Archive for October, 2010

Artist of the moment…. Rock and landscape painter Merrill Maheffey….



he is a remarkable artist who specializes in the rocky terrain and landscapes of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.  He can paint the greeting card, very scenic picture of a landscape as well as closeups of rocks that look really abstract.  The artist was born in 1937 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He got his college level art training in California and Arizona. The artist started drawing his local landscape at the age of 8. The artist works mainly in acrylic on canvas. He has been featured in many art magazines including Southwestern Art and Art in America. He also has a fantastic book out that features his landscape paintings.

Go paint a landscape and try to capture the fall colors. The trees are so colorful now!

Some quick videos of the artist and his landscapes are below.


Artist of the Moment…. Cherry Hood…



this artist was born in Australia in 1960 and mainly does portraits, painting them larger than life and with much emotion.  She works in a variety of media including watercolour and oils. The artist won the Archibald Art Prize in 2002 for a painting of a piano player. She painted him topless for a stark contrast to his usual appearance in a suit and tie.

The artist also illustrated a book in 2005.

The artist now resides in Sydney, Australia.



Artist of the Moment… Charles Wilbert White…



This artist was a prominent African American artist who gained acclaim for his use of lithography. Style wise the artist is similar to Kathe Kolwitz in that he used lithograph and painted people not idyllic people, but people as they were in everyday life. He wasn’t afraid to paint the negro.

He was married briefly to well known sculptor Elizabeth Catlett. Known mainly for his drawings and WPA murals. His most famous work is probably the Contribution of Negro to American Democracy.

The artist lived from 1918 to 1979 and was born and raised in Chicago.

See some of his drawings of Frederick Douglas and Sojournor Truth in his exhibition of Drawings from 1942 to 1970 in this exhition titled  Let the Light Enter below….

From this artist we can learn to improve our drawing skills.

thanks for reading!



Figurative painter Mel Ramos…




this artist was one of few artists that stuck to painting the figure when modernism took over in the 60s.  A little bit of Pop art, a little bit of surrealism, and the figure and you have the basis for one of his paintings. In his world you can open a baby ruth bar and find the lady not a candy bar.

He mainly paints women in various settings such as candy bar wrappers and also undressing as the viewer is looking through the key hole watching. Much of the time the ladies are topless.

He was born in 1935 and went to college to study art in 1954 and ended up studying with master painter wayne thiebaud and Sacramento State College who was a key element in his success and design. A mixture of pin up girls and advertising made his work carry the POP art label.

In the early 70s he would insert a pin up girl into a painting by an old master such as Modigliani or De Kooning. He now works and lives in both California and Spain.

Try painting or drawing a candy wrapper, make sure to play close attention to the reflected lights.

See more of his paintings at his site here:

A short youtube clip inside the artists’ studio here


keep learning!


Artist of the moment…. Floral and Putney Painter Laura Robb



this artist is a great painter of floral scenes. As you look at her work I am sure you can tell she heavily influenced by Richard Schmid.  She grew up in Oklahoma and started taking art classes when she was only 16 years old. In 1974 she moved to New York City to studied with famous painter Micheal Aviano. He has done some fantastic figure paintings that were very large in size.  She then had the opportunity to get some critiques from Richard Schmid.  Her paintings have taken her around the world and she now makes her home in Toas, New Mexico.

Her website is  .   She works in both oils and watercolor.

I always encourage you to try drawing and painting a flower to see how fun working with organic shapes can be! Try some from up close or from the ground or looking down from right above them. Try some different compositions from what are normally seen in the galleries.

keep learning about art!



Artist of the Moment… James S. StromBotne



This artist is an American artist born in South Dakota in 1934. He is known for his emotionally charged figure paintings. He attended college in California as well as in Italy.

In 1962 he won the Guggenheim award and an article also appeared in Time magazine. His first one man show was in San Francisco in the 1950s. His paintings can be found

in the Museum of Modern Art as well as the Whitney.


The actor Jack Nicholson has 20 of his paintings. A few years ago he retired from teaching at the college level and now paints every day in his studio in California.





Artist of the Moment… Louise Bourgeois



This artist just passed away this year in May, she lived almost to 100 years old. Like Picasso, this artist gives me inspiration from looking at such a large body of work. The artist was prolific in clay, bronze, drawing, painting, and even the fiber arts. Many of her large commissions were stone sculptures. If you go to the library you should check out a dvd titled ART 21. It covers 21 modern day working artists. I found it to be very informative and loved some of the artists they profiled.

For me some of the artists were boring, they talked about their art as if they were watching a rain storm. Quiet and sober. But some artists like Richard Serra and Louis B were just outstanding. I actually got excited just hearing them talk about making and creating art. If one is going to be an artist or a writer, PLEASE GET EXCITED when discussing your passion. Communicate your excitement. Hearing Louis B. talk about making her stone  sculpture was just amazing. I found her to be funny, even though she wasn’t trying to be. Just her life experience of being nearly 100 years old and expressing herself thru art was worth renting the DVD.

One quote I always loved from her ” I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands.” Very powerful and eloquent.

Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. She was one of the first installation artists around though she became known worldwide for her sculptures.

The artist is recalled also in the November and December issue of Fiber Arts magazine. She loved working with the fibers as they were very historical and also loved them for their connectedness.

a brief excerpt about her spiders…

a brief excerpt about the artist when she was in her 70s in New York York

The artist was the first of the confessional artists.  Her parents owned a tapestry store since she was a child. Her mom was a feminist and told her that she needed to have a career rather than depend on a husband. Her own father was quite the ladies man, and she started keeping track of all her emotional ups and downs in a diary at a very young age. Her figures though abstract deal with the very emotions such as betrayal and discovered she was a great sculptor of childhood emotions and traumas.

This artists life was just amazing and the growth she exhibited is to be admired by all.

Rent the DVD at your local library!





Artist of the Day….. Mr. Brainwash…



This artist is a French citizen living in Los Angeles.  He first career was as owner of a clothing store and videographer. He was introduced by his cousin, known as Space Invader, to street art and the artists such as Bansky and Shepard Fairey.  The movie Exit thru the Gift in fact has Mr. Brainwash a.k.a. Thierry Guetta, as a focus. Bansky was the director.

His biggest breakthrough came in 2008 and his show Life is Beautiful. The opening night saw 7,000 people come out. His second major solo show was called Icons and a piece done with vinyl records of Jim Morrison sold for more than 100,000 dollars.The use of records in the hair was a nice touch!

A piece about the artists Life is Beautiful Show

A youtube piece about the artists ICON show.

The artist in his studio with Carson Daly.

I love the creativity of this artist. Be it films or visual art, he really inspires me to work on larger pieces and be bolder in my drawings!

keep trying to learn!


Artist of the moment…. Zeng Fanzhi…



this artist is a very prolific artist who paints with great expression and loves painting pieces that depict the social and political environment of the Far East.

I love his landscapes. They are very moody and have an October spooky feeling about them.  The figure down from a worms eye was really made by the long grasses blowing in the wind. The artist was born in 1964 in China.

You may see some of the artists work at this gallery which is located in London.

The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.

His portraits are stunning for the emotion they contain. Similar to a Kathe Kolwitz or Edward Munch you can feel the emotion of the subject. For a great example please check out some of the artist’s “Hospital Series”

How about a wormseye or a birdeye view on your next landscape?

Keep learning!


Artist of the moment… Women Pop Artists…. Marjorie Strider…



this artist was a major force of the 1960s known for her wood carved bikini ladies at the pace gallery  alongside Tom Wesselman, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. She made a cast of the artist Caes Oldenburg wife’s breast  and the piece was bought by the artist Sol LeWitt.

When the artist was coming up, it was the time of the Abstract Expressionists,  the artist chose follow the colorists like Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, and Ellsworth Kelly.

The artist has had numerous one person shoes and besides the female wood carvings, the artist was well known for her buildouts of fruit, done in a similar manner.

I love the creativity of this artist no matter what the medium.

The artist currently shows at the Mark Borghi Fine Art Galleries…

Try something new today!



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