Archive for August, 2012

Artist of the moment….French artist Le Pho…

The artist was actually born in Vietnam in 1907.

Went on to become one of best Impressionists of his day.

Was famous for his paintings of women in flower gardens.

A brief clip of some of the artists work. If you don’t understand the language in the beginning Le Pho’s painting images begin 15 seconds into the clip. I enjoy his playful and happy style of painting.

Le Pho had a tremendous artistic output working in oils, lithographs, watercolors, inks, and gouache.

High range price: $110,000 for a gouache sized 24 by 40 inches titled Hibiscus and birds.
$373,000 for a work done with inks titled the Purple Curtain.

Low range price: $5,000 for a small floral picture in oils.  12 by 12 inches.

In Vietnam he attended the Ecole de Beaux Arts de Hanoi, Vietnam. He received a scholarship to study in Ecole de Beaux Arts Paris in 1932. Upon returning to Vietnam he taught at the Indochine School of Fine Arts located in Hanoi, Vietnam. In 1937 he returned to Paris where he would live the rest of his days.

He had a unique and personal subject matter painting mainly scenes of women from his native Vietnam surrounded by flowers. In some paintings he leaned towards a Dali type of Surrealism elongated the female figures as they seem to float above the many fields of flowers.

Le Pho passed away in 2001.

This is probably my favorite artist to come from Vietnam. He had a very happy and impressionistic style of painting.

For some art homework try and paint a dream that you have had. Perhaps for some inspiration look to some Surreal masters like Dali or Leonora Corrington. Try to nail the mood of what you want to say rather than go for strict realism.

Artist of the moment….Harold Clayton….


Probably my favorite British artist when it comes to painting wonderful floral works.

The artist was born in 1896 in London, England.

A new word to add your vocabulary list “plinth.” In architecture it is a base or platform on which an object rests. The artist is perhaps best known for his fantastic floral works set atop stone plinths.

What amazed me about the works by Clayton is how lively the flowers seem compared to the cool and smooth colors of the stone. I also enjoy his muted shadows, many times in still lifes you have extreme areas of light and dark light you might see in a Rembrandt, Sherrie McGraw, or David Leiffel work. Its great to see an approach that seeks out color over greys rather than light over dark. A fantastic way to look at floral images.

Went to art school in Hackney, London. Went on to attend Harrow Art School. Also studied at St. Martens School of Art working under Norman Jones.

The artist turned out to love gardening and concentrated on devoping his style of floral works.

High range price:  $ 44,000 for an oil painting of flowers in a vase,

Low range price: Smaller floral works start around $7,000.

Worked in oils and watercolors and exhibited many times at the Royal Academy.

The artist passed away in 1979.

Artist of the moment…….Nguyen Van Cuong….

The artist was born in Thai Binh, Vietnam in 1976.  The artist attended college at Hanoi University finishing in 1999. He was the highest graduate of his class earning a bachelors degree in art.

He is best known for his paintings of young women.

Paints mainly oils on canvas but has worked with watercolor on ink frequently.

Currently part of teaching staff at National College of Music and Art.

Uses lacquer in most of his artwork. Similar to the previous post, the Luo Brothers, this artist enjoys making commentary on the introduction of western objects into his native culture of Vietnam.

Won a first prize in Vietnam for a self portrait in 2011.

Paints very large faces, many times a head and shoulder portrait might be 40 by 40 inches.

Average price range: For a larger portrait in oils 40 by 40 inches around $10,000.

Not a large body of work or much info out there on this up and coming artist. I enjoy the way she handles the female figure. The figures seem very emotional and fragile. Perhaps sculpted of porcelain. The eyes she paints are very emotional as well. He also mixes in floral elements and butterflies in his works.

Try a portrait today, but paint it larger than you normally would.  Some great artists who paint figures very much larger than life would be Lu Cong and Alex Katz.

Happy painting!

Artists of the moment…..The Luo Brothers…..Chinese Contemporary….


These brothers are a fantastic duo that integrate politics, social commentary, and Chinese culture into their works. The pair try to make a comment on the surge of western products and ideas into their culture.

Many times they work with idea of three young  Chinese boys growing up. The boys play with all sorts of toys that are from the highly commercialized United States and the western world.

The two were born in 1951.

A clip showing some works of the artists with a brief commentary.

The pair have worked in many mediums inlcuding fiberglass, resin, lacquer collage, hand carved wood reliefs, sculpture, ink,  oils, and acrylics.

As with other Chinese artists its very interesting to see how they portray the western world. The babies in these works are very happy and seem to be enjoying their Coca Cola products. As long as they can enjoy the products properity will rule the day.  The babies are more than happy to think about eating or drinking something as large as their bodies.

The artists were born in 1963 and 1964. Lou Wei Dong was born in 1963 in Guangxi, China. Lou Wei Gou also born in Guangxi, China. I could not find a birth date for Luo Weibing, the youngest brother. He went the Art Academy in Beijing, China.

Wei Dong attended the Guangxi Art College. Wei Gou attended the Ghanzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Both finished college in 1987.

High price range:  $366,000 for a work titled Welcome the WorldFamous Brands. Its in the gallery, the one with many chinese faces embracing western items such as Juicy Fruit, Coca- Cola, and another famous world famous American brand McDonalds.  Oil painting record is $68,000. Watercolor is $20,000. Enamel is $50,000.

Low price range: Oils for $5,000.

The brothers began to work together on artworks beginnig in 1986.

I enjoy their works as they represent what I believe many Chinese people are thinking, look at all of the products from the United States. Its interesting to think that the Chinese might see their fat babies as living the life having any material items they could want. In the new China EVERYONE will prosper rather than just the social elite.

The artists love to make shiny and glossy surfaces on their wood carvings, lacquer works, and resin sculptures. I enjoy their mix of new and old ideas representing what China could become in the current century. From a design standpoint I love the piece that sold for a record amount, Welcome World Famous Brands. The imperial red color mixed with prosperous golden color made for a strong and dynamic painting.



Artist of the moment…..Christopher Brown….

A great clip with the artist explaining his technique of NOT finishing paintings. He is very creative and loves seems to love to add ideas to his paintings. Some works can lean toward the surreal side when he begins to get excited and add shapes and color. Its very apparent at the part 7:50 or so into the clip.

This artist was born in 1951 on a marine corps base where his father was a doctor. He was born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. When he was three years old the family moved to Ohio. He talked his parents into enrolling him in art classes that took place on Saturday morning.

The way the artist uses the same shape repeatedly in some of his works reminds me of Andy Warhol.  Andy Warhol seemed  to use nearly the same identical shape in many of his works, the shape would be slightly altered but had a very strong impact on the viewer. Brown is very cleaver in that he uses people and groups of people when he uses repetitive shapes.

He also uses a bird’s eye view. From this angle it seems that in many occassions the people are all moving in the same direction, leading to a greater feeling of chaos when looking at the artist’s paintings.

From his paintings I enjoy his paintings of figures sledding down a snow packed hill. The snow is cleverly painted and figure is loosely painted which gives it a sense of motion. The artist’s use of blue and yellow give the illusion of a strong sense of light.

When Christopher Brown was thirteen years old the family moved again. This time they relocated to Illionois. His father went on to work for student health services at the University of Illinois, in Champaigne- Urbana. Brown went on to attend college at the same university his father taught, earning a bachelors degree in art. The artist then went on to University of California at Davis for his masters degree. In college he studied with the likes of Wayne Theibaud and Manuel Neri.

Whilst the artist was in college he received a grant to study in Europe. He visited France, Spain, and Germany.

He paints mainly oils on linen but has worked with pastels on paper as well. He loves to draw and has made linocuts, etchings, woodcuts, acrylics,  and lithographs.

High price range: $31,000 for acrylics. $131,000 for oils.

Low price range: $6,000 for a work in crayons. $1,000 for etchings. Lithographs for a few hundred dollars.

The artist even was a critic for ArtWeek magazine.

Currently lives and works in Berkeley, California.

Try painting a birds eye of a group of people. An amusement park or waterpark might be a good start.



Artist of the moment…..James Bama

This artist is best known for his very detailed and intricate paintings and etchings of the old West.

A montage of the artist’s work set to wonderful music.

He was born in 1926 in Manhattan, New York. As a child he loved comic books and enjoyed reading and making copies of the artwork.

At the young age of fifteen he made his first illustration sale of the Yankee stadium in the New York Journal-American.

As he grew up in New York City he attended the cities High School for Music and Art. He then entered the Army Air Force and was a physical trainer, mechanic and a painter of very large murals.

After leaving the Army he studied at the Art Students League of New York. He went on to be an illustrator at the Charles E. Cooper studios. Starting with a paperback book cover with Billy the Kid the artist worked commercially as an artist for twenty two years. For the Bantam paperback series Doc Savage the artist executed sixty two covers over the years.

In 1964 he married an art history major. In 1966 Bama and his wife went to visit artist Bob Meyers at his home in Wyoming. Bob Meyers was a very successful illustrator working for the Saturday Evening Post. Meyers gave up illustration and just wanted to paint and run his Wyoming ranch.

Two years later the couple moved into a house on Bob Meyers ranch. James Bama was able to work both commercially and to paint his surroundings to build up his own portfolio.

In 1970 Bob Meyers was murdered. His wife moved from the ranch and James Bama and wife moved into a house in 1971. In 1971 Bama made a connection with a New York art gallery dealer who convinced him to give up illustration and focus on painting unique works of art.

The artist has books on his artwork available on for

Inducted to the illustrators Hall of Fame in 2000.

High price range: Watercolors record is $48,000. Oils record is $112,000.

Low priced range: Prints and works in ink available for less than one thousand dollars.

Bama has worked in many mediums including watercolor, gouache, oils, acrylics, and prints.

The artist is one of a group of artists that worked commercially for many years learning how to make great compositions and using many mediums. This group then went on to become the masters of art today. I include in my group Howard Terpning, Bob Kuhn, Pino D’Angelico, and Everett Raymond Kinstler.

If you struggle with inspiration look up any of these artists who were highly successful commercially, Pino did more than 3,000 book covers, and all were successful in the field of Fine Art.

Artist of the moment…..Karen Woods….


The artist is among my favorite contemporary painters, along with Alyssa Monks, for painting water droplets or beads.

A clip showing a utility box commission. Always be sure and check out new avenues for displaying your artwork. Amelia Caruso has also done some great public commission work on utility boxes. They are great exposure for local artists because the locals can actually view you creating the piece.


She enjoys working from photographs that she takes herself at interesting roadside locations.

The artist was born in 1963 in Seattle, Washington. Attended college in Oakland, California at California College of the Arts. Studied overseas in Florence, Italy for a short time.

Has appeared in Western Art and Architecture and ArtWeekly magazines.

The best thing about this artist is her portrayal of atmosphere.  The viewer can feel the wetness and the humidity of the air. She is also wonderful at painting reflected survaces, her mirrors are great example of that. She also has worked on a variety of surfaces over the years including porcelain plates and even basswood.

A link to the artist’s website:

Woods paints mainly oils on linen or canvas. She hasn’t been as well travelled as our previous post so most of the cityscapes are visions you would see driving around Boise, Idaho.

For some art homework next time its raining and you go for a drive in your car, grab your camerca and take a picture from inside your vehicle looking out. Check out the works of Alyssa Monks and notice how each artist paints beads of water differently.

Woods was inspired by abstract expressionists. Some of her favorites were Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning.



Happy painting!



Artist of the moment….Clive Head…

This photorealist painter comes from London, England. He is best known for his portrayal of wide city streets and urban scenes. His compositions remind the viewer the French Artist Gustave Cailleboit.

A clip of the artist helping a student decipher what elements to use from a photograph.

A short clip coming again from the College of Cyprus, with Dr. Michael Paraskos talking about Clive Head and a short montage of the artist’s works. At just past three minutes time into the clip the Doctor begins to talk about comparing Clive Head’s ideas of art with the Western idea of painting.

The artist was born in Maidstone, England in 1965.  From a very young age he was interested and very talented at producing art. At the tender age of eleven years old he was a member of the Reeds Art Club. The club focused on art and was organized by members at his father’s factory.

Attended college at Aberystwyth University where he studied under an abstract painter named David Tinker. In college he met Steven Whitehead, a contemporary artist working mainly with realism. After college he began showing his art with the dealer Nicholas Treadwell.

In 1994 he joined the faculty at York College founding and becoming Chair of Fine Arts Department for the campus located in Scarborough. Also taught at the University of Hull.

In 1999 the artist decided to leave the teaching world behind and found representation by two well known art galleries.

In 2005 he won a prestigious commission from the Museum of London. He was to paint Buckingham Palace to prepare for the queens upcoming Golden Jubilee. Also in 2005 the artist developed a neurological disease. In the end it took five years to fully diagnose his disease, Dopa-Responsive Dystonia. He struggled on continuing to paint, but in a much larger scale.

Has exhibited at the National Gallery in London, England.

As far as style is concerned, the artist is part of the movement he calls the New Aesthetic. The movement specializes in the material and physical process of making art. When working on a landscape he first visits the location and makes many sketches from many different points of view. He then gathers the information, but not piece for piece. He edits the work and alters it to best suit his needs in making a stunning visual panoramic view. The artist might use only sixty percent of what can be seen by the eye at any given moment, the main concern is making a great work of art.

I enjoy most these views of the landscape which seem to stretch out miles and miles and make the canvases appear very large. Another artist who worked in a similar manner would be Rackstraw Downes.

The artist is very unique in his thoughts on drawing and painting and his New Aesthetics method. He doesn’t believe you should copy exactly from a photograph, the artist doesn’t like the basic idea of vanishing points.  All lines of perspective meet here, he believes in vanishing zones. If you look at the works of Rackstraw Downes and Clive Head it seems both use this method to get the spectacular spacial depth in each of their works.

Some cities he has painted include his favourite London, Paris, Prague, Moscow and Rome.

High range price: 160,000 Great British Pounds. More than 200,000 U.S. dollars.

low price range: Unable to find out much about the average price range.

On line and land based gallery: Marlborough Fine Art in London, England.

Create a spacious landscape today!

In addition I wanted to mention the U.K. artist Steven Wiltshire. A wonderful young artist who is autistic. He flies above the cities in a helicopter than comes down to earth to produce his very large works mainly from memory. Raphaella Spence is another English artist who recently had some wonderful paintings of Las Vegas taken from a helicopter’s view point.


Artist of the moment…..Robert Gniewek

Considered part of the second wave or generation of photo realist painters. He concentrates on classic “Americana ” images such as cafes, roadside diners, and motels. Also has done a series on small town theaters, not the chain theaters you would see showing Harry Potter, but older smaller theaters specializing in Independent movies.

He also loves gas stations, the kind you might see in Mayberry. In this reguard he reminds me of Ed Ruscha, and his famous gas station painting.

One of many photorealist painters included in a book by gallery owner Louis K. Meisel who also represents the artist. The website for the gallery is:

This artist is great with color, similar in technique to Robert Cottingham. Cottingham is a master at painting letters and words as artforms. Both artists enjoy mixing warm and cool light sources. Natural sunlight for a cool light and neon light for a warm light source.

Although people might say it just looks like a photograph, the artist is a master at painting the reflections of light that you might see in a window. His diners hav a warm light glow that makes them look very inviting, as if in a time capsule. The mixture of warm and cool light sources on the neon signs gives the picture an added depth to go along with a very unique design.

The artist was born in 1951 in Detroit, Michigan.

The artist attended college in Detroit, Michigan studying at Wayne State University for both his bachelor and masters degrees in art.

High range price: $20,000

Low range price: $2,ooo

Try painting a hot dog stand, or small to go coffee stand, or newspaper stand. Try to nail the atmosphere and essence of the moment!

Happy painting!


Artist of the moment…..Realist John Baeder….

The artist is well known for capturing the Happy Days type Diners that remind the viewer or a trip along Route 66.  Some other artists who have worked in the same genre would be Dennis Ziemenski who captures the California of yesteryear and Bruce Cody who is a wonderful painter of buildings that you might see in America of the 1970s and 1980s.

A clip of the artist’s when he received a prestigious art award from the Governor of Tennessee.

The artist has worked in many mediums over the years but is best known for his watercolors.

High price range: $54,000 for  Diner Binghampton, New York painted in oils.

Low price range: prints can be found for a few hundred dollars.

The artist is closely associated with the photorealist movement. I find his work reminds me of Don Eddy, for his use of watercolor and the type of automobile. Also very similar to John Salt. Salt came from England but is associated with the photorealist movement in the United States. Salt is my favorite when it comes to portraying the typical Americana trailer park or mobile home setting.

Baby Brownie Camera was made by Eastman Kodak long ago when it was the Amazon or Google of its day. Perhaps similar to the smart phone camera of today, back in its day it introduced people to the idea of snapshots. People taking pictures wherever they went and millions were sold in the 1950s and 1960s. The artist loved the camera as a young boy.

He started his career in advertising and worked in the industry from 1960 to 1972 leaving to pursue an art career full time. Also in 1972 he started to show full time at the OK Harris Gallery in New York City.

Has been included in more than thirty one man shows.

Museum collections include the Whitney Musuem of Art in New York City, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Yale University Museum of Art, and Detroit Institute of the Arts.

This artist paints what he loves, the old classic Americana image. He was inspired by photography that he saw at the Metropolitan Museum in New York taken by the Farm Security Administration.  After seeing the photographs he started collecting post cards of his favorite subject matter.

For some art homework how about taking at least a photograph of the next roadside restaurant you see. I would prefer that it served food, but that it had wheels. A diner on wheels. They have become popular all over the U.S. and especially here in Denver.

The artist lives and works out of Nashville, Tennessee.

Clip from a show in July 2012 at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Happy painting!


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