Pictures and Vivendi Universal.
He enjoys an on-going artist-in-residence program in County Kerry, Ireland, where his personal paintings were included in a special exhibit entitled, “Images of Ireland” held at the National Museum in Dublin.
He continues to create new work and has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Occasionally John is invited to lecture and serve as an artist-in-residence at colleges and universities across the country.
He resides in northeastern Ohio with his wife, Lee, and two sons, Ian and Kit.