Archive for October, 2010

Artist of the moment… Jim Dine…


The artist Jim Dine was born in Cincinnati in 1935. He also attended college in Boston but ended up getting his MFA from University of Ohio Athens. He exhibited at the Judson gallery in 1958-59. His first solo show was 1960. The artist uses personal items in his work such as his robes and even glued and attached items to his canvases like rope, shoes, and neckties. The artist also has published several books on his written poetry.


I enjoy this artist for being so prolific, especially in making woodcuts and mon0liths.

Keep learning!


Artist of the Moment… Ann Craven…


this artist paints awesome flowers as well as birds. Her birds are just enormous and checks in with one side measuring 90 inches. I first became aware of this artist after seeing some of her works that were of flowers seen at peoples funerals. Large pieces as well painted mainly in blacks, greys, and occasional yellow here and there.

Ann Craven attended college for art in both New York at Columbia and also in Boston at the Massachusetts Gallery of Fine Art.

Here is a brief article about Ann and one of her new exhibitions.


I encourage you also to check out some work by other artists working in a mono tone or simple palette such as Geoffrey Johnson and his cityscapes or even the photographer Ansel Adams. It will get you to add more structure to your work and a bigger contrast with light and dark values.

keep learning!



Collage and visual artist Frances Stark…

the artist was born in 1967. Her collages are the work I find most inspirational from here.  Her use of empty space and use of text to help the viewer understand her point view make her work unique. The artist likes to indicate herself in her works.

This clip is from a college lecture given by Ms. Stark @ Cal Arts. The college started to educate the animators of Disney long ago.

A quick shout out to and Mario the artist for inspiring me to get into caricatures a few years back! I have learned a lot and continue to learn from such artists as Joe Bluhm and Jan Op De Beeck and of course Sebastien Kruger.

The use of text can add exciting ideas and pull the viewer in closer. Try a piece using some text in your own unique way.

keep trying! It will some come !


Artist of the moment… graffiti artist James Top…

this guy is a New York City legend who has just recently found his way into major art galleries. After making marks on subways and walls of the city the artist was able to have a solo show called “Afrology”  in 2008. It featured several 1970s type figures with huge afros but combining some modern social statements such as PROFITS and big oil as well.

CBS has a clip here you should view that talks about the artist finally making it to the big time after all these years. The artist even teaches youngsters in the community how to use art in a uplifting way, rather than ruin things. Graffiti at its highest is fine art, at its lowest is vandalism.

The show is about using mixed media to communicate different views within the black community.

The artist in the 70s was a founding member of the TOP group The Odd Partners. The group was among the most famous taggers, or vandals if you look at it that way, that existed, spraying paint all along the subways in the 70s and early 80s. He feels he is the voice of his community.

Everything is to like about this artist. The bold statements. Putting his work in front of public eyes for 30 years, and people who aren’t inclined to look at other art that what they walk by on a normal working day. The artist even gives back to the young in his community, how taking some time to study other taggers out there such as Daze of Phoenix or the great John “Crash” Matos.

keep learning and having fun! Smile, just do it!


Artist and photographer Qui Zhijie

was born in 1969 in in the Fujian Province of China. The artist works in video and photography and occasionally produces wood cuts or ink prints. His themes tend to deal with self confidence and destiny.

The artist’s breakthrough year was 1992, he gained some international recognition with the show China’s new Art. In 2007 he had his first stateside solo show.

The artist is super creative always looking to push boundaries.

Try something new and creative today.


Artist Li Jin…

is an artist who likes to pick on or exaggerate the ugliness of the human body. To depict it worse than it appears. He works often with an ink wash on some sort of rice paper. He was born in 1958 and finished college in 1983.

He paints everyday actions that take place such as eating, going to the bathroom or taking a bath, or reading. Its as if the camera guy sneaks up on the person and catches them by surprise. The characters have good feeling of themselves, self confident and not taking care in the least that they are being painted or photographed.

Growing up in the cultural revolution in china meant giving most of your THINGS to the gov.t to concentrate on making the society better, not enriching ones own wealth. Doing a  private thing such as bathing or going to the bathroom became very public.

The artist rarely paints kids, rather he adds dogs to his works. To him they are great because they love to be around humans and live a simple life. Sleep, eat, play, and mate.

Try painting  or drawing a caricature of yourself on the pot or going to the bathroom. I am sure it will make you smile!



The Snowflake photographer… Wilson Bentley…


this man is one of my favorite photographers who was the first to specialize in snapshots of snowflakes. The artist always was obsessed with the snow since childhood and was amazed by the fact that no two were alike. Over his years he earned 4,000 but spent 15,000 in photographing snowflakes.

Mr. Bentley was born in 1865 and grew up on the farm and was a farmer as an adult. His photographs of snowflakes were featured in National Geographic as well as other periodicals of the time such as the Nature Journal and Popular Science. He termed snow crystals “ice crystals”

He used very simple crude methods using only a microscope and a bellows camera. His technique involved using black velvet which really made the individual snowflakes pop out from the background.

Mr. Bentley was to put out a book called Snow  Crystals but while out in a blizzard he caught pneumonia and died before the book was released.

Hats off to Mr. Bentley for his unique idea and keeping at it because he loved what he was doing, not for any financial gain or to become famous. He loved what he did!

Draw something for the first time today!



Chinese Ink Artist Fu Baoshi…

This artist was born in 1904 in China in the Xinyu province and died in 1965. He is one of the most important figures in modern chinese painting of the last century. The Artist was an apprentice and was heavily inspired by Japanese style of art and incorporated the style into his form of chinese ink painting.

Soon after school he was invited to teach at the University level and made translations of several Japanese Art books. He did many studies and made books about the ancient painting techniques used as early as the latter part of the fourth centuries.

Fu was one of the leaders of the New Chinese Painting Movement and this became evident around 1950. The artist was obsessed with the artist Shi Tao and even changed his name to Bao Shi in respect of the artist. He loved to study and learn from this master artist.

Though this type of landscape relies more on tone and value than color, the inks can be mixed to be all of the red blue or what ever color family the artist would like.  In person you can see the use of color and the soft transitions.

Keep learning daily!

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