Archive for September, 2010

Chinsee Ink Artist Li Huayi

Chinese Ink artist Li Huayi was born in 1948 in Shanghai, China. He was trained as an artist since the age of 6.  The artist takes lessons learned from both western and eastern painters including Mark Rothko and many great local artist who taught him the lessons of design and also floral painting. Blending ancient materials with new contemporary design patterns his compositions are unique and done on scrolls, rice paper, and even fans.

Eventually the Chinese culture and chairman Mao forced the artist to become a propoganda artist  for the communist party. In 1982 at the age of 34 he left San Fransisco.  The artist talks about the use of chi, a powerful force of energy within ones self for help in designing compositions, where to place the lights and darks, and also the use of strong horizontal against vertical marks.

Try a landscape in a reduced color format. Really push the light and dark shapes to that a viewer can identify the scene from far away. If you have the chance to see some Ansel Adams work, pay attention to the light and darks he used. Many times the viewer can see the photo is a river or mountain or tree from many feet away from the photo.

Keep learning!


Artist of the moment… Rupert Garcia Cover Art on ARTnews magazine…..

This magazine is one of my favorites.  I wasn’t familiar with this artist known for his poster and Chicano style. His work on the cover of this months magazine is a print of  Frida Kahlo. He also has done Pablo Picasso in the past in a similar manner. This artist loves to involve political and social aspects in his work.

The artist was born in 1941 in California and attended Stockton university as well as San Francisco and got a degree in Painting.

The artist became very provocative in his political views around 1960s and 70s making poster prints for things he believed in such as land rights, civil liberties and rights, and also the United Farm Workers. He liked the Pop Art movement for its flat planes and contrasting colors.

His work is in several museums and private and public collections.

Try a simple 2 color portrait of your favorite artist. Picasso and Kahlo are great because its easy to find reference photos of their faces that have lots of shadows so its easy to develop a flat plane.Look at some lithographs of pop artists to find the colors you can experiment with. Some phychadelic greens and purples can be put to great use!

keep learning!


Artist of the Moment …. Alex Katz….

this artist is well known for a modernistic style of the figure. His use of color as well as different printing techniques are amazing. Monoliths, linocuts, lithographs are among some of his techniques. He works in an extremely large scale, many portraits are 40 by 60 or larger. Usually only one face at a time.

The artist was the son of Russian immigrants and was born in 1927. He was born and grew up in Brooklyn.

One characteristic of his work is the people look flattened. He tries to emphasize the fact it is great to be alive!

During his first ten years as a painter he destroyed over 1,000 pieces, thats quite a perfectionist!

his main representation is thru Listed here are some old exhibitions he has had of the 1960s and various other figure shows.

Try a large closeup in the alex katz style, just to see if you can change your mind into painting in a modern manner.

Keep learning!


Artist of the moment… Len Chmiel…

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lThis artist is well known for  his use of vivid color in the shadows. If you ever wonder why your paintings don’t look like the master artists you try and imitate take a photo of your work and print it out black and white, see if the basic image is strong tonally. Len Chmiel ws born in 1942 in Chicago and moved to California at a young age. He worked for aerospace corporation as a draftsman before becoming a full time illustrator. He now resides in Lafayette, Colorado and keeps a studio there.  He has been in many of the national art magazines such as Southwestern Art and American Art Collector.

He usually participates in the Prix de West competition, a rare and prestigious honor for traditional western painters.

Artist of the moment… Warner Friedman…where art and architecture combine…

as one critic wrote, one doesn’t look AT  a Friedman painting, one looks though them. With very unique designs and patterns of  repetition the viewer eyes are always searching for where lines in and new forms and shapes begin.

The artist was born in New York City in 1935. He won awards for art as a youngster, but went to college at Clarkson in New York and became an engineer. While still and engineer Friedman enrolled at the Pratt Institute for art classes at night. He went on to Cooper Union college, at the time the only university that combined art and architecture and engineering.

To make it simple I shall brake down his design shapes.  Most if not all works are framed by design shape that leads the viewer into the picture. You might be looking thru a door, a window, a fence overlooking the ocean, or maybe overlooking a balcony.

Although the artist is 75, please note the very contemporary design of the painting Summertime. Here we have a classic curved river, but the fact that you looking thru a window at it gives the picture are far different feel than say a Rembrandt.

The artist works mainly in acrylics.

How about drawing the view of a scene looking out the front window of your apartment, but this time draw the window in as well.

Keep discovering! Art is a field where the older one is the better, since you will have accumulated so much information!


Artist of the moment… Jinni Thomas….

This artist is just great and I enjoy her process of layering elements.  Her work consists many layers, 30 to 40 sometimes, that are applied worn down and applied again. The artist has lived and worked in Sante Fe, New Mexico for 40 years.  Some of the ingredients she uses are wax, sand, venetian plaster, and marble gesso.Even though the viewer may not recognize the text used in her pieces, it helps to create depth and intrigue.

One of my first blogs I talked about and the text / calligraphic art of Denis Brown.  I think anytime you can include text it also helps create mystery and intrigue of the piece.

Her final addition to her work is an application of wax. Enjoy this wonderful artist for her creativity, patience for mastery of craft, and most important her ability to make changes, and changes, and changes. Don’t be afraid as an artist to try something new and different, in the end it will only foster more growth.

Mel Bochner, Ed Ruscha, Robert Jackson are some other artists who use text in their work. Check them out and try some of your own ideas!

Keep up the journey!


Artist of the Moment…. Rosson Crow…

this painter was born in 1982, so a newbie to the artworld so to speak. I was enticed this artists painting of interiors at both at night and during midday times.  These pieces are large, many 11 foot by 7 foot. Old western taverns, the new york stock exchange from the early 1900s.  The artist starts with tight drawings of the interiors, then the paintings become abstract and oils paints and even dripping enamel is added.

The artist moved from Texas to Los Angeles and has done paintings of area hotels and dance halls where musicians like Johnny Cash used to frequent. Some of the landmarks are now demolished,this doesn’t stop the artist from rendering them.

In some works the artist uses text in the form of graffiti or old vintage neon signs to make the pieces even more fun to look at!

If nothing else get out there and at least draw an interior. Remember YOU are in control so only strongly light the objects you wish the viewer to focus on. The barrooms have a musty, smoke filled, machismo place painted excellently by a great contemporary female artist!

Keep learning !