This morning I've read a few interesting posts dealing with OSR art.
The first was at The Temple of Demogorgon where he rants about the sameness of OSR art, specifically taking aim at the piece shown on the Grognardia Blog.
Although not as hard-core a post as the first, the other was at Aldeboran where Stefan Poag (one of my favorite artists) wrote that he'd like to see more diversity in OSR aesthetics.
In my opinion, there's absolutely nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from the foundational D&D line art of the 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, I love it. I want more.
People who focus on "another damned knight in platemail about to open a door" miss the point. IT TOTALLY ISN'T ABOUT THAT. Art forwards ideology and game-play style, and the ideology of the Old School is the DIY, thumb-your-nose at Whotsie, low fantasy, Hail Gygax!, low rules, yer-damn-right-I-want-platemail, screw dungeonpunk, piss on standard torch-lit dungeons in 4E, piss on rules crunchiness, we're using a ten foot pole, screw challenge ratings perspective, that makes the early editions so evocative and fun to play.
So, the next time you see an artist using line art depict a huge spider about to jump an unsuspecting party, or a dude in plate opening a door, or a bug-eyed adventurer fleeing a huge fucking monster, don't hate - instead let fly the devil horns and say RIGHT ON BROTHER! Because the art isn't value-free, it's value-laden - meaning the art of the Old School forwards the ideology and play-style of a game that we love and want others to try out.
So OSR artists, do what you do with conviction. Our game will be better for it.