Today's Featured Artist is known as the Dean of Science Fiction: Frank Kelly Freas (b. 1922 - d. 2004), his last name pronounced 'Freeze', was probably the artist most beloved by SF fans, and indeed his artwork is filled with the strong current of heart and strangeness that envelops Science Fiction.
Raised by two photographers in Canada (he was actually born in Hornell, New York), Freas joined the United States Army Air Forces right out of high school, and flew as camera man for recon in the South Pacific, often taking the time to paint bomber noses during WWII. Afterwards, he went to study at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, beginning his career in advertising.
His most notable work was done for Astounding Science Fiction (later renamed Analog) under the eye of SF editing giant John W. Campbell, and he went on to become a giant himself in the SF publishing field, illustrating for over 50 years. Twice honored as a Guest of Honor at the Worldcon (1982 and 2003), he often played with different subjects and styles, and at one time even painted over 500 saints' portraits for the Franciscans while doing portraits of Alfred E. Neuman for Mad magazine.
He won the Hugo for best artist ten times (nominated 20 times; after that many, he asked to be withdrawn from future nominations to give other artists a chance) and had left an indelible mark on the SF world decades before his passing in 2004.
One of his most iconic images is used twice, first for Tom Godwin's 'The Gulf Between' and again, slightly altered, for Queen's album 'News of the World'. At the top it is seen in its use for the latter.
Read much, much more about Frank Kelly Freas here: http://io9.com/5987723/why-kelly-freas-was-possibly-the-greatest-science-fiction-artist-who-ever-lived
(cross posted on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaulMarquisIllustration)