Archive for February, 2012

Awesome Acrylic Artist series….. Paul Mathenia

the artist is great to learn from as he is a success selling his own originals as well as selling prints.

Mediums used: acrylics and watercolor

surface: canvas and paper

Low price range for originals in acrylics- $650

High price for originals in acrylics- $2500

Great painter of any genre, landscape, floral, or figure. I would say figure is the weakest and floral is the best for his commercial work. If you are lucky you might find an old poster for sale of his at michaels as I did for less than ten bucks!

Below is a link for the artist’s facebook page.

Gallery: Art on Broadway in Beaverton, Oregon the link is

We can learn many things from this artist. He works quickly in both acrylics and watercolor. Don’t be worried about not selling a painting, worry about not creating a painting. Even great artists have pieces that don’t sell.  Its just not likely you will sell 10 out of 10 paintings, a more realistic goal is to try and paint ,paint, paint. Produce first, then try and get to where you are selling 5 out of 6 paintings. Get involved with the process of creating art, not just the end result. As you improve your skills, you will sell more, its that simple! I would say a great artist is hoping to sell 7 out of 10 paintings. Many galleries have stacks and stacks of unsold work that sits in back. Ask to see these works and you will find great bargains, sometimes quick watercolor or acrylic pieces that were used as a basis for an oil painting.

The artist is also great as he teaches workshops in both watercolor and acrylics.

Has some posters out on or

He is also a great marketer with a very good website on facebook showing him giving painting lessons and some of his wonderful landscapes and floral scenes.

Try a watercolor or acrylic today, see if you can learn to soften all the edges before the paint dries.

Happy painting!


Awesome Acrylic Artist series…….A.D. Cook…

The last picture shown above in the gallery has the artist on the viewer’s left. The artist works with many of the world’s most beautiful women taken loads of photographs and then making a design of his choosing to paint.


Clip showing the artist painting a figure on a metal surface. The reflection of light on these works is fantastic.

Clip of the artist working with a Playmate model. It shows him taking photographs, preparing the metal, and working on the piece.

Low price range: $2,000

High price range: $50,000

This artist is a tremendously skilled figure painter.

Mediums used: acrylics, color changing urethane

Surfaces: metal, canvas

Artist was born in Phoenix in 1961. While growing up the family moved frequently, sometimes the artist would attend three different schools in one years time. One constant was art, so he became focused and developed a great work ethic from an early age. When the artist was 14, the family settled in Portland, Oregon. Here he learned to use the airbrush and improve his drawing and photography skills.

Back in the 1980s when the home video rental boom was just beginning, long before Netflix was even a thought, the artist worked with Hollywood Video Rental chains. He was the creative director and painted several hollywood mural scenes for some of the larger retail stores. He even helped develop the corporate brand of the large chain.

In the mid 1990s he left this job to pursue his own fine art dream where he could paint whatever he wanted. The artist made series featuring American motorcycles, nude figure works, and abstract pieces.

In 2004 he started using metals as a surface. In the youtube clip you can see how much different the surface is than canvas even before any paint is used.

The artist lives and works out of Las Vegas, Nevada.  He now sells mainly from his website, also accepting clients for commercial work and additional skills such as body painting. He started his own gallery in 2008 on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was located in Neonopolis, which was to revitalize the downtown area but soon after opening ran into financial troubles.

I enjoy this master of acrylic medium for his sense of design. Some of his figure paintings remind me of another acrylic artist, Bernardo Torrens who I wrote about previously, as they both can paint wonderful figures by using one color and white.  My favorite works of the artist are his blueish female figures, one color and white. I recommend anyone looking to become a better painter of the figure should also learn how to render it tonally and with one color plus white to make your own grey scale. At first use only 5 tones, then if you are satisfied with that break it down to 10 tones. He is also a great business person and I imagine him to try opening up a gallery again.

If you are in Las Vegas he sometimes has work showing at the Grape Vegas, a wonderful restaurant specializing in great food and wine.

Please visit the artist’s website below.

Finish an old project today!


Awesome Acrylic Painters series…..Bertrand Meniel…

Mediums and surface used – Acrylics on Linen. Graphite on paper. The last 3 artworks above are graphite on paper. To me they are example of realistic drawing at the highest level of art.


This artist is widely collected and his genre is landscapes, often times of large metropolitan cities in Europe. When I look at his work it reminds me of Richard Estes, Raphaella Spence,  who both specialize in paintings of urban life in New York City.

Born in France in 1961.

The artist was a late bloomer, taking adult level classes from 1991-1995 in Paris, France.

Has been in many national art magazines, group shows, and solo shows. First group exhibition was in 1997.

I couldn’t find a photo of the artist or a price range.

Artist shows at Louis K. Meisel Gallery in New York City.

The artist is just a great painter of landscapes. All of his paintings have a rich atmospheric element. His street scenes are perfect models in composition and contrast. Some of the compositions on the more horizontal works remind me of the artist Rackstraw Downes.  Downes painted wonderful panoramic scenes combining views of the same scene but from different angles. Both made awesome works of art just using graphite and I encourage you to study drawings from these artists as much as possible.

Try to find some photo realist artist that paint your same subject matter, study them, LEARN from them!

Happy painting!


Awesome Acrylic Artist series……Baiju Parthan…



Low price range = $5,000

High price range= The piece showing Ghandi at Lancashire went for $169,000 at auction.

The runner pictured last above the artist  in the gallery above is quite large measuring 4 by 6 feet.

Mediums used: Acrylic on paper, Oil with Acrylic and Gel, digital photographs, archival prints on metallic paper, acrylic on canvas, installations

Shows at these galleries: Aicon Gallery.

Palette Art Gallery.

Below is a clip from a  film done about the artist. Towards the end you can see the cover his book titled Baiju Parthan A User’s Manual. 

Baiju Parthan comes from India.  I consider him the Andy Warhol of the country, expressing himself in many many mediums.

The artist was born in Kerala, India in 1956.

Highly educated and always learning he received a degree in botany in 1976. A painting degree from Goa College of Art in 1983. A postgraduate diploma in 1991 in comparative mythology. Received masters degree in Philosophy in Mumbai in 2007.  This artist is always learning and taking this knowledge to find new ways to express himself. Make sure and learn something new every day and you will succeed in whatever you try. You must stick to it!

The perfect mixture of cyberspace and digital media mixed in with a strong traditionalist painting background make the artist very unique.

First exhibited his digital installations in 1999.

The subject of a book, Baiju Parthan, A User’s Manual. A great book that follows his path of life from birth to finding a niche in the Indian Art Market.

Internationally collected.

The main thing to learn from this artist is to keep evolving. Just because you have one degree from college, doesn’t mean you can’t have two!  Even if you learn on your own without the benefit of class, just keep learning!

Happy painting!


Awesome Acrylic Artist series….Shonto Begay….

A short clip from an art fair that took place in 2011, a painting of his is featured around 25 seconds in, growing up in the northwest it reminded me of when kids rode in the back of pickups all the time without seat belts or helmets. A simper and more innocent time before video games and the internet when you could have fun just riding in the back of grandpa’s pickup and looking at the fantastic sky.

This artist is a Navajo Indian. He was born on a reservation in Shonto, Arizona. His mother a weaver of tapestry and his father and popular medicine man. A big time environmentalist who often paints the effect man has on nature. Studied at the American Institute for the Indian Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico and also the College of Arts and Crafts in California.

Worked as a park ranger for 10 years in Wyoming and Arizona.

Author and/or  illustrator of at least 10 books  that got very high ratings on Enjoys giving lectures to children and also doing painting demonstrations.

A link for the artist’s website is below.

Has been included in museum shows including American Indian Contemporary Museum and Phoenix Museum of Art.

His canvases are full of life with exciting bold and bright colors.

The artist paints with acrylics on canvas and was been working professionally since 1983.

Low Price Range= $950

High Price Range= $25,000. Some very large canvases are 60 inches or more on one side.

I enjoy this artist for his large scale works and their brushwork.  The swirls and circular shapes as well as the buildup of color remind me of another painter who loved to express himself on the canvas, Vincent Van Gogh. A great businessman  he has produced 3 books. Love the fact he LIKES to give demonstrations and help younger artists.

Try an expressionist painting today!

Happy painting!


Awesome Acrylic Artist series….Olivier Suire Verley

Finally my minor in French comes in handy! Below is a clip with the artist in French. It also shows a wide variety of his works. It is in French but I wanted to include it because its always fun to see artists and their work!

The artist was born in 1952 in France.

I enjoy the artist’s working process, laying out the shapes and volumes of the work in acrylics and then adding atmosphere and light with the oils.  The artist also has a keen sense of design by using simple color shapes for clothes. Both the figures and the shapes of clothes that repeat themselves as the picture plane recedes give the scenes added depth. Also interesting is the fact that he makes his own shadows. No boring warm darks here, he breaks up the shadow by inserting rain and water to break them up and add life to the paintings.


His grandfather was a famous painter in the country and his dad was an amateur painter as well as publisher of fine art books.

The artist studied painting and even etching while living in France. He got his start in art by illustrating books.

At first the artist painted with a darker palette and surrealistic themes, now he paints mainly the beach with heavy atmospheric conditions. The artist changed his working process in 1982 and moved to a small island off the coast of France. His palette changed and he found the same ideas we see today.

Loves to travel and goes often to Paris, Morocco, Spain, Italy, and Egypt.

Keep painting!





Awesome Acrylic Artist series…..Mickalene Thomas….

The artist paints with various media including acrylics, enamel, and rhinestones on wood panel.

Clip for a 2008 show.

Clip for a 2009 show.

Another interview with the artist showing her while she works on a piece.

Happy painting!


I find her work to be similar to the Blaxpoitation movies of the 1960s and 1970s. The women are highly adorned in jewelry and made to look very sexy at all times. For me I enjoy the different mediums she uses. Many artists such as Fab Five Freddy have copied her in putting rhinestones in their artwork. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery! Plus the sizes she paints, sometimes a painting might be 60 to 70 inches, is quite remarkable.

Mickalene Thomas was born in 1971.

The artist went to Pratt Institute for her B.A. in 2000 as well as Yale for her M.F.A. in 2002. Now makes New York City her home.

Did a portrait of the President’s wife that was the first one done of her and displayed in the National Portrait gallery. Spent 2011 as an artist in residence in France. Has work in the Museum of Modern Art Collection.

Try using some mixed media in your works. Be sure and check out this artist as well as Robert Kushner to see how the modern mixed media masters work!

Happy painting!

D … continue reading this entry.

Awesome Acrylic Artist series……Paul Cunningham…

this artist paints with acrylics and additional mediums to develop pictures very rich in color and texture. Of his portfolio I enjoy most the landscapes that concentrate on color. If you like this artist please check out Richard Mayhew and EH Klink, two artists that painted landscapes with exaggerated color to transport the viewer to the idyllic scene.

Paul Cunningham is a self taught artist. He loves to glaze rich color on his works. Loves to paint western scenes that remind him of childhood trips to New Mexico, Arizona, and Wyoming.

Has appeared in national art magazines including Southwest Art.

Has ventured into a lose style where color and texture are the most important aspects of the painting.Since he uses a high amount of gloss medium, especially in his abstract works, the viewer is always finding something new in the art when changing their own location.

Shows at three galleries.

If you like this artist, a similar artist who paints in this style would be Richard Mayhew. Landscapes with the focus being color, space, and emotion.

Happy painting!


Awesome Acrylic Artists series……Robert Kushner…

This artist started out doing shows with friends that were performance pieces in the 1970s. This is a recreation of a 1970s performance  with the artist speaking and appearing live, while other artist wear clothes made from items you might eat, licorice for example.

Below is a more current showing of the artist’s style that what I listed. I enjoy it because you can see the variety of different paper the artist uses, even a cook book recipe sheet could be used. His creativity has no bounds. Also its great to see these long gardens on a wall as they might appear to you. The viewer gets a greater sense of respect for his design skills.  Just the right amount of detail and mystery to keep the viewer moving constantly. The artist has sold many works to museums.

Robert Kushner got me inspired to paint florals using acrylics and mixed media a few years ago after seeing the wide range of expression that a master artist could produce. Not only is this artist great at capturing the description of the flower, but by using the colors involved, or inventing his own palette the pictures are so cleverly designed the viewers eye wanders and wanders the work without being board.

This artist has used acrylics for a large part of his work, but a piece is usually not done in one medium, rather he mixes several media at once. Oil, acrylics, glitter, copper leaf, gold leaf, mica , and resin.  I have stood in front of a large canvas by the artist, around 60 by 60 inches, and by changing my position I felt the flower was alive.

The resin used to seal the art gave the work a glossy and shiny feel, but if you changed view points the work had a different feeling caused by the glitter that is in some of the resin. His work is just so unique its impossible to label.

The artist was born in Pasadena, California in 1949.

Went to college at University of California at San Diego. Finished in 1971.

Became a performance artist in the 1970s appearing sometimes nude on stage. Also was heavily influenced by the pattern and design movement as well as the concentration of design found in works in Orient.

Works with many different media at once such as oils, acrylics, ink, japanese ink, watercolor paper, canvas, rice paper, gold leaf, copper leaf, metallic and interference paints, and even glitter. The fact he can design a space as a large as an entire Japanese screen leaves the viewer highly impressed.

He now live in New York.  This artist has done several public commissions and is included in many private collections as well. If you have the chance, be sure and see this artist’s work in person as it adds another dimension seeing all the different mediums interact and the many ways light reflects from the them differently.

Happy painting!


Review of Art Demo by David Griffin…Awesome Acrylic Artist series…Swoon…

A quick clip about Swoon and another artist named Olek, a sculptor, done by PBS. You can see her applying some wheatpastes. Looks like fun!

Another clip with music by Cinematic Orchestra and an interview with the artist in the background. See many of her wheat paste works here.

So first off the demo by David Griffin was amazing! I arrived 30 minutes before the start time so as to get a seat in the front row. I got a seat right in the middle of the front row. As a bonus the Capital Hill Market Whole Foods gave $5 gift cards to anyone who stayed the entire length of the presentation. The artist was so excited to be working, it was fun to watch. He actually worked up quite a sweat, like what I do when I play basketball or tennis, but he did it while doing the demo. Several times the artist had to towel himself off. With the extra seats and those standing there must have been around 80 people by the time the demo ended. What a great turnout!

The artist brought in several of his own works, some were even interactive allowing the viewer to turn the characters which were on wood panels to suit there needs according to the mood they were in that day. The artist said people who buys these works end up interacting with them every day.

He works with full pencil block. When doing trees it was great fun to see all the different lines used to represent shapes of the pine needles. The artist starts his works with a 50 / 50 split with gloss or matte medium. For the later glazes he uses 1/10 or 1/20 split with very little acrylic and much gloss or matte medium.

The artist gives classes at the Denver Art Students League on making  great works of art using a photograph reference.  His class is set up so you watch him paint for the first part of the class, then the artist gets to work on their own pieces some finishing as many as 3 to 4 during the 8 week class.




So the artist I will feature today is one of my favorite contemporary artists working in a variety of media. Many times she will do a print and then hand color the works with acrylics. She got her start by installing wheatpastes around the New York, street art if you will. She has done so much work for the greater community that she inspires me in that regard as well. She was one of a select group of artists that sold artwork and went down to Haiti to help rebuild it.

The artist was born in 1978. Her family was living in New London, Connecticut.

Legal name is Caledonia Dance Curry. Was raised in Daytona, Florida and at age 19 moved to New York to study at the Pratt Institute. She started doing the wheat paste street art in 1999.

I enjoy this artist as she performs what I like to think of as “street magic.” She takes old pieces of wood or even a door, and does these wonderful paintings with a figure that has a tremendous amount of expression. I am moved by the expression her faces contained yet I have never seen them in person. Only someone with great drawing skills could pull that off.

In 2009 she and a crew crashed the Venice Biennale. The arrived using boats they had made from recycled and discarded items. The crew started in Slovenia. She is just very cleaver and free spirited. She is a true adventurer!

She is also very giving and generous with her time and uses art to pursue one of her passions of helping people.

Go get a brown paper bag. Be like Swoon and draw a portrait on it, say in marker so you don’t go back erase. She must have gotten A+s in design at Pratt!

I encourage you do some more research on this remarkable artist!

Happy painting!

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