Archive for September, 2011

Artist of the moment… Speed painter Brian Olsen…


this guy is one of few artists to master speed painting. I saw the artist the other day on a PBS special. He does most work for charity, keep in mind most charity auctions the artist gets around 50% of the sale price. He once had a marilyn monroe painting sell for more than 200,000 dollars!

You can see the excitement as he paints his memorized paintings from his head. He might do eyes then nose and save the big feature for last, say a mustache like Einstein. I enjoy the energy and color of his work. He jumps and gets totally immersed in paint when he works.

Also a master businessman you can order gear from his website that has his own logo “Art in Action!”

The main thing to remember about speed painting is to use methods the artist has mastered to quickly come to a conclusion, time is of the essence and the main point of the painting.

The originator of this style is Denny Dent, a painter who died and only had one student, Brian Olson. Dent was able to finish his works in the course of one song and he painted mainly rock stars. Another speed painter is Dan Dunn who works in around 3 to 7 minutes.

For us painters its like painting without an under painting, but the figures they paint I am sure they could draw from memory from any variety of positions. Once you see the shapes that make up different faces they are easy to repeat. The end result is similar to an Andy Warhol screenprint portrait. Notice the large dark shadow areas that make up the face.

Below is a clip showing the artist at work.

This will be my last post until October 12th as I must head out into the field to do some paintings of the wonderful fall colors and attend some painting workshops and demos!

Keep painting and learning!


Artist of the moment…. Hovsep Pushman…



In a previous post I wrote about Yin Yong Chun, I am sure he must use this artist as an idea for his still life paintings with a modern twist, well rendered flowers or apples and fruit in the foreground most times on a table and in the background worn wallpaper. The both have works at Spanierman Art LLC.

Hovsep Pushman was born in Armenia in 1877.

Mr. Pushman started his studies at age 11 in Constantinople in 1888.  He immigrated in 1894 to the United States. He lived in Chicago and was able to learn at the Chicago Institute of Art.He is the youngest ever student at age 11 to art school which was for college age students.

In 1910 the artist went to Paris and was able to study under well known French artists.  When he left Paris took off traveling the Orient and found what he loved to paint, oriental subject matter and patterns dealing with patterns and not just painting 3 dimensional forms in space.

He also loved to paint nudes dressed exotically and in front of the Oriental patterned wall paper.

The artist lived for years in Riverside California and painted many commission whilst living there.

He returned to the U.S. in 1923 and lived in New York City. He became the first artist to sue someone for reproducing his works without permission, this decision originally went against the artist but was reversed and as a consequence we have copyright law. The offending party was the New York Graphic Society.

In 1942 to the National Academy of ARt granted him admission and he is only the second artist to turn down admission.

He died aged 89 in 1966.

From an artist standpoint I love the people that change the way people think! I could never buy a painting of a bowl of apples or lemons as emotionally I find the paintings flat for me. But when I see a figure be they birds, a tree, or figures in the background as wall paper it really makes you think for a moment. Do the birds wish they could eat the apples? I love the mix of old and new in this artist’s still life paintings. Try something new to your boring bowl of fruit, a fancy tablemat or wall paper!

Happy painting!

I will be heading off to do some landscape painting as well as still life painting so no new posts until October 11!

Happy painting!




Artist of the moment… Furniture and mixed media artist Doug Meyer….



I just found out about this artist recently but love his fresh look on old things. He does a variety of mediums from painting on cars like Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein to many varieties of sculpture, but I love his making of furniture out of recycled old steel and various metals.

He learned by watching others do the work he wanted to do. Like an apprenticeship.

He is one of few artists who went to Job Corps for a period while he was finding himself, then found a master to study with and now produces a large amount of vary unique work.

His bookcases and tables are amazing as they are not only functional as tables and chairs,but also art. Wheelchairs made into love seats? Chairs made from recycled shopping carts. Anything you want, this guy can make it. In most cases he uses very old metal that has been worn, so he doesn’t color the work at all.

I encourage to take a look at his website to see some more of his works! He is really unique and remarkable!

Here is the website link.

The artist is just starting to make his name on the national scene so get in now while the prices are more than reasonable!

Keep painting and dreaming of new ways to the same old subject matter.


Artist of the moment… Lorraine Christie….



since we are chatting about artists who sell great originals and great prints lets talk about Lorraine Christie.  The artist is very versatile, painting landscapes, still lifes, and cityscapes. I own some prints of what I like most about her work, the city scenes.  For me she paints wonderful crowds of people. It takes a long time how to take a mass of people and change and twist them so you get repetitive shapes but not shapes that are exactly alike. Giotto and Degas were also great at painting crowds of people. For single figure works the artist also paints ballerinas but for me its her grouping of figures that excites me the most.

Some cityscape artists don’t paint people in scenes but I enjoy the works of John Salminem as well as Joseph Zbukvic. If you would like to learn how to draw better groups of people I highly recommend Glenn Vilppu, the man who has educated many artists who has some lessons out on dvd, mine are so old they are on VHS tape. But if you want to learn how to draw anything, I can’t recommend his lessons highly enough.

The artist was born in North Ireland, then moved to Palm Beach, and finally to Georgia where she lives now.

The artist loves to use color and mixture of warm and cool colors to help spur the viewer into connecting with her works emotionally.  Besides using color the artist also uses many lost edges in her work. This gives her figures in the cityscapes a lot of moment that otherwise would be lacking. When you look down at the feet of the people many times you cant see the exact leg or shoe, only the shape of the motion the shoe makes.

Her goals as an artist are expressionism, realism, and  impressionism.  She strives to create a sense of presence and emotion rather than just  a piece of decorative art.

One thing she does differently than any other artist I have heard of, she names the painting before finishing it! How about that!

Try naming a painting first and then painting! Just to try something different than you normally do!

Happy painting!



new pin up sketch….

I am still working on pin up girls and trying to get a great pose that I like!  My newest sketch!

Artist of the moment……Nelson Boren



Nelson Boren’s work is all over the place! In American Art Collector, Western Art Collector, and numerous others! He does realism but still leaves the viewer wishing to see more as in most of his works he only paints the bottom of a pant leg and some shoes or boots.

Here is a link to his blog.

If you check out his blog make sure and see the paintings he did of the same boot with a variety of different background colors.

The artist was born in 1952. Attended Arizona State University and after leaving college worked as an architect.

The artist makes his wonderful watercolors with a variety of tools to make the different textures really pop. He uses wire bristle brushes, a carpet layers tool, and razor blades are used and he works mainly from photographs.

He now lives and draws inspiration from his surroundings in Sand Point, Idaho.

I enjoy this artist for the mystery of his feet/ shoe only paintings. I enjoy the challenge of letting my mind what kind of person inhabits the rest of the work!

A quick clip showing some of the artist’s work set to music! Enjoy!

Happy painting!


Artist of the moment… Walasse Ting…

The artist and Sam Francis talking about Andy Warhol.

Below a short gallery clip of the artist working in a studio.



this artist was born in 1929 in Shanghai, China and passed away in 2010. I enjoy his paintings but he was also produced fun and highly colorful prints and wrote poetry. A true artist in every sense!

He worked in a variety of mediums and liked to paint with acrylics on rice paper and canvas.

The artist moved to Japanese Hong Kong in 1946 and shortly after worked with the COBRA artists in Paris started in 1952.

In 1958 the artist moved to New York and worked with the Abstract Expressionists.  He won a guggenheim fellowship for drawing in 1972 and became a United States citizen in 1974.

In the 1990s he lived back and forth between Holland and New York. He had a stroke in 2002 which slowed his output so he didn’t have many shows after that.

Died in 2010.

The thing we can learn from this artist is to try different mediums and also how to control reds. Its frustrating drawing or painting a red flower as its hard to control the reds. I really enjoy his paintings of flowers as the colors are bright but controlled. Just from looking at the artist’s work I feel happy! Great work!

He made 13 books over his lifetime. His work is also in many museums like the Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim.

Happy painting! Write a haiku to go along with your next work just to try expressing a feeling in a different medium.



Artist of the moment…… Yuri Gorbachev….



as we are taking a look at artists who are both successful in galleries as well as commercial art, lets take a glance at Yuri Gorbachev. This artist is not only a painter but also an illustrator and he also works with ceramics.

He was born in 1948 in Russia and came to the United States in 1991. He gathers inspiration from the designs of Faberge as well as the Byzantine styles of art. He applied his style of working with ceramics on his canvas paintings and has a very unique style.

From a design standpoint he uses the square format in his paintings which is different than most styles that use a more horizontal or vertical format.

He is known as the “Angel of Russia”

He was trained in Soviet art academies and has degrees in both philosophy and communication. He has designed labels for several Vodka brands and also has few books out featuring his artwork and life story. His works are in museums and collections such as the White House, the Kremlin, the Louvre, and the United Nations.

Hats off to this artist for being a successful working artist in a variety of mediums. Successful in all mediums that we try should be a goal of every artist!

Below is a clip with the artist doing a museum interview in San Francisco. Its a two part interview and both last just under 10 minutes. The first part.

The second part.

A brief clip about the artist given by CNN.

Another good idea the artist gives us is that with drawing or painting items with straight edges such as buildings try and lean the buildings back to give them character. I suppose leaning forward is okay, but not too much then they look like they are falling over.  This can be any straight line, even boats. His buildings in the pictures above have a lot of character though they include very straight lines and edges.


Happy painting!


300th Post….. Artist of the moment… Thomas Kinkade….



well since its a special post being number 300 I thought why not write about America’s most controversial artist and businessman, Thomas Kinkade otherwise known as the “painter of light” Everyone whom is trying to paint objects realistically is a painter of light but I digress.

The artist has a reasonable high skill level but when you go to walmart or target and sees his paintings on greeting cards, puzzles, playing cards, and calenders it kind of makes the idea of owning something somewhat unique and you can understand why some don’t like his level of commercialism. Would you sell prints of your work on the QVC home shopping channel? Tom Kinkade has!

I think its important to learn from all artists to keep improving yourself as a business person and artist. Maybe you can try to get one commercial or print deal just to take the pressure off of getting money from gallery sales. My goal is to get some prints going in a hotel chain. Your work will be seen by all the travelers and when you are starting out its just important to get your name out there!

During college he and a friend went across the country sketching and made a book titled THE ARTIST’S GUIDE TO SKETCHING. They got a deal with a major publishing company and the book was one of their best sellers. Books like this are also bought by public companies like libraries so always keep in mind teaching others thru books as a potential source of income.

Whilst some see him as over collected and highly commercial, he likes to see himself as America’s most collected artist. His artwork has touched so many people that its estimated his work is in 1 out of 20 homes in the U.S.A.

He attended the University California at Berkeley finished in 1976 got married in 1982 and had 4 daughters whom he named after famous artists.All of his girls have the middle name of Chritian as the artist touts himself to be highly spiritual.


After the book was published he worked on the 1983 movie Fire and Ice painting various background scenes. After this he began selling his work in galleries in California.

Another thing to keep in mind is that he saves originals for his girls only selling prints. Also he lets other artists paint on his works, not all the work is his own. It was in 2009 that his work was sold on Walmart greeting cards. He is the only artist to have his works licensed to multiple licensing companies.

Also he has franchisees that sell his works thru the galleries. His company was found liable in one case paying out more 2 million dollars.

Gallery owners say that Kinkade uses Christianity as a hook to lure franchise owners.  Some former gallery owners said defrauding people is bad enough but using god to do it makes it even worse. He started the galleries in 1997. From then until 2005 at peak  350 separate galleries existed. The artist pocketed more than 50 million dollars during that period.

He has been chosen by various companies to do paintings celebrating birthdays or farewells. Disneylands 50th anniversary, Walt Disney Resort 35th birthday, closing of Fenway park, as well as the farewell of Yankee Stadium.

The artist is a leader of the Points of Light foundation. A charity that encourages people to volunteer often and help others.

He has won numerous awards such as graphic artist of the year and Lithograph of the Year 9 times.

Another interesting quote from the artist. There have been million seller cds and books, but never million seller art. I (Thomas Kinkade) was the first to do that. I would argue with that what about Rockwell and the Saturday Evening Post. Surely that had more than 1 million buyers waiting for Rockwells work. I will do a report on Rockwell soon.

For a short time the licensing arm of Kinkades empire was a publicly traded stock company but the company didn’t do well as a publicly traded company and he bought all the shares back and took the company private.

On youtube you can visit the artist’s site and see how he sees himself, but I think its more fun to see how other people see him and also more honest as I believe he paints himself as far better than reality suggests. At the same time he says he is super christian he over indulges on alcohol and makes an ass of  himself many a time in public. Once even groping a womens breast at a gallery opening. Below is a clip showing some pastorale scenes.

Here is a short clip about the movie about the artist titled the Christmas Cottage.

I decided to include one clip from thomaskinkadetv just so you can see the artist working on a sketch. Also please take a few moments to read the comments and you can see why he is so controversial, some say he is great, others say just paints kitsch. Its up to you the collector to decide!

Happy painting and sketching!





Artist of the moment….. William Wray….


Below is a clip and an idea for all galleries owners to try. In this modern day and age with people so busy sometimes you may not get to see your favorite show. This gallery owner did walk thru of this show of landscapes with a modern edge and posted it on youtube for all to see! Thanks very much sir for that! An awesome idea! The first artist he goes thru is William Wray so you don’t have to watch the entire show to catch more of his work, just the first minute. But take some time and catch a glimpse of the entire show. I just enjoyed the concept.

this guy is inspirational for me as he has mastered not only cartoons but also oils. Many non artisan people think artists are just born that way but the fact is you must very dedicated to succeed in art no matter what the medium. Writing songs, singing, acting, dancing, painting, sculpting the list goes on and on. Even the artist Sam Hyde that I wrote about a short time ago started in the art world at 14 years of age but always grew and expanded his artistic skills to the point where he could design a fine art painting, a poster for reproduction, a road sign, or a greeting card. He never stopped growing!


This artist became known for his landscape paintings but has now ventured into figures and still life poses as well. I first came across the artist in American Art Collector magazine and was amused because he takes what might be ordinary to some people and paints in extraordinary! A parking garage, a road sign, or a railroad all made into fine one of a kind art. He tends to exaggerate color and light but due to his background in cartoons even a road sign is very animated when put in his hands.

William Wray was born in 1956 and uses this name for fine art and Bill Wray for cartoons. As far as cartoons go you may have seen his work in Mad magazine, a wonderful magazine as it has loads of caricatures of pop stars, celebs, and politicians. He had a part called Monroe that was in more than 100 issues.  He also worked on the Wren andStimpy show that ran on Nickelodeon.

He was in an army family and became fascinated by cartoons at an early age. Lucky for him he was able to study animation from a retired Disney artist when Mr. Wray was only 15 years old and the family lived in Newport Beach, California.

Also has worked for DC and Marvel comics. So you can see he has very much training in getting things to look great in reproduction.

The artist talks about catching the old america before it is replaced by a new strip mall and new buildings. Maybe the recent economic slowdown is good for artist looking to capture old america as it will be with us until the financing can come along to rebuild the old things, let us celebrate what is new and here right now. As I live in the midwest I can always find many old buildings to paint and I am thankful for that. Since Mr. Wray lives in California he has to be quick in what he paints before it disappears.

I appreciate this artist since he has worked in both cartoons and comics and now is moving upward in the world of fine art. Since I started in art doing caricatures its very satisfying to see someone who can draw and paint anything!


Try painting something boring today. A sink, a soda bottle or can, a parking space with a car in it or better yet empty. See if you can capture the mood and look to this artist to see how he makes the sometimes boring spectacular!

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