Apr 29 2013
Here I am…
I’m an artist (and writer and sculptor too) and I like to make things up.
I find joy in creating visual windows into mythic worlds that offer my viewers a chance to collaborate in building that world with me.
When I paint a dappled shadow, cast from an unseen tree, I want to imply a meaningful ‘off-screen’ world. And by that implication I hope to excite my viewer’s imagination to visualize a larger pictorial landscape than I’ve actually drawn on that particular canvas.
Another shadow, this time from an unseen building can serve much the same purpose.
A dragon or a castle or a figure that is partially obscured by a passing cloud or a rising mist allows that imagination to once again build what is not shown.
And to, using my chosen technique of inked lines overlaid with color washes I want to imply dimensionality rather than explicitly show it with obsessively rendered detail and in this manner I allow my viewers to help ‘finish’ the art for themselves.
I must confess here that I‘ve never understood other people’s obsession with gigantic scaly monsters, pulp art, pin-up art, vampires, werewolves, oiled, over-muscled bodies, women with six foot legs and enormous breasts that stare at you down the length of a bloody sword or a smoking pistol all rendered in precise and painstaking explicit detail.
In short above all else, I desire a visual space that is poetic rather than realistic.
I strive for a partially glimpsed, carefully implied other world that unleashes my imagination rather than fettering it to mundane reality.
Its not that I don’t appreciate the craftsmanship on display in that other art but it so very rarely creates the special thrill up my spine that informs me that I need to get to my drawing board as soon as possible and draw/ink/paint whatever is bubbling through my mind.
This art does:
I thought that I'd finish up my list of 10 artists that I like by showcasing the work of a contemporary artist, Man Arenas, just to let you know that not every artist that I admire is dead and gone. I discovered his work last Fall when I was in Paris. One day I was shopping for books (what a surprise!) and stumbled upon this graphic album.
I discovered the work of Austrian artist, Georg Janny in one of the Chris Beetle's Illustrations catalogs. His work (watercolor and quache) struck me as amazing. And The last five images are by Arnold Bocklin who's work I've loved ever since happening on a small art book of his work in my University book store way back in 1970.
The Swedish artist John Bauer is one of my all time favorite artists. He sits on my 'top shelf' right beside Arthur Rackham and a very few others. He worked in the early part of the last century but his career was cut short by a tragic boating accident that drowned him as well as his wife and their young son.
Australian, Harry Rountree immigrated to England at the turn of the last century. He quickly found work illustrating books and magazines but was very seldom offered writing of the top tier to work with. He should have been but I suppose Rackham, and Dulac, etc. had those markets already sowed up. And in truth his work is much more whimsical than theirs and may not have suited the same books.
Hal Foster wrote and drew the Sunday newspaper comic strip from the late 1930s until 1970. Once a week, every week for a long, long time. It was an epic story filled with pagentry and romance.
Frances and Margaret were sisters who attended the Glasgow School of Art at the turn of the last century. They were part of the renowned group of artists know as The Glasgow Girls which also included Jessie M. King and Annie French among others.
Edwin Austen Abbey was an American artist that in the late 1800's moved to England where he painted many phenomenal scenes from Shakespeare.
Elizabeth Shippen Green was one of three woman artists that shared a studio space after graduating from Howard Pyle's school of Illustration in the early part of the last century.
Felix Lorioux is a French artist that worked, as far as I can tell in the teens. 20s and the 30s of the last century. Throughout the 1930s he was chosen by Disney to draw their licensed characters in France. I'd like to see how he handled the Mouse or Donald.
I discovered Vogel's work about 10 years ago. And after I purchased his 1890 illustrated edition of Grimm's fairy tales with approx. 300 illustrations I was blown away.