Artist of the Day… Robert Cottingham…

Robert Cottingham is a great artist specializing in typography and photo realism paintings. He mainly paints signs found in old America. Older hotel signs and store fronts. One recent series dealt with making paintings from individual letters found in these signs.  I had never thought just to specialize on one letter of the sign, and really loved his results. In my city of Denver these older signs are tough to find, but I found  Nashville, Tennessee the best place I have been to take pictures of older signs. My problem with the modern signs you see in Vegas is that the lettering style is so modern mostly using the Helvetica font.  As an artist I prefer the cursive letters, to me their abstractedness is just great.

Mr. Cottingham  established himself in the 70s alongside artist like Chuck Close and Richard Estes. He was born in 1935 and studied graphic design in college which led him to painting urban american street signs. He is one of the best printmakers to study from and develop your own style.  I know Mr. Cottingham sometimes draws with graphite on vellum but don’t know how the process finishes and will update this post as soon as find out his whole working process when making prints from sketch , transferred sketch, and finally adding color and pulling copies.

Hope this artist inspires you to try a painting with text, maybe the C of the McDonalds or P of Pizza Hut. Try something new and mix it up a bit.

keep those pencils and brushes moving and happy!



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